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, October 26, 2012

escaping the cold

This blog will go deadly quiet over the next two weeks as I'm off to Florida tomorrow for a well-earned holiday!

For your S&D fix you could do worse than visit the websites of all the groups, or the numerous Facebook groups, whilst I'm away.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

misty midford

Coming over the top at Pensford I suspected I was going to have to entitle this post 'miserable midford' but that was already starting to sound too downbeat for me when the rain stopped and it cheered up a bit - so 'misty midford' it is!

The Seales have done a great job keeping the station area and the trackbed to Long Arch Bridge clear. It's hard to believe that the station hasn't seen a passenger train for 46 years! It certainly won't be 46 before it sees one again ...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

spetisbury this sunday


Dear Member/ Volunteer,
I am going up to the station on Sunday, and hope that you can join me. I hope to be there between 10:00 and 11:00am.
Now that we have got the foundations of the main building cleared, we probably need to start thinking about clearing the platform surface.
Could you let me know if you can make it and come up to help.
Best regards,

Saturday, October 13, 2012

midford tomorrow

From Stuart Seale
Tom Seale and I are planning a work party at Midford this Sunday (14.10.12) (from say 10:15am), primarily to clear the top of the Long Arch Bridge and surrounding area. Anyone who would like to join in would be welcomed. Bow Saws and loppers the tools of the day.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

spetisbury looking great!

(Copyright Kevin Mitchell)

Spetisbury is looking great with clearing continuing apace and a real presence established (on work days) by signage and a noticeboard. I can't see it being too long before actual rebuilding takes place - what a gem this station is going to be, a real credit to the resurgent S&D and in particular to the people who are turning up weekend after weekend to actually make it happen.

There are excellent regular updates on the progress at Spetisbury on their Facebook group.

We are now regularly seeing work at FIVE separate sites along the S&D.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

joining up ...

(Photo copyright Stuart Seale)
Midford (Tucking Mill) 3 October 2012

 The trackbed is now being graded in preparation for laying the cyclepath. The planning application for the Midford Castle stretch to connect with our land is due to be decided in a couple of days time.

spetisbury tomorrow

Dear Member/ Volunteer,
I am going up to the station on Sunday, and hope that you can join me. I hope to be there between 10:00 and 11:00am.
Could you let me know if you coming up to help.
Best regards,