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, April 13, 2012

spetisbury ... coming soon!

Dean Cockwell has just added the following post to the Spetisbury Facebook group. LOADS of replies so far!

VOLUNTEERS! Hello people, I asked for volunteers many months ago who wanted to help clearing the platforms, and received approximately 15 names. The reason for me raising this again is because we need to know if there are going to be many more for insurance purposes. I am also on the hunt for people to do other tasks, such as news letters, liasing with various other people. Basically, admin type duties. I know we have budding photographers in the group, which we will need to record our progress from start to finish. The other way of putting it, is if you think you can help in any way that you can, even if you live far away. Some jobs don't have to be done by people living close to the station. Please let me know! Now is the time to get involved and see if we can catch up with the other projects along the S&D line.

You can contact Dean directly on deancockwell@ntlworld.com


Neil S. said...

Slightly off topic but relevant, I see that Chard Junction Station is subject to a planning application for some kind of cement works. Its reserved planning status was lifted when BR passed on the location to Sommerset County Council which states it cannot afford to maintain it. There is strong opposition including the local MP.

A missed opportunity. These types of property will come up for sale or lease. We must be ready to act.

Who owns all or any of the old S and D stations and good yards along the line?

A little detective work will pay dividends.

Sunshiner said...

Chard Junction station itself will inevitably need to be reopened within the next decade or so - as will the line into Chard itself!

We've been planning an ownership survey of the whole route for some time - Mick Knox would be glad of any help on this!

Going south from Bath Midford is owned by us, Wellow is in private hands but intact, Shoscombe unknown, Radstock demolished, Midsomer Norton fully restored owned by SDRHT, Chilcompton demolished, Binegar not sure, Masbury restored in private ownership, Shepton demolished - south of there's a bit out of my comfort zone, but of course Shillingstone is restored and Spetsibury is about to be started on.

Neil S. said...

I've Oakley's book on Somerset Railway Stations.

I've managed to obtain a copy on D Dorset Railway Stations by the same author.

The Somerset version gives good detail of the state of each station site. I see no reason reason why the Dorset book is not likewise.

I am awaiting book. I will read it and give an account.