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, September 28, 2013

midford on thursday

Midford int he rain - looking good!

Looking towards Wellow - and car access on site at last!


Mick getting ready ...

Posing with chainsaw

The rain at its heaviest!

Reward - butchers sausages cooked on the still smouldering embers from Tuesday!
A REALLY good day at Midford last Thursday, tree clearing again. Mick Knox was down from Milton Keynes with his chain saw, local boy Tom also brought his!

It was rainy and quite gloomy when we arrived but within a couple of hours enough trees had come down to let the light in.

Our neighbour Pat also turned up and we discussed the remedial work on the concrete facing of the embankment that abuts his house down below us.

Stuart, lacking a chainsaw of his own, cooked some sausages for the chainsaw boys!

To me this is always the best part of rail restoration, the hands on stuff out in the open. Meetings and office work leave me cold, even though that takes about 95% of my New S&D time.

There's a real buzz all along the route now, with Masbury very close, new local groups forming in Shepton Mallet, Evercreech and Whitchurch, Shillingstone going great guns and a real feeling that the whole route is stirring at last.

We are now planning to launch the Midford Appeal in 2014, with the aim of raising the funds to rebuild the station and oil store, which will transform the site.

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