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, March 16, 2012

another new line to appear!

My old mate Chris Donald of Viz comic fame was one of the people who started this way back in the late 80s! It's been a long time coming, especially for such a no-brainer, but it looks like things are about to happen at last!

Aln Valley Railway

In February, a major milestone in the revitalisation of the Aln Valley Railway between Alnmouth and Alnwick took place at Alnwick Castle, with the signing of the Lease between the Aln Valley Railway Trust and the Duke of Northumberland. The lease will allow the first construction elements of the railway to begin with a view to having some limited running of short trains by the end of summer this year. Hopefully visitors will be able to visit the site to see the construction progress.

In a press release, AVR Trust Chairman Martin Robinson said: "We are absolutely delighted to have reached this important milestone in the restoration of the railway. Everybody involved has worked tremendously hard to achieve this, but there is still a huge amount of work still to done, especially if we are to hit our target dates. Our first works contract has already been let to a local Alnwick firm. However, we need more volunteers for everything! All offers of help will be very welcome."

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