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!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

a rare treat!

2nd June 2014

"The John Woods S&D Collection" - Mike Beale

A selection from the S&DRT's archive of superb colour slides of the line taken by the late John Woods between 1958 and 1967.

7.30pm, The Scout Hall, Eagle House Gardens off Whitecliff Mill Street, Blandford DT11 7BT.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Shillingstone update 25.5.2014


The Wickham had its engine turn over for the first time at the station. Clouds of black smoke issued forth and the station environment bounced to the beat of the engine.

The drains are sorted! (Until the next discovery.)

Cattle dock loading-bay was cleared of concrete sleepers. They were loaded for their move to the Blandford end of the Up platform to create the carriage siding.(Levels are now perfect.) Permanent way guys were seen gardening...well...sowing grass seeds on the bank.

More work on the garden railway and the garden took place. New signage is beginning to appear. 'Ladies' will hang above the loo(well the sign will) and we hope the new sign in the gents, 'Wet Floor' is a warning...not a command!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Shillingstone 24 and 25 May 2014

This weekend will be busy in the shop with or without customers. All the show stock has to go back in and lots of new stock awaits collection including :- 'The S&D From Above Part II', Robin Summerhill's 'Cycling The South Coast' Ivo Peter's 2015 calendar and more metal signs. (They were selling them for £25 plus at the show last week - maybe our £12.50 is too cheap?). Lots of railway gear has been donated so that will be priced and sorted....after a coffee and a slice of home-made cake from the cafĂ©.

Plans for outside? The general maintenance programme is in full swing and weather permitting track-work?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The New Midford!

We have now launched the MIDFORD APPEAL, which will be used to rebuild the station in its classic 1950s style at our site in Midford, fully owned by the New S&D via its property company, Wessex Links Ltd.

The target is £40,000 but this is just an estimate. This should provide enough for planning and design, materials, construction and services for the site. The initial intention is to rebuild the station building and the oil store.

All members are asked to get involved, either in fundraising, the physical work of rebuilding or admin for this standalone project. Ideally a manager for the Appeal (as opposed to Project Manager at the station site) would proactively promote the appeal through the railway, local and national press, radio etc and liaise with the New S&D board throughout the rebuilding. If interested in this post please email Steve Sainsbury on leysiner@aol.com

If you have any appropriate skills, for example fundraising, cost and material control, carpentry, bricklaying etc please contact on the above email or telephone Steve Sainsbury on 0117 3738973.
Cheques are welcome (payable to New Somerset and Dorset Railway) for the appeal, you can also Paypal to SDRHTSales@aol.com

We can also use STAMPS and COINS to raise money for Midford. All stamps are wanted - these can be sent in (any amount!) still on the paper, ideally leaving about 1/4" of backing paper around the perforations. Also all coins are welcome - old British pre-decimal, holiday money etc. Please do not mix coins and stamps together! These should be sent to New S&D Midford Appeal, 10 Bellamy Avenue, Hartcliffe, BRISTOL, BS13 0HW

We can also use (to resell) railway tickets, model railway items (anything!) and railway and transport books! Have a clear out AND raise money for Midford!!