Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
There's a great shot currently on the Shillingstone Facebook page which shows existing track still in place at Stalbridge. There is also surviving track at Blandford. This is in addition to the track now relaid at Shillingstone and, of course, Midsomer Norton.
These small sections of track remaining from the original line, many structures surviving and around 97% of the trackbed unblemished, plus many locos and stock which worked on the line still around, are surely signs that closure was only temporary!
With Midford and soon Spetisbury also being restored there is beginning to develop a real feeling that this whole line is stirring. Each metre of track laid, each station restored, is bringing the S&D back. What this means is that the average person in the street is far more likely to stumble upon what we're doing, and more and more will join and get involved in this complex piece of rail restoration. There may still be a few people out there who simply don't understand what is happening and why, but it's our job to make sure that they do. Without a railway in 20 or 30 years' time the towns and villages along our route will begin to die. People will still need to move after the end of oil and raw materials and products will still need to come in and go out. Some dreamers may think that this can all be done by horse and cart or bike, but that's not going to happen. Things will not break down that much.
The S&D is coming back and we get stronger each day. With the heritage sections of the route preserving and developing those practical skills that will be so important in the future, and with the New S&D setting this amazing restoration in context, we have a fantastic team of dedicated professionals making all this happen. There's no room for egotism or partisanship, we're all working together towards a single aim - to bring back our trains!