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!

Friday, August 31, 2012

shillingstone remembers the pines

This looks fun - a Pines commemorative day down at Shillingstone. Take the opportunity to see the amazing work done here over the last few years with the station restored and the signalbox and greenhouse rebuilt.


RailWest said...

What I find suprising is that there is virtually nothing about this on the NDRT's own website.

They were advertising a Special Event last week - when I rang the station to find out what was happening, the 'only man on duty' had no idea at all! Apparently also it was not possible to visit the signalbox because there was no one else available to unlock it and take people around.
He did not even know about the Sep 8th event until he found a poster on the wall and read it.
How can they hope to encourage visitors under such circumstances?

RailWest said...

Well, I did call at Shillingstone last Saturday and there were certainly quite a few visitors - but if they were doing anything 'special' to mark the occasion, then I missed it! Even the staff to whom I spoke seemed a bit vague about what - if anything - was going to happen other than the station being open.

It would appear that there have been 'problems' there again recently and a number of people have left, taking with them many of the things which they had loanded/donated. Indeed, the signal-box has been stripped almost bare, except for the lever-frame, and now looks nothing like the pictures on their website.

Let's hope the situation improves soon.

I then went to look at Spetisbury - but it was impossible to park safely anywhere near the station, so I had to give that a miss :-(