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, August 16, 2013

great news from midford

We've just had the surveyor's report for the bank above Lynwood, the ex canal property that sits at the foot of the embankment at Midford.

Basically the embankment is sound, although some concrete needs replacing. Now we have the report we can put a plan for regular maintenance in place.

The owner of Lynwood has kindly agreed to share the costs with us for the report on a 50/50 basis. The total cost to the New S&D will be around £500 but it means we have an excellent survey of the site which hopefully will not need to be repeated for many years. I know it's not as glamorous as Masbury purchase or hiring in a steam loco, but as an additional cost we will need to raise the money for this. ALL donations very welcome, please include 'Midford Survey' in the address line or somewhere on a Paypal payment so it can be allocated properly! Cheques can be sent to New S&D, Midford Survey, 10 Bellamy Avenue, Hartcliffe, BRISTOL, BS13 0HW, Paypal payments can be made to SDRHTSales@aol.com

Conclusion of the report -

5.0 Conclusion/Recommendations

5.01 The embankment appears to have changed very little since the construction of the railway line. The

overgrown vegetation has however damaged the embankment directly behind the house, where the

management of surface water is inadequate.

5.02 During the investigation of the embankment, we found no evidence of instability. This was difficult

however due to the mass of vegetation. There are many rocky outcrops suggesting a natural rock

face below, but also areas of sandy soil suggesting slip. However, the profile of the slope appears

the same as noted in historic photographs.

5.03 As such we do not feel there is any evidence to suggest the embankment is unstable. There may be

isolated areas that have slipped but the house appears to be well protected.

5.04 However, the concrete face to the steep embankment behind the wall is in poor condition and water

is getting underneath. We therefore would advise that the loose concrete render is removed and

replaced with newer frost resistant concrete render.

5.05 The existing gully at the back of the lean to should be enlarged and maintained regularly to avoid

further blockage. Also an allowance should be made for protecting the lean to against running surface


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