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

midford update

Latest from Tom Seale after yesterday's work day at Midford.

Will, Dad and myself spent another enjoyable day down at Midford this Sunday, the weather was glorious and we managed to get quite a few things done.

We started by tidying the bank above the northern end of the platform, there were a few "loose ends" unceremoniously protruding that have now been taken care of. Spring has now taken hold and the banks are covered in wildflower, mainly wild garlic; there is also an abundance of bluebell and primose among many others.

Whilst i was scrambling on the bank, Dad and Will removed the fly tipping from the wall adjacent to the pub car park. Hopefully this will discourage any further tipping.

We also cut through the very large vines present on the trees the other side of the wooden fence, this should let a bit more light through and make any tree 'surgery' a bit easier. The owner of Lynwood has previously enquired about us either topping or removing these trees as they do cast a very impressive shadow in the evening.

We finished of by burning all of the remaining cut wood on site, we re-sited the bonfire to a location much closer to the tunnel, mainly as this is quite a bit farther away from the neighbouring houses. After the inferno had died down we enjoyed a late lunch of sausages and burgers, accompanied by wild garlic leaves and an ash seasoning.


Anonymous said...

Excellent work, hopefully wild flowers will return now there is light on the ground and this will be of benefit to wildlife and us all. This illustrates just how perfectly railways blend into the countryside instead of being a horrid blot. Incidentally the long arch bridge does not look too bad considering 46 years have gone by since closure. More than can be said of the concrete bridges over the M27 motorway at Segensworth that have lumps of concrete falling off. Alot to be said for our Victorian forefathers and their standards and building things of beauty. Also well said to Sebastian who latched on to my note about Templecombe signal box and took it further resulting in Sunshiner wishing to contact network rail. This is an excellent example of teamwork up and down the line and sharing knowledge for the greater good of all. Maybe if we can get use of the signal box a display could be set up to inform the travelling public and to get them thinking. Maybe there is a retired Templecombe resident who would be interested in helping this along.
Again Sebastian your idea for storage is a brilliant idea, hopefully this can be latched onto and developed. There are certainly still quite a few of the iconic SR concrete platelayers huts laying around on network rail.

Keith Browning said...

Apparantly the central Sussex part of the network is being upgraded and so there ought to be lots of old bits of Southern kit going spare. I think the Bluebell has got claims on a signal box but there must be plenty that would end up in the scrap yard unless people made a claim.

Sunshiner said...

An excellent business idea for those with the space and money - buy it all up at rock bottom prices, store it for twenty years, then sell it back to the network when they suddenly realise that electric and electronic signalling's no longer viable because of the energy crunch!

Knoxy said...

Record fuel prices and still the roads are congested?

My commute home this morning was a drag. A little bit of rain and the M40/A34 junction was all snarled up with traffic. Now a proper East/West reopened rail route and this wouldn't be necessary!

That’s a cracking job you have done clearing up all that was cut down. The bank looks great with the sun on it and no shade. Well done and I’ll see you later in the year, to continue……

Freddie said...

Having come back from a trip on the Mallaig line at Easter, I now know that the Victorians could even make concrete to last and look good!

sebastian said...

Yes good idea Sunshiner, the surplus stuff we do not need, could be sold back at a profit, hopefully the cash from that would pay for the stuff we need.
While on that point, if in the future there is a wide spread need for mechanical signalling systems, then much as the Steam Locos are now being built from new. and the desire of the New S&D to have engineering elements on sites on the line. Then it may be an idea to have some kind of works producing, mechanical Signalling as well as a concrete works reproducing the Typical Exmouth Works S.R. products this would help not just our cause as there were quite allot of there products on the S&D.J.R. But would provide both Jobs for the locals and Revenue for the New S&D.

Excellent work at Midford, it is taking shape well up there, I hope that the fly tipping has stopped. I think that now they see the site is cared for it will stop.