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!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


(Copyright Rail Thing)

An unusual distance shot of Templecombe taken from the site of the second S&D station in Templecombe. You can make out the signalbox on the main line station which was converted into a station building when the station was reopened in 1983. This shot is around 1970.

As the S&D begins to reappear the historical aspects of the line become even more intriguing and I'm still picking up unusual shots whenever I can. I reckon the S&D will become the most recorded and photographed line in the whole world as the decades pass, and more and more old shots will surface at the same time as new photographic opportunities arise as more and more of the line comes back into use. But PLEASE keep recording the line between closure and reopening - it is all history and all relevant. This Inbetweener time may become one of the most fascinating of all - future generations will find it almost impossible to believe that there was a time when this most important transport asset was not even being used and that we were forced to rely on cars on tiny llittle roads!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is this photo taken on the bed of the S&D track, just beyond the,now missing, bridge?
It looks as though there are some posts marking the gap.