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, July 27, 2013

masbury steams ahead

Excellent news today is that the Masbury Appeal has now raised £40,000! Some will see this as a glass 92% empty but in reality it is a glass (and leverage!) that is 8% on its way.

These are difficult times for most people, but there's been a huge amount of generosity from a lot of people. Whilst we are almost half way through the appeal period remember that 30 September is merely the date when the station may appear on the open market. The appeal will continue after that date of course, and it may be a decent sized pot may delay it a little longer, which is all good news. And we'll be entering the season of rail enthusiasm, the winter, when the pace of donations should go up.

So whatever you can do please do to raise money! We'll keep pushing the appeal this end but we can only do so much. It would be fantastic if we did have the whole £500,000 by 30 September, it will make life a lot easier!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

jazz for masbury

There will be a big jazz event at Midsomer Norton on 10 August 2013 (details on above poster).
Shades of the S&D in the sixties when a DMU worked a special service to an open air jazz event at (I think) Wellow!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

masbury progress

The latest figure for money raised to purchase Masbury is £29,300. It's a tidy sum but there's still a long way to go!

I think we need to be proactive - all of us. We need to look at ways to raise money individually and also make sure as many people as possible know what is happening.

I'm not one for saying 'this is our only chance'. But it is our best chance and to have Masbury saved forever for rail use will be a huge step towards getting the S&D back.

Progress at Spetisbury, Midford, Midsomer Norton, Shillingstone and Gartell continues. The S&D is coming alive all along its route - and it would be great to see activity up on the Mendips!

So start spreading the message and keep thinking of ways to raise money for the station. We are part of the way there, but there's still a lot to do!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

masbury earache!

Oh dear, just endured a forty minute earbashing by the people that own a property next to Masbury. Despite an earlier phone call about a month ago where I thought I'd allayed their fears it was not to be!

The latest communication was thanks to some TV and radio publicity for the appeal. The callers seemed to think that we shouldn't be publicising this appeal, and they also picked up on some of the spin about when trains will actually be running at Masbury.

Don't get me wrong, I understand their fears of the place buzzing with people and the whiff of steam, I can understand the non-rail fan mindset. Except this rather benign image wasn't the one they had in their head. I used psychology and asked them what THEY thought would happen from 1 October if we get the site. 'Well you'll be running trains almost right away, and it will scare the horses and our house price will plummet'.

Let's analyse that. Even the most optimistic person (not me) doesn't expect trains of any sort to be running here for 4 years at least. Real through trains carrying freight and passengers are decades away yet. The first few years at Masbury will be gentle restoration.

Horses? Well any sensible horse will go to the other end of the field, and will soon get used to the occasional train.

House prices? ALWAYS go UP, and go up more the closer they are to a station, even a heritage station. Utility you see. The really interesting thing (and perhaps they shouldn't have told me!) was that they had an INSURANCE to cover any shortfall 'IF THE RAILWAY IS REOPENED'. They were more far sighted than most of us!!

They even dared to compare Masbury, that idyll of railway perfection on the finest line in England, to a SEWAGE FARM opening on your doorstep!

Their fears are not real. They will USE the railway when it's reopened, we all will as there won't be any other realistic option. Their house price will shoot up as the railway returns. And their horses will soon learn that trains are fun and will chase them the length of their field.

The world simply is not as many people see it - it is far nicer than that.

All that 40 minutes of nonsense did was to make me even more determined to GET THE STATION BACK!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

stamping for masbury!

Here's a great way to build up the fund - I am buying stamps, coins and postcards in bulk. £10 a kilo for stamps and £5 a kilo for coins and postcards.

ALL proceeds will go to the Masbury appeal.

Just send to Stamps for Charity (077 MAS)
10 Bellamy Avenue
BS13 0HW

More info at - http://www.stampsforcharity.org.uk/1.html