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!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

everything's going our way

It's been one of those weeks this week!

Firstly January 2013 had the lowest fuel sales since 1990, underlining the decline in car use that now seems unstoppable. This is partly because of austerity but it also seems many young people have no interest in driving or getting a car - when was the last time you saw a even a teenager tinkering with a car outside his parents' house? Amongst the young cars are seen as terribly uncool.

Secondly we are now getting clear warnings that the UK will face an energy crunch from 2015, with rolling blackouts likely. This will of course kill any silly talk of electric cars dead. I read somewhere that we would need 3 or 4 times current levels of generating capacity to cope with a switch to electric cars, there really is no chance of that happening - the energy just won't be there. In reality available energy is falling year on year.

Behind these specific reports there is now a general feeling of change in the air. The weather in 2012 was exteremely weird, way beyond even the most pessimistic forecasts. All of this is loading even more costs on our already fragile economy, which has now lost its AAA rating.

And for those of us that are still driving the potholes are geeting deeper and wider and more common - yet another sign that change is in the air ...

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