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!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

S&D Day

I got the chance to visit TWO S&D sites yesterday, for the first time! First stop was Midsomer Norton where the signalbox/greenhouse section looks amazing. The greenhouse in particular looks like it's been there for a hundred years or more. It was nice to see the stone cold frame to the south of the signalbox as well. The whole site looks amazing.

Then, via Bristol (Wulfric wanted to see two of our cats for the first time), I popped in at Midford. This is the first chance I've had to visit two of the S&D sites in one go. It's a strange feeling, a nice one of course! You could now, in a day, travel south from Bath and visit FIVE active sites (hopefully soon six!) all being restored along the line. I don't think there's any other place in Britain (or even the world) where so many sites on the same line are being restored and rebuilt. The S&D is really coming back ... and in so many places!

The vegetarian choice at the Hope and Anchor wasn't impressive so, with the road south to Frome being closed at the viaduct, we headed back towards Bath and popped in the Cross Keys for a fantastic curry. And who should be there but Stuart and Tom Seale, the heroes of Midford! We're having a big session next Thursday (4.9.2013) so if interested please pop along, if only to see me in a flourescent jacket and Mick Knox yielding a chainsaw like someone out of a 1970s horror film!

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