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, September 13, 2013

shepton by pass

(Courtesy SDRHT via Telegraph 30)
One of the issues that often comes up is along the lines of 'what will you do where there are houses/factories etc blocking the route?' It's not as big a deal as some people think, because there are various ways of addressing this. The actual choice will be based on a number of factors including cost, practicality, engineering issues and public relations.

One way is to use CPOs (compulsory purchase orders) to purchase blocking properties. A second way would be to bridge/tunnel. A third way would be to utilise street running, though this may be a little radical for some!

But I suspect that often the option will be a by-pass. The above map was drawn to show how this would work at Shepton Mallet. Actually seeing it on paper shows  that there can be other advantages to by-passing, at Shepton for example the station set up can be rationalised, a joint station would be accessed by both the S&D and East Somerset lines. This is cheaper and also handier. The above map also includes a Parkway station, though I suspect that by the time this becomes reality there will be few cars still on the roads!

So the principals established can (and will) apply to anywhere on the S&D and of course on the wider network. The old excuse of 'there's a house/building/car park/tree in the way can be ignored!

1 comment:

alan alan hay day hayday said...

Yes, this. Plan. Has. Several. Merits.......especially. if. The. ESR. Could. Be. Extented. To. Wells. And. Glastonbury.

Problem. Is, of. Course, the. Enormous. Cost.......several. millions. At. Least. It. Might. Even. Be. Less. Costly. To. Reinstate
The. Original. Route.

I. Still. Believe. That. Network. Rail. Is. The. Best. Option. For. Getting. The. S and. D. Reopened
Throughout. Including. The. Pensford. Route. Through. To. Bristol.......this. should. Be. An
Electric. Railway. For. The. 21st. Century.