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!

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!

1 comment:

je86eadpc said...

£29k is a very creditable amount for such a short period of time but making even £375k (the actual purchase price) in time is going to be difficult.

Is a mortgage being considered? The appeal is getting towards the 10% deposit level. Although a 90% mortgage would be expensive (assuming you could get one), say about £1800 a month, costs could be offset against renting out the property for holiday lets in the short term. Meanwhile fundraising could continue - I know of one museum which operated this way and they cleared a £100k+ mortgage in two years. In fact their fundraising was more successful once people knew that they had actually bought the property - it gave potential donors confidence.

Once the site is bought, an application to Heritage Lottery Fund would cover the restoration of the site. It would have been a good idea to apply to HLF earlier as it might also have been willing to fund the site purchase, but their turnaround time on receipt of application is eight weeks so there is barely time left to pull together a good app and get it submitted. They will consider an urgent application if deadlines are tight but you need to discuss it with them first.

Either: Our Heritage Grants for £10k-£100k http://www.hlf.org.uk/HowToApply/programmes/Pages/OurHeritage.aspx#.UeqyLKxnv6U

or: Heritage Grants for over £100k http://www.hlf.org.uk/HowToApply/programmes/Pages/HeritageGrants.aspx#.Ueqy8qxnv6U

These people offer a new crowdsourcing platform for archaeology and heritage projects: http://digventures.com/how-it-works-2/. They are mainly interested in archaeology so not sure if they would consider this sort of prject but they definitely state they are there for all heritage projects.