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, October 27, 2015

Gartell's last regular operating days of 2015


John Gartell returns from the morning engine warm-through and line inspection in the beautiful but chilly October morn.

Heading up the hill in bright sunshine, No. 6 makes easy work of the 1 in 30 and 1 in 35 gradients as it rounds the curve and goes under the main-line bridge heading toward Pinesway Junction.

Fireman Mike Baker, proceeds to the front of No.6 with the coupling bar, prior to the run-round at Pinesway Junction.

No.6 passes points 11 at Pinesway Junction. The points will shortly change and the locomotive will proceed in an up direction, after it runs round its train.

The beautiful if chilly October morning is evident as the run-round takes place at Tower View.

Happy visitors at Tower View. The loco is running round prior to our non-stop run to Park Lane.

Simultaneous departures at Pinesway Junction.

Steve Rodd and Alan 'Chalkey' White crew GLR No.9 'Jean' as it runs through Pinesway Junction on the non-stop run to Park Lane with the latter-day 'Pines Express'.

Another spirited departure from Common Lane.

'Right Away' at Common Lane for the 'Pines'!

Steam and Diesel with a simultaneous departure from Pinesway Junction.

John 'Bert' Penny contemplates the next move at Common Lane 'box. (Photo by Dave Clark)

(All pics and text by or courtesy of John Penny at the Gartell Railway).

The last open day of 2015 also brings to an end the 25th season at the GLR. With a plethora of willing staff, John was able to spend a little time behind the lens, just helping out with a couple sessions at Common Lane Box. I hope you like his selection of photos - and see you next year!

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