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!

Friday, December 30, 2011

midford 28 december 2011

(Copyright Tom Seale)

Latest report from Midford -

We had a good session at Midford today. Tom and I were joined by Will Cummings, who came up from Wells. A lot of time was spent clearing the bank above the platform but there was great difficulty in keeping a good footing on the loose steep soil deposits. After some undergrowth had been cleared we saw that it was the bunnies that were responsible for the dirt on the platform as there were burrows to be seen higher up. The trees have done quite a lot of damage to the rockface in splitting it up and we pulled down a good number of loose rocks. There was a nasty hailstorm later in the morning that didn't help matters at all. After lunch I set to with the task of burning up all the cut branches whilst the other two cleared more of the bank. After clearing an area above the delaminated bricks in the retaining wall and the dip in the platform, Tom found a 4 inch earthenware pipe that seemed to be discharging water from the property above - this needs to be investigated as it could possibly be responsible for the damage being sustained on our property.
The fire ran to near 5pm and we managed to burn all of the cut wood, which makes the place look a lot tidier.
Favourable and encouraging comments were made by passers-by.

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