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, July 22, 2012

today at midford

(Copyright Stuart Seale 22.7.2012)

From Stuart Seale -

Midford 22 July 2012. What a cracking day we had. The weather was glorious. In the morning Tom Seale and I treated the platform, station area and Will Cummings' drilled tree stumps with a good dose of weedkiller. After lunchtime refreshment in the Hope and Anchor we proceeded to burn up the large pile of cut wood that had accumulated over the preceeding months. We also took the opportunity to remove a number of trees that looked a bit menacing to the public and disposed of the arisings to those too.


peter hearn said...

Fantastic work here gents - well done.

Is it planned to put any rails down, or would the relatively short length available make that pointless? Can't help thinking the site would look amazing with some rails and a coach or two at the platform!

Sunshiner said...

It depends on what the membership want. There is the issue of accommodating the cycleway, which is a technical rather than legal problem. Obviously rails will eventually return to Midford when the line is opened through to Bath and Radstock. Personally I'd be happy for rails to appear all the way to Long Arch Bridge but would rather not see any rolling stock on site as it would look cluttered. The other option is if we open a sustainable engineering site at either the up or down goods yards, in which case rails would be laid well before a full restoration for the testing of locomotives etc.

Eddystone said...

To which degree do you mean sustainable? Generating it's own power for example?

Sunshiner said...

'Sustainable' in this context means something that can be used indefinitely into the future. By definition that would exclude using fossil fuels, including coal. Wood is my own preferred choice for fuel though using electricity generated from small scale wind turbine or solar panels would also be fine (although of course you have to take into account the availability of materials used in their construction/maintenance). Also a 'sustainable' locomotive would need to be repairable using locally sourced material and skills.

Eddystone said...

Yes-the pleasure steamer 'Gondoler' on Windemere burns 'eco logs'. She has a loco type boiler but landlords English Heritage have banned coal firing on the lake. Her only appreciable emission is steam. All that is left is a loamy ash which gets spread on the local English Heritage owned flower beds as fertiliser . I have spoken to her operators and they are well pleased with this vessel's performance. Now that's what I call sustainable.