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!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

right lines - makeover and take off!

Yes! Great strides on media over the last few days! Not only do we now have a Magazine Editor (Phil Marsh) but new member Grant Henderson will also be helping out. We also now have a Press Officer, Debra Sainsbury, who will be communicating to the local, regional, railway and green media, greatly raising the profile of the New S&D.

This is something we've held back on because we felt that we needed some sort of presence before blitzing the media and pulling in far more members locally. The hope is that every forward-thinking resident along the route gets actively involved in getting their railway back. It may be a struggle at first because much of the media is backwards-looking, leftward-leaning, silver spacesuited and hardly aware of climate change, let alone Peak Oil, but we'll soon change that!

As for Right Lines, this has really not happened as much as it should, and ideally will become at least a twice a year quality publication with fixed publishing dates (June and December?), covering the restoration, the original route, heritage aspects, economics, the local area and giving a focus for all the behind the scenes work as well as the restoration work. It will also add value to membership for members outside the area, and our overseas members, being kept up to date with all the big events and action now happening around the S&D.

Things are happening very quickly and it may be that Right Lines may well become a thrice yearly or even quarterly publication in time.

1 comment:

Peter said...

Thats good news indeed