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!

Monday, January 13, 2014

latest from MN

Latest update

With Henbury now departed, we're down to one working diesel loco, D1120, which needs some attention before it can be used on trains again. The 08, D4095 is away in Gloucestershire until next month.
We are under notice with the railway inspectorate and needing to make improvements before we're cleared to run trains again, nothing too major, but to do with training and operational methods mostly, so updating is needed before we'll be running trains again this year. 

The GW Toad brake van is now in the goods shed and is stripped down to chassis and frames, awaiting replanking and refurbishing. There is a new hut on the trackside which will shelter the ground frame for the engineer's siding, something you'll only see for now if you're a working volunteer on the track, or walk along the adjacent footpath. 

The road-railer is out of action, requiring a new 'pin' in the hydraulic arm, only after which will it be fit for work again. Plenty to do then! 

By the way - is anyone out there a decent electrician who would like to volunteer their services, or know someone who would? Alan Price at Midsomer Norton would love to hear if you do - the TCL DMU coach - now messroom and meeting room - desperately needs wiring. There's a news story and link under the volunteering heading at http://www.sdjr.co.uk In fact we'd love to hear from anyone who feels they should be making a new year's resolution to come and give a hand!

Thanks and Happy New Year!