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!

Saturday, March 31, 2012


The Gartell Railway has published this poster which gives details of its running days in 2012. With their extension heading steadily northwards towards Templecombe this superb narrow gauge line has been really buzzing over the last few months.


Anonymous said...

Good to see extensions being built, this is a line I have yet to visit and wish to do so however I will do so after the extension is opened. Yesterday I visited the station site at Shillingstone whilst on the way home to Cornwall and was very heartened to see what the volunteers have achieved. Excellent effort all round. Well done to all. Whilst standing on the old down platform I had very pleasent chat with a local lady out walking her dog and asked her if she could remember the line before it closed and she said it would be lovely to see the trains return. I look forward to seeing miles of track laid and trains running one day. I have also just joined the SDHT and have enjoyed their excellent Telegraph
Magazine. Highest price of diesel seen so far £1.54.9 litre at Exeter services, thankfully I had filled up my car back on Monday before the stupidity of certain ministers came to the fore. I personally believe that boy racers etc days are numbered and indeed I was reading the latest edition of Railnews that my mother recieves(Late father worked for Southern Railway and BRSR) and was very heartened to read of the number of youngsters who are taking up railcards. The percentage increases are quite staggering when I consider that BR was considered to be old fashioned and railways were a thing of the past. The late Sir John Betejeman visited the S & D in March 1963 and he stated on his film that railways were not a thing of the past (the film is a video now return to Evercreech Junction and is very enjoyable. I also believe we need our railways back as the rebuilding of them plus maintenance and running them will give good work to young people and hopefully start to end the appalling rundown of our society. Beeching killed more than railways, he killed a way of life for many and prosperity for many,
Peak oil is here, we need to say goodbye to our love affair with oil and bring back the tried and trusted methods of those previous generations who built this country of ours-The S&D bought prosperity to many, it can do so again and will.

Trevor said...

I am a great supporter of reinstating the S&D,and do not criticise the work and enthusiasm of the Gartwell railway, but surely this will have to be dismantled when the standard gauge is reinstated. Surely it would be better to concentrate on the 'real thing'

John said...

Do Gartell plan to extend the line all the way back to the platform at Templecombe Lower?

Sunshiner said...

Not a chance! The Gartell is an absolute gem and will be preserved alongside the reinstated SG route - if that's what they want of course. There's plenty of room for NG and SG wherever the Gartell currently runs, or will run in the future.

They'd have to dismantle the Gartell over my dead body!

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sunshiner said...

Definitely not one of ours! Ironically I'm a bigger fan of NG than SG anyway - I just happened to be caught up with the whole S&D revival thing. There is no way that the Gartell would be threatened by a resurgent SG S&D - there's more than enough room for both of us - and a NG line alongside and near our route would be an added draw - and of course would allow visitors and volunteers to continue to reach your line once petrol becomes too expensive! Who knows, the Gartell may well become the core of a NG network eventually!

It may have been an April Fool's of course!

Steve said...

Hmmm April Fool..... I thought that aswell after i sent you the comment! Ah well, i'm a fool 11 months of the year, may as well be one in April as well!!!