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!

Saturday, August 04, 2012


The New S&D have had loads of new members join in the last few weeks, possibly as a result of the recent Steam Railway magazine article.

To those of you who have sent in cheques or paid by Paypal please accept my apologies for the delay in getting your membership cards etc to you. I will do everything I can to get them out in this coming week!

There's certainly a feeling in the air that huge changes are coming to our railways, all of them good! With new lines opening up both in the heritage and network sectors this really is beginning to feel like the great rail revival we've been forecasting for years.

So if you want to see railways and tramways spring up everywhere in response to Peak Oil and Climate Change please join (or start!) a local society or group, get involved at the grass roots level and help to make this happen. You'll learn new practical skills, make loads of new friends and inevitably form the sort of network of contacts that will stand you in good stead in the future.

These are amazing times for the railway community. You owe it to yourselves to get involved!

1 comment:

Rex Hora said...

Congratulations on your increased membership. I am trying to emulate you by running a campaign to re-open the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway. Any useful hints you can give me would be most welcome. Rex Hora. http://dnsrr.angelfire.com/