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!

Monday, July 02, 2012

steam at Shillingstone!

(Both copyright Dave Clark)

Steam returned to Shillingstone in the shape of a traction engine! These machines were built to last - I remember seeing these being used in the 60s when they were operated by West Sussex County Council. Steam never quite caught on for road vehicles (that's perhaps something for the future)  but these particular machines were extremely versatile and could also be used to work machinery when stationary.

1 comment:

Neil said...

More of the way forward for the enlightened.

I watched a very interesting documentary on Russia Today yesterday morning.

Apparently, the Austrians, Germans and Russians have teamed up and are starting to produce highly efficient, eco-friendly trains. The Russians are even producing rails which do not freeze even in the Russian Winter. Some of the trains are to run on natural gas. There is huge investment in ensuring trains can run across the Continent with the same gauge.

We should be talking to these people. Their transport policy will pay huge dividends when Peak Oil really kicks in.