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!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

railfuture conference

Railfuture  is  offering  reduced  price  admission  @ £15  if  booking  by  post  (or  £16  if  booking  online)  to  its  Summer  Conference  on  Saturday  22  June  at  the  Albemarle  Centre,  Albemarle  Road,  Taunton,  about  five  minutes'  walk  from  the  railway  station.  These  prices  include  a  buffet  lunch.  The  discount  is  aimed  at  the  membership  of  organisations  speaking  at  the  Conference.  The  speakers  themselves  get  free  admission !   I  understand  that  Philip  is  advising  Tarka  Rail  Association  of  this  offer.

The  Conference  opens  at  11  am  and  closes  at  4.30  pm.  There  are  nine  speakers  as  follows:

John  Dora  (John  Dora  Consulting  Ltd)  talking  about  Railways,  Weather  and  Climate  Change. 

John  Burch (Tarka  Rail  Association)  "The  Problem  that  is  Cowley  Bridge  Junction."

Bernard  Lane  (Friends  of  Suburban  Bristol  Railways).  "Campaigning  for  an  Effective  City  Rail  Network."

Steve  Smith  (Bedwyn  Trains  Passenger  Group)  on  the  need  to  retain  Bedwyn's  direct  service  to  Reading  and  London  after  electrification.

John  Chapman  (Kilbride  Community  Rail)  on  reopening  to  Tavistock.

Alan  Matthews  (Portishead  Railway  Group)  on  the  challenges  in  the  campaign  to  reopen  the  Portishead  line.

Dean  Cockwell  (New  Somerset  &  Dorset  Railway)  on  the  long  term  ambition  to  reopen  a  main  line.

Chris  Fribbins  and  Chris  Page  (Railfuture  Directors)  summarising  the  Conference.

To  book  by  post  @  £15,  send  a  cheque  payable  to  Railfuture,  to 

Taunton  2013  Conference,  Railfuture,  24  Chedworth  Place,  Tattingstone,  Suffolk  IP9  2ND.

To  book  online  @  £16  via  Paypal,  go  to 


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