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!

Monday, January 07, 2013

the return of steam

It's beginning to look like the return of steam is building up an unstoppable head of steam!
Can we really completely electrify our railway network as the oil runs out? Even now much of our mileage is unelectrified, and the railway network may be 5 or 6 times its current size within 50 years, with a huge number of tramways, light railways and industrial lines on top of that. The diesel loco now has perhaps 10 - at a stretch 20 - years left. (Take as many photos as you can of this threatened breed, because they will have huge social value to our descendants).
The obvious answer is steam, using wood and/or biomass as fuel. If properly managed much of the land alongside railways can be planted with high energy content wood, and the rail network could be sustainable indefinitely.
We've seen Tornado, plus a whole load of Swiss steam locos mainly with a heritage element, but the US is now leading the way with future steam technology. Take a look at this!

1 comment:

David Bailey said...

I noticed that some forward looking person stuck a steam engine on the London Underground today!