Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'

The original Somerset and Dorset Railway closed very controversially in 1966. It is time that decision, made in a very different world, was reversed. We now have many councillors, MPs, businesses and individuals living along the line supporting us. Even the Ministry of Transport supports our general aim. The New S&D was formed in 2009 with the aim of rebuilding as much of the route as possible, at the very least the main line from Bath (Britain's only World Heritage City) to Bournemouth (our premier seaside resort); as well as the branches to Wells, Glastonbury and Wimborne. We will achieve this through a mix of lobbying, trackbed purchase and restoration of sections of the route as they become economically viable. With Climate Change, road congestion, capacity constraints on the railways and now Peak Oil firmly on the agenda we are pushing against an open door. We already own Midford just south of Bath, and are restoring Spetisbury under license from DCC, but this is just the start. There are other established groups restoring stations and line at Midsomer Norton and Shillingstone, and the fabulous narrow gauge line near Templevcombe, the Gartell Railway.

There are now FIVE sites being actively restored on the S&D and this blog will follow what goes on at all of them!
Midford - Midsomer Norton - Gartell - Shillingstone - Spetisbury

Our Aim:

Our aim is to use a mix of lobbying, strategic track-bed purchase, fundraising and encouragement and support of groups already preserving sections of the route, as well as working with local and national government, local people, countryside groups and railway enthusiasts (of all types!) To restore sections of the route as they become viable.
Whilst the New S&D will primarily be a modern passenger and freight railway offering state of the art trains and services, we will also restore the infrastructure to the highest standards and encourage steam working and steam specials over all sections of the route, as well as work very closely with existing heritage lines established on the route.

This blog contains my personal views. Anything said here does not necessarily represent the aims or views of any of the groups currently restoring, preserving or operating trains over the Somerset and Dorset Railway!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

made my day!

Thanks to Joe for this wonderful (if extremely short!) 'article' in a pro-road rag, which amazingly still exist, dripping in nostagia.

Museum piece LOL!
The future LOL!

Even without Peak Oil the car/bus/lorry is on its way out. Trams and rail are clearly the future, and are better in every respect. Perhaps the prof has Alzheimer's, or is simply thick?

Here goes!

Why Trams Belong in Museums
Do trams,
belong in
John Kay, an
eminent economist who has just been
commissioned by the Government to review the
operation of the stock market, obviously
believes so.
He published an article in the Financial Times
recently with the headline "Why trams belong in
museums and not on city streets" which nicely
demolished the arguments for trams.
He recalls being a small boy in Edinburgh and
watching the last tram roll along Princes Street.
He asks what has changed since that time to
make trams more attractive than buses as a
means of public transport and finds that nothing
has changed. They are still very expensive to
install and operate, and less flexible.
He says that the new Edinburgh tram scheme
would have been a marginal proposition if it had
cost nothing to build. But the projected cost of the
Edinburgh project was £545m
". He goes on to say
that the actual cost might now be £1bn, so the
total cost is about £500 per resident.
Anyway, for fans of trams everywhere, Prof
Kay’s article is surely worth a read and it can no
doubt be found on the FT’s web site.
The Government seems to have recommenced
funding new tram schemes such as the ones in
Birmingham and Sheffield though.

My email reply to Joe -


Thanks for this!

What a brilliantly insightful article. I started reading it, waiting for the argument to develop, then it stopped before it even began, just quoting one idiot (and obviously elderly) professor. No counter arguments about their increased speed, separation from traffic, lack of pollution at source, adoption throughout the world, resiliance to oil depletion, the fact that people actually want to use them (unlike buses) and that they employ cutting edge technology.

If this is the argument against (which is no argument at all) no wonder we feel all powerful and are pitying the petrol head dinosaurs!

Oh and his solution – buses!!

Great stuff!


Neil S. said...

The Professor must not get out much.

If you have been in Dublin, then you would have seen the light railway system in the city centre: it runs in four directions and enables you to park on the city outskirts and go into the city. It is an absolute pleasure. There are plans to extend to Dublin Airport

The petrol head brigade conveniently overlook its neighbour's capital city across the Irish Sea when it suits. Edinburgh will be a success.

Poor old Bristol is still in the dark ages, served by 3rd rate politicians and jobsworths.

It has to change for the good of all.

Andrrew said...

Sounds like a windup to me {or he's gone off the rails :-)}