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, September 11, 2013

Masbury countdown


The Masbury Appeal has far exceeded my wildest expectations. The last figure we have is £62,000 but this is now almost two weeks old, and more has doubtless come in. If we conservatively estimate £80,000 now in the pot, then this equates to over £6000 a week coming in!

It is still short of the Appeal total of course, but that shouldn't be too big an issue. The cost of the property will be £375,000, the extra £125,000 is for various things such as legal fees etc, but a big slice is initial repair and restoration costs.

I suspect the Appeal will continue to run after 30 September until the full £500,000 is raised.

This Saturday a few of us have a meeting with the current owner of Masbury station. Hopefully we will be able to negotiate an extension or possibly look towards a mortgage, share issue or some other similar way of raising the balance, so we can get in and start the work.

So thanks to everyone who has sent money - I know of one individual donation well into 5 figures for example. This Appeal has really caught the imagination of S&D fans nationally, and further afield. We've worked together to really make things happen and caught the imagination of the entire railway heritage community.

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