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 30, 2012

serious matters

Dean Cockwell has been very busy setting up insurance for Spetisbury and Midford and his hard work is finally bearing fruit. This was an essential prerequisite to getting control of Spetsibury from DCC. He's come up with a good policy that will allow us to operate on multiple sites and have up to 20 volunteers working on each site. This gives us huge flexibility and will inevitably have us chasing up other sites to get our money's worth!

So Spetisbury should be launching very soon. There's already loads of interst as it's not far from the large conurbation of Bournemouth and Poole. So if you're interested in getting involved right at the start of what will be a very exciting project please contact our Spetisbury Project manager Dean Cockwell at deancockwell@ntlworld.com

The insurance isn't going to be cheap so any donations will be very welcome! We don't really want to load it on to membership fees. You can make a direct Paypal payment to SDRHTSales@aol.com or cheques are welcome. Please make payable to 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway' and post to New S&D, Insurance Donation, 10 Bellamy Avenue, Hartcliffe, BRISTOL, BS13 0HW. A member has kindly offered to underwrite the insurance in any case but would welcome extra donations!

I think we may be the first rail revival group with two separate stations in two counties, but I stand to be corrected. This means that four stations are now being revived on the S&D - such a turn round from a few years ago when the whole S&D was unnaturally quiet ...

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