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!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

country style!

Oddly reminiscent of 1960s branch line tours over freight lines, this is a superb shot of Midsomer Norton's DMU at the far end of the existing line, soon to be extended.

I suspect that in five years' time there will be a double track main line at this point with regular steam operation.


peter hearn said...

This is fantastic. What a credit to all the people involved at Midsomer Norton - well done to you all!

Let's hope to see Radstock, Shepton, Wincanton and the like back on the rail network in the coming years.

All this without any central government meddling. Viva localism!

sebastian said...

This is all good stuff, It just shows what can be done. The station and buildings are a real credit to all those involved with the Midsomer Norton project, you all have done the unthinkable by erasing all traces of the Beeching era.

This should be an encouragement to the newer projects up and down the line. which have the support and will and are already working hard at Midford , Spetisbury, in there clearance work and the archeology that is being done at both these sites.

Finally I will not forget those at the Shillingstone Station Project that also has don a first class restoring the station and related buildings to a very High standard Well done all, at that project.

It is with people like this "we will get our trains back"