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 20, 2012

that was the week that was

This has been a very busy week! Best week for new members for some considerable time - if you have joined/renewed in the last couple of weeks your membership card etc should be with you in the next few days.

Then that excellent letter from the Ministry which will provide ammunition for years to come, and will certainly pop up like a bad penny if any dinosaur out there tries to further encroach on our trackbed! Perhaps the letter is the biggest reason for the sudden surge in members?

And then the excellent idea of taking on the shell of Templecombe signalbox for a third base on the route for the New S&D. Whilst most visitors to Midford will come on bike and foot, and most to Spetisbury on foot, most to Templecombe will come by train!

Also in the last couple of  weeks we've had a few hard hitters join the management team of the New S&D, which should keep the rest of us on our toes! And the comments section has been bulging this week with loads of excellent ideas, also creating extra work.

I've never really had any doubt that the S&D will return - the alternatives of a network type line hemmed in by security fencing and using unsustainable fuel, or a transport-free wasteland between Bath and Bournemouth are simply hideous.

And to tap it all off Shillie Bear has been visiting some of my favourite places in New York City!


Knoxy said...

Templecombe box sounds a great idea....

our first visitor centre?

yamfaz said...

From Google maps of Templecombe I see there is a large field alongside the SW Mainline and the old S&D Trackbed. Would it be worth seeing if it is possible to get access to the site and adding a satellite info centre to the main Signal Box. Then this site could be the new home of the S&D Trust???

Mainline connection, room to grow, etc...

Ken H said...

There is also a large tract of wooded land alongside the old S&D platform on the north side of the SR mainline station and continuing into the area of the old sidings.This is however some way from the route of the S&D through line and would require huge investment to connect up.