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!

Monday, February 27, 2012

it doesn't have to cost millions

Whenever we are asked at the New S&D how much it'll cost to reinstate the route we normally suggest around a couple of billion, chickenfeed in this age of trillion dollar bailouts, HS2 and instant creation of 'money'. This figure covers everything from land acquisition, tracklaying, infrastructure building, signalling, rolling stock, locos, setting up management systems, marketing, training etc. Against money built on roads in the last couple of decades (totally wasted money) it's nothing. But will it really cost that much or is our unique blend of community project, sustainable transport and business? Because others are doing it FAR more cheaply!

Via Keith, one of our regulars ...

Here is an example of what is possible with standard gauge. This whole scheme is a wonderful community project that is actually costing them peanuts. However, they dont have far to go to link their community, but it looks great.

February update -

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Edgar Craggs said...

How much do you anticipate needing to raise for buildings at Midford?

Sunshiner said...

Tom Seale has estimated around £10,000 as the station was basically wood. This takes into account generous terms from timber merchants (in exchange for great free publicity!) plus using volunteer labour. The oil store would probably only be around £300 or so as it's small and at least some of the original materials are still on site - and one wall's already there as it was a lean to against the retaining wall.