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, February 10, 2012

wellow way ...

Some views looking south towards Wellow from the end of the cycleway. There's plenty of space here for rail facilities and track relaying and is another option for phase 3 - the down goods yard in this area has plenty of room and as far as we can ascertain no other takers! In fact I've heard that at least one of the landowners hereabouts is extremely keen for the line to return!
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Eddystone said...

Been checking the formation at Wellow from Google. I see that the station building survives as does an excellent 3 arch bridge on the edge of the village traversing Bull Hill.With a little deviation the railway could easily return to this community.

WestfieldWanderer said...

Note that the cycle route doesn't end there. It continues along the trackbed as far as Wellow before continuing through the village on the road and on to Shoscombe where it rejoins the trackbed to Waterloo Road, Radstock. Sustrans mapping: http://bit.ly/x0w4MB

Sunshiner said...

I was thrown by the gate and the notice that this was a 'permissive' path. Good that a right of way for sustainable transport has been established beyond this point!

Stuart Seale said...

Walked through there today Brrrrrrrrr, It is a permissive path as you say and at the Wellow end there is a timetable of path closures, mainly due to pheasant shooting activities.

WestfieldWanderer said...

"Permissive Path" is an odd one indeed. Unlike a right of way like a footpath or a bridlepath the landowner retains the right to close the path whenever he fancies. In this particular instance the landowner shuts the path between that gate and Wellow Trekking Centre for about 4 days a year for shooting parties, hence the alternative route via Twinhoe shown on the Sustrans map.

Most of the off-highway sections of the so-called Colliers Way cycle route between Midford and Frome is classed as Permissive Paths. But as most of them are owned by a subsidiary company of Sustrans there is little likelihood of them being closed off at will.

Freddie said...

The Bristol - Bath cycle route is a permissive path as well. This works in favour of the Avon Valley Railway as they don't need to seek a legal order to divert the path when they build an extension. I think the Five Arches Route up to Midsomer Norton station is too.