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 30, 2012

saltford's getting closer

A petition signed by more than 2,000 people calling for the reopening of Saltford railway station has been presented in Parliament.
North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg handed over the petition in the House of Commons as a campaign gathers pace to get trains stopping once again at the halt which closed in 1970.
A team of more than 30 campaigners knocked on doors in the village to collect 2,028 signatures, which they estimate represents support from around two-thirds of households – with success at around 90 per cent of homes where someone was in.
Nearly 800 of the people signing up said they would use the station at least once a week, with 261 saying they would be daily users.
Mr Rees-Mogg met representatives of the Saltford Station Campaign Group at Westminster Hall to receive the petition and later formally handed it in during a session in the main chamber.
Group spokesman Duncan Hounsell said: “Jacob Rees-Mogg has given the campaign whole-hearted support from the outset. Handing in our petition to the House of Commons gives our campaign another boost.”
The station campaign is backed by B&NES Council, which has agreed to act as the official promoter of the reopening project, Bath Spa University and the West of England Partnership.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Reopening it makes a lot of sense. The A4 is a very heavily used road and if we can move more people from road to rail, that would have great benefits for the community.”
He said the speeding up of trains with the electrification of the line through the village meant it would be less disruptive to introduce more stopping services into timetables.
“In the 13 years from 1997 to 2010, just ten miles of line were electrified. There are now plans for 800 – that is a huge increase.”

1 comment:

Chris Warren said...

Thanks Steve for giving us a shout on your excellent blog. We will have some more positive news very soon on Saltford.


Chris Warren

Saltford Station Campaign