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!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


Looking ahead to the rest of 2013 for the S&D I can see big organisational developments at the New S&D, with perhaps more focus on buying stretches of the route as well as that big publicity push that's been just over the horizon - if someone will step forward to concentrate on Media and Publicity! (Interested? Please email me at leysiner@aol.com) Obviously Midford and Spetisbury will also be getting closer to rebuilding and tracklaying.

Further afield I can see more track laid at Midsomer Norton and Shillingstone as both sites consolidate.

Gartell will doubtless do what it does best - create a whole new S&D experience on the smaller gauge.

And Washford will also do what it does best - restore old S&D rolling stock and infrastructure items, as well as educate the wider public on the world's favourite line (S&D of course, not GWR!)

And hopefully steps to bring the disparate groups closer together will pick up speed, as I personally feel that this is THE most important process that the entire S&D revival needs in 2013 and beyond.

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