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, April 05, 2013

shifting paradigms ...

A whole raft of facts and figures have emerged recently re our failing love affair with the car. A majority of teenagers - even in the US - now do not drive. But a really interesting set of figures on fuel sales in the UK have recently been released. If anyone doubts that the age of the car is coming to an end I think these will change your mind!
2007 forecourt sales 22.87 billion litres petrol
2011 forecourt sales 18.27 billion litres petrol
2012 forecourt sales 17.42 billion litres petrol
2007 forecourt sales 14.8 billion litres diesel
2012 forecourt sales 16.73 billion litres diesel
2007 forecourt sales 37.67 billion litres all fuel
2012 forecourt sales 34.16 billion litres all fuel
Taking total fuels the AA reports that this fall is the equivalent of 35 days forecourt sales, or just under a 10% drop.
I suspect these figures tell us a number of things. That we're in recession of course, but also that people are giving up driving completely, driving less or driving more fuel efficient vehicles. This is of course screamingly obvious, but it also reflects something far deeper - that the years of constantly increasing fuel use are over. It is starting to contract. Of course at the same time fuel use on the roads is diminishing, rail travel is booming. And I can't see this ever changing now.  

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