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!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

back ...

I've been away for a few days but plan to get up to Midford again tomorrow. Hopefully 2012 will see a lot of visits from me!

It's always 'fun' to return to a huge load of emails, and there were a few good 'uns again, including one telling us the S&D can't be rebuilt because in places people have stolen OUR trackbed and included it in their garden! If that's really the case then surely we could just do the same - it'll save us millions!! The same email explained that other sections will never be rebuilt because some tuppeny halfpenny industrial estate has been built on the trackbed. As always we'll simply bypass (and lay sidings) into these places, or simply buy them up unit by unit. I don't understand why some people love to put the tiniest obstacles in our way. What do they expect us to do - go back to living and dying in the same village all our lives?

Crazy stuff, but great fun.

Meanwhile back in the real world (the one where energy is going to be harder and harder to find) the 99% of us that don't believe in conspiracy theories, the need for nostalgia or that oil will always be as cheap as it is now are just getting on with things.

So if you can get up to Midford tomorrow (from midday onwards) where more clearing of the site will take place!

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