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, September 07, 2012

helping out another vital line

(Ashbury, further along the route, 1960s. Copyright The Rail Thing)

The excellent Launceston Steam Railway is having problems with its local council which seems to have lost the plot big time!

The railway has been working with Cornwall County Council for some time with the intention of extending to Egloskerry - and on the strength of this purchased land in Egloskerry for the new line.

But now the council is planning to build a multi purpose route (walking, bikes, horses) which the railway fears may make it's future unviable if they can't get through to Egloskerry. Personally I don't believe anything - least of all a mere trailway - will stop the huge rail revival in the UK, but all the same it will make extension more difficult if too many users object to the railway returning, not an issue at all now but could be in the future.

To this end I think we should ALL sign the petition to CCC to get them to rethink this plan. the petition can be signed here.


Neil said...

Here we go again.

The same argument has been raging on the Portishead line for some.

There are certain pressure groups behind this sudden change of position.

Did LSR buy the line extension on the strength of assurances from CCC?

Might be worth a look.

Sunshiner said...

It does appear from what I've read that the LSR bought this extra trackbed purely because they thought CCC fully supported the extension.

I do think they are being slightly hysterical that a trailway will 'block the route for trains forever' as surely it will be an easy job to simply relocate (or indeed remove) the trailway when the time comes for the line to have to be replaced. In my view it will eventually be a standard gauge route anyway, much as I'd love to see a network of two foot gauge routes serving the villages and resorts of North Cornwall I suspect that traffic will be far too heavy for that to work!