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, November 24, 2015

Gartell Railway 22.11.2015

Activity from last Sunday at the GLR. 'Out the line' with four teenagers and two, er... 'mature' types! The four lads did a great job, and their ages added up to just slightly more than mine, and just slightly less than C.J's. (John Penny)

A view from the 'other side' just prior to us heading out the line. The banner is off No. 14 (section signal) seen on the corner ahead.

Red set 101 gets the 'Santa' boards ready for a school bazaar on December 5th. We're just running the trains so know no other detail. Come along and support it anyway!!

Chandler gets stuck in on Common Lane No10 with the replacement signal head. Although only 16 years old there is not much he can't do in the GLR wiring department!

Meanwhile here is Chandler's Grandad working on the replacement signal head on the other 'road' at Common Lane. Along with Matt 1 they're tightening their nuts.

Down at the 'End of the World' the lads get stuck into the vegetation.

Matt 2 gets to grips with his big weapon.

C.J. sharpens up his tool.

What is it with blokes and bonfires? The dry detritus at the foot of the embankment is carefully burned off as Matt 2 is talked out of doing a headlong dive into the flames.

Having just had a look at the old cattle creep, I snapped the boys building up to the last bonfire of the day. Not the most exciting viewpoint but at least it is a new one!

The light is fading as we head for home to bath the innumerable scratches, remove the thorns from our anatomy and have a good soak in the bath to get rid of the smell of bonfire smoke.

(All pics, text and captions by John Penny at Gartell Railway).

The Gartell Railway has now finished running its regular trains for 2015. This is a great set of shots showing the really fun side of rail work - choppoing and bonfires! It's really good to see that the Gartell has a team of younger volunteers, something all lines need as older volunteers enter their dotage!

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