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, January 27, 2012

history uncovered

Some shots taken on Wednesday showing the base of the station building at Midford. This is an incredible transformation from when we started - this whole area was buried under rubble and undergrowth, testimony to the amount of work the Midford Team have put in over the last 16 months!
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Well done you lot at Midford, brilliant results, keep up the good work.

Bunny said...

Cracking work folks, now for a station, and some tracks towards Bath. No pressure!

Eddystone said...

Hi all-just been on google to find the biggest challenge. I reckon that Sturminster Newton takes a medal with a river bridge out and a 'clear' formation right through the centre of town! Any thoughts on this?

Sunshiner said...

The Stour bridge isn't too big a challenge as the abutments are still in place (Prestleigh's a much bigger challenge!), as for the section through the town there is a park protecting part of the route though there were plans a few years ago for houses on the formation too! Nothing a few diggers and compulsory purchase orders won't fix.

Then it's clear at the station site as it's currently a car park, from there south its trailway, so protected again for us.

Anonymous said...

Are you looking to build any structures there this year?

Sunshiner said...

We're waiting for the plans to be drawn up, then planning permission, but would hope to make a start on at least the oil store this year. This will mean we can keep tools etc on site.

Anonymous said...

I love this site, Thanks for all the amusing comments. I like a good laugh at the end of a hard days work!

Anonymous said...

Visited site last week. Was sad the bricks were just smashed to clear them. As they were the originals prehaps they could have been split apart and reused.Just means more money to replace what was already there. The morter in those days would have been a lyme mix so shouldn't have been to difficult to save them.

Sunshiner said...

I think a lot of this went on when railways were closed. They really did think back in the 60s that we were entering an age of flying cars, silver spacesuits and food from tubes! Hilarious now but perhaps we shouldn't judge them too harshly! I think we will find some materials we can use, and obviously will do where possible.

Tom Seale said...

We managed to save some of the bricks but the majority were too badly damaged/delaminated to do anything with. There are still quite a few good ones in the pile that need sorting out at some point.