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, June 17, 2012

looking ahead - midford

Having done an intense 3 day photo and measuring study of every facet of Midford, I firmly believe this is room for a single track railway and cyclepath from north of Tucking Mill viaduct to Wellow Trekking Centre, excepting a diversion for cyclists before Midford goods yard, over Long Arch bridge and along Midford platform. Hope and Anchor patrons can park on the site of Midford B goods yard.

The formation between Long Arch bridge south portal cutting slope and Midford platform is 25 feet wide minimum, 15 feet for railway and 10 for slewed to edge of drop-off cycle path, with appropriate fencing and masonry.

Pway materials (30 feet flat bottom, sleepers and ballast) could be delivered to “A” goods yard and the crane / loading gauge, weighbridge and huts put back with 2 box vans.

Thanks to Nick Howes for this.


David Bailey said...

Does the signal box need to be in its original location? Could it go on the site of the parcels office, leaving the Hope and Anchor car park free for cars?

The cycle route could then be diverted at Midford goods yard to go over Long Arch Bridge then along Tucking Mill Lane before going down Old Midford Road and rejoining the railway via the Hope car park, via a new gate in the stone wall.

Eddystone said...

Sensible suggestion -I know that the 'box is iconic in its positioning but could this be a possibility to make the system more viable?

Sunshiner said...

In the not too distant future the car park at the Hope and Anchor will become (as will car parks everywhere) both an anachronism and a valuable waste of unused space, so I suspect that, even if it takes a move, the signalbox will eventually be back where it belongs, but there's certainly not the purism or dogmatism within the New S&D not to look at alternatives, no matter how temporary!

David Bailey said...

I would imagine that the Hope car-park would become a pick-up and set-down point for goods delivered by and for the train. If we keep it, then in 20 years, you could see electric vehicles, and pony and traps waiting here.

Putting the signal box on the platform also keeps the owner of the Hope happy and on-side. As a temporary measure, we could run the rails through the existing parking spaces as an occasional-use level-crossing, in a similar way to the spaces outside Sherringham railway station.