There suddenly seems to be a real S&D buzz everywhere at the moment! Midsomer Norton has taken delivery of a DMU so can operate real train services at last! Shillingstone is heading south at a fast pace. Midford is almost cleared and ready to see its buildings put back. Spetisbury is just about to join the S&D fold. Washford will begin actively looking for a new site soon. The Gartell is providing regular steam trips south of Templecombe.
To me the best of all this is that the S&D groups are beginning to pull together and dare I suggest that this is because we're beginning to see a vision of a restored whole route beginning to register with everyone involved with the S&D? When Midsomer Norton started back in the early 90s this vision was enshrined in its constitution, we have always had it as our primary aim at the New S&D and there are lots of rumblings about reaching Spetisbury and Blandford down at Shillingstone. This is great news, and the S&D deserves nothing less.
Of course nobody pretends that this is going to be easy, cheap or without certain hurdles. Although the vast majority of the route is clear (over 95%) there are some annoying blockages, none too big to be overcome of course. And probably 95% of the population still haven't 'got' Peak Oil - and laughingly think fuel prices are already expensive! But every day things get easier, and more and more people are joining and getting actively involved with the great S&D restoration.
Think things are buzzing now?? Come back in ten years' time!