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!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

another piece falls into place

(Both copyright Stuart Seale)

A couple of photos from Midford today. These show the work now taking place to the north of our section at Midford. Whilst we plan a diversion via the old Limpley Stoke line to give us access to the Network in the medium term, our longer term plans do include this section for restoration of a rail link, probably working as a one way section so that it can (hopefully!) remain single track.

The work is of course in connection with the Two Tunnels Scheme, which should bring an increase in the number of cyclists using the route and visiting Midford. I'm sure that many cyclists are rail enthusiasts (in the broadest meaning of the term) and vice versa, and the extra footfall should encourage rapid development of the site - I can see members cycling out from Bath, spending a day working at the station, having a drink and/or meal at the Hope and Anchor, then cycling back to Bath in the evening. Makes me want to move to Bath!!

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