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!

Monday, April 16, 2012

hang on tight!

This is great! We want a full record of the restoration of Spetisbury and in typically New S&D style this panoramic 360 degree moving image is the first fruit of that idea! To view click the icon, then click the same icon in the top LH corner, and choose the bottom option - it will then play full screen.

Like at Midford we'll be keeping a full record of the restoration of all of the S&D as time passes, and Spetisbury will be the second location where every piece of work and progress will be preserved for posterity.

It's important. In 50 years' time few people will believe that our thriving main line was once abandoned and overgrown. S&D history did not stop in 1966, or when the last freight train ran, or when the last rail was lifted. Of course, that last rail was never lifted, a few short stretches of S&D track remaining in situ throughout the Inbetweener Years, waiting for the trains to return.

There are many people waiting to start work down at Spetisbury - expect progress to be quick! There is such a buzz around the S&D now, but nobody should be surprised!


SDJR Webby said...

I've added two of the Photosynth panoramas to our website:


yamfaz said...

With new sites in mind, has anyone been in contact with The Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust to help them find a site on the line. It would be great if the New S&D members could be in the vanguard of preparing the new site for them and cementing the New S&D further into the Family of the S&D.

Is there a site near Templecombe or Cole where a mainline connection could be made. Thus reducing the requirement for road transport to rebuild the site. The sooner the S&D Trust come home the better for all of us.