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 09, 2013

help needed!

(All 6 February 2013)

It's not all glamour and kudos restoring closed railways - sometimes it gets quite technical! One of our neighbours at Midford has issues with the large concrete support that is on our land but abuts right up to his house (bottom picture). I spent a fun hour on Wednesday clambering up ladders and grassy knolls to take a closer look at some of his concerns. The concrete is beginning to crumble on the surface in places, which is of course a worry for them. It seems that nothing has happened here since the line closed.

Obviously we'd like to address this as soon as possible. We're more than happy to pay for a professional structural engineer to look at this and advise on the best way to tackle it but we are charged as a voluntary group to first check whether we can do this ourselves by falling back on our own resources - so is there a member or supporter out there qualified to do this, who can provide an official written statement as to the situation at this point? We're happy to pay reasonable travel expenses of course, but are trying to avoid the professional fee if possible. If you can do this or know of someone who would be willing to please contact me directly on leysiner@aol.com or telehone 0117 3738973.

It does seem a minor issue so shouldn't be prohibitively expensive and as responsible landlords we've always been aware that issues like this will arise all along the route. Once repaired we'll put in place a regular repair schedule for this particular spot in partnership with the owner of the house.


Eddystone said...

Could be a major potential liability-as you infer,best to get professional view ASAP.

Sunshiner said...

I think we're talking a few hundred rather than a few thousand, and once we schedule a two-yearly check up it should be fine, and a dry run for many of the liabilities we'll have along the route. The area survived 40+ years of neglect with no major issues. Obviously once trains are running there'll be far more stress on this bank, but remember fourteen coach double headed trains and heavy freights used this route for decades with no problems. The odd bike is hardly a worry!