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 13, 2012

what made bournemouth great

Michael Portillo visited Bournemouth yesterday during his 'Great British Railway Journeys' series. He covered the history of the town, but missed the most important aspect of Bournemouth's rise - the S&D!

The London route was (and still is) fairly important but it was the S&D which really brought Bournemouth to life, bringing in holidaymakers from the Midlands and the North in their millions. How many of them today dare brave the same journey using Britain's antiquated road network?

As climate change warms our seaside resorts up - even with the downside of massive storms like the one that hit Bournemouth just as we arrived last August - and as Peak Oil kills air travel and pushes road travel beyond the means of 95% of us, it won't be long before Bournemouth becomes so busy that there'll be a procession of trains bringing the tourists in - including a new Pines express!

What a gem we have at each end of our line!
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Anonymous said...

I am watching the series as well
and was surprised by that omission.
I suppose the excuse would be that he is dicovering the sites referred to in his copy of Bradshaws Guide, not discovering railway history.
The other point is that I suspect that the programme planner knows nothing about the S&DJR so it was not on his horizon.

Toddington Ted said...

I was waiting for him to say the words, "Pines Express!" but it was still a very interesting and watchable programme as all of them seem to be. It isn't too "railway spotter" heavy either which appeals to a wider audience.

Sunshiner said...

It felt to me like it was all building up to the S&D and the Pines, but perhaps I'm biased. Needless to say I prefer the non-trainspotter programmes!