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!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

where next for washford?


Anonymous said...

Mmmm... now let me see. There's a 70-mile railway linking Somerset and Dorset that still has some space...

Anonymous said...

Shillingstone springs to mind!

Anonymous said...

Would be nice to see 88 at Midsomer Norton in 2020 :)

It's sadly ironic that this is the second time they've been evicted from a leased site.

John B said...

Time for the Trust to plan their relocation to Midsomer Norton. By 2020, progress towards Chilcompton should be well in hand.

Sunshiner said...

I think this is the ideal opportunity for all the S&D groups to pull together and ensure that Washford finally secure a permanent, purchased site, on the S&D. The New S&D managed it within a few months of being in existence (at Midford). There are plenty of sections of trackbed available - or of course an existing site, if expanded, would be ideal.

Chris Warren said...

Bitton poss???

Andrrew said...

Totally agree with all. Time to bring it home.

Chris Warren said...

Midford could have the signal box from Washford!!

Sunshiner said...

I think there are three important parameters for any new location. a) It should be on the S&D b) It should be a largish location preferably with a reasonable length of both standard and narrow gauge running line and, most importantly c) It must be connected to or very close to either an existing network/community line or a line that would be restored within a few years of 2020. Few of us will still be running cars in 2020 so this is vital for both volunteers and visitors. Templecombe would be a fantastic location or Evercreech Junction with a running line to Templecombe Network Rail. Midsomer Norton if the line to Radstock and/or beyond to Frome/Bath is opened. Or even Shepton Mallet (Bath and West Showground area) with a connection via the East Somerset Railway. Or possibly Radstock to Writhlington. Of course some other lengths of the S&D may be reopened by 2020, although it's not as far away as it sounds!

richard said...

Next stop- Midsomer Norton? Then as the line expands, other sites could be considered. This latest development plus the already conceived events for 2016, should now give an unstoppable impetus to a re-born S&D. To misquote Winston Churchill "This is the End of the Beginning!"

yamfaz said...

This is great news for all the groups and just the 'push' that the original torch bearers needed to come home and build a new future and the new line.

Knoxy said...

Rather than add to an existing site it would be best if they opened up on another section of the S&D. the more the better and of course the eventual aim would be a restored line in full. Let’s do this ourselves before the official railway bureaucrats’ get involved and cover the line in palisade fencing and the like....

This is an opportunity, not an eviction. Return to proper S&D metals. Come back home? (I’m not a member of this group so it’s an outsider’s view, although I do get involved at MSN and Midford)

Midford needs a rebuilt signalbox…?

Masbury Station would have been ideal. Needs a restored box and has the potential for a fair bit of line re-laid towards the summit. Isn’t it owned by a Washford member?

Windsor Hill with its Viaduct and Tunnels and former sidings would make a great site? Last time I was there you could still find the indentations where the sleepers once lay in the sidings. The base of the box is still there, I think?

Nettlebridge Viaduct and a fair bit of unobstructed trackbed survive?

Moorewood Sidings would make a good site with the possibilities of narrow gauge laid on the former colliery connection?

Chilcompton Station is still there and could be a base to start from?

Chilcompton and Redlan Bridge site. Cutting towards Rock Bridge?

Wyke Champflower – Cole Curve? Trackbed in the countryside and a surviving bridge close to a planned connection with the GW main line. A strategic site for the future?

There are plenty of sites that could provide a new start and return for the Washford trust to S&D metals….


Anonymous said...

I agree with many of the previously posted comments. The S&DRT’s next base must be somewhere on the S&D. The presence of the Trust away from the S&D and on a former GWR line has always been something of an anomaly which has been harder to justify as the years have passed. Godfrey is right - the WSR’s decision not to renew their lease has to be seen as a great opportunity and not a setback.

K.A.H. said...

re Washford.
Knoxy and Anonymouse are right.
A relocation to S&D route is a grand opportunity but the need for easy access for the general public has to be assessed.
Most of Knoxy's suggestions are close to the A37 and should be ideal.