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!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

more masbury

(Copyright Mick Knox 17.2.2009)

Attached is a picture taken from the site of the DMU picture from May 1958 on the blog. This picture was taken in Feb 2009 and I believe the fence on the Upside of the DMU is the same fence, to the left of the fence in my picture? The approach to the former Masbury Summit Bridge (Oakhill Rd No 69) has been filled in, where the DMU is.

As an aside, this is a very nice shot of a quiet rural corner of Somerset. Imagine a motorway going through this! But at the same time imagine just how well the revived S&D will fit into this scene, one more HUGE advantage rail has over road. In fact from a short distance away the railway will completely blend in with the environment.

Another problem with busy roads is that there is a constant procession of vehicles, creating noise and pollution, and danger to other drivers as well as the many animals that take their lives in their hands when they cross roads. Even the busiest railway has gaps between trains, there's not an endless procession of trains causing the same problems. Hopefully there NEVER will be, despite the HUGE increase in rail traffic that is inevitable as the roads die. With long powerful trains and less need for people to travel to work there should be  a better balance of supply and demand - which will be the subject of a future blog post!
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Chris Warren said...

"You'll never put that railway back, it's gone!"

I'm sorry but the Thatcher government put a six lane motorway across Twyford Down. With the political will, economic need and a degree of public support re-instating the S&D is easily achievable.

I live right on the GWR above Saltford Tunnel, a very busy line, set to get busier with the electrification and re-signalling. I don't even notice the trains, occasionally a whiff of diesel, in fact, since the new engines were put in the HST's I can't remember that!

A railway is part of the landscape and the S&D will be just as much a part of the landscape as it always was. It will enhance the glorious nature of the terrain it crosses not detract from it and will be warmly welcomed by the communities it will serve.

Knoxy said...

i used to live next to the east coast main line and a major trunk road, the A16. it was always the noise of the road you noticed most, rather than the trains. of course i used to enjoy the thrash of the deltics and forties on the railway..