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!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

branch line news

(Both pics February 2014 copyright Martin Tier)

I had an email yesterday from Martin Tier who noticed that Bason Bridge platform has recently been cleared, and he kindly sent the photos above. 

He quickly found the New S&D online and asked if we are behind this. Sadly I had to say no, so any information on what's going on down there would be most welcome. It may of course just be some locals tidying up their area. It's looking good though.

So far nobody within the New S&D has offered to make something happen on any of the branches. One of the ways the New S&D works is to encourage local initiatives and help publicise and finance them. This is how Spetisbury started of course! 

So if anyone is interested in starting something on any of the branches please let us know (simply email me on leysiner@aol.com) and we can get the ball rolling.

Bason Bridge of course was the last S&D station to be used by trains, closing in 1975. From the pics it looks in good condition still. Perhaps it is time to get something going down that way!

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