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 02, 2012

a new S&D - an unstoppable force!

This has come in through the comments section and I felt it needed a wider audience!

Further to comments of yesterday, I have watched my DVD (The Somerset & Dorset railway) where it shows clips of the past and the state sponsored vandals of 1967 (How I hate that era)destroying the S& D and interviewing the former staff, it showed how we have as a society really lost the plot when we allowed Beeching to destroy this wonderful line along with a good many other lines. The staff were not well paid however they had that family pride in what they did and there was none of the dreadful dehumanising of society that we read about today where it seems that is is me me me then me again to make sure and s@@ the rest of you Jack. Also the point that one lady came about living in Henstridge she now has to rely on someone to drive her about plus it takes 3 buses to go from Evercreech to Bath, some progress or what!!! This country needs to stop funding overseas aid, the EU and getting involved in other peoples wars and our so called leaders need to grow one, listen to the people and act accordingly. That way this country will become prosperous again with a happy population. I live in Torpoint in East Cornwall and have learnt that it can take a resident up to one hour to bus into Plymouth from Tavistock for work/shopping school etc, The faster steam trains could do it in half the time. So much for petrol heads etc! and their stupidity of the 60,. I was born in 1963 the tail end of the baby boom, did no one ever ask of the future twenty years later when we would all be left school etc. Thanks Beeching and Marples for the destruction of a proud line and system and society that was just and fair and decent. I look forward to a ride on the legendary S& D at Midsomer Norton, Gartell and one day Shillingstone and hopefully other locations as well. Compulsory purchase boy needs to be consigned to the dustbin of history like a dinosaur. To those of you who go out to these lines and voluntarily give up your precious time thank you for what you are doing, I hope it will fire up the younger generations into giving up virtual worlds and the shllow culture of celebrity that we seem to have to day. The real heroes to me are that generation who lived through two World Wars and endured the most appalling sacrifices and then had to rebuild our country 1946 onwards. People like the late Ivo Peters who must have spent considerable time and money with capturing the memories and images of the line and of course the S& D staff like the late Donald Beale. We owe it to them to rebuild the S& D and many other lines like it.

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