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!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Radstock recovery

The trackgang has been recovering more materials from the Radstock Regeneration land today, not a bad morning for it. Almost ready for another lorry load to come out now and move it to Midsomer Norton.

It seems strange to be lifting track from one line that has an active restoration group to move to another, two miles away - but such is the complexity of the various groups in the area that this has happened before! In the future no doubt lovely fresh new track will reappear here or very close by, as the North Somerset line extends from Frome up to Radstock with an eventual connection to the S&D.

This part of Radstock is, at last, having houses built. Remember that every house will contain future passengers for the lines in Radstock! The development company does support the two future Radstock railways, fully understanding that they will be essential transport links that, soon enough, people will factor into their decisions as to where they move to. A small piece of land has been secured for a future rail link through this site, thanks to the work of Pete Russell at the SDRHT.

Anyone who gets involved in the restoration of the greater S&D could end up just about anywhere if they are part of the hands-on team!