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, November 19, 2015

Gartell work 15 November 2015

Between Chandler and myself we had decided that he was going to post the pictures of yesterday's activities, but mine are a little bit different, so here they are. We'll be spending the next few days removing thorns from various parts of our anatomies, ready for starting again on the remainder of the clearance with 'The Thursday Boys'.

Looking North at Park Lane before the work started.

The lads make a start.

This was just from the morning's activities!

Finishing up for the day. In 25 years of working on the railway, this is the first photo I have taken from the field. We certainly made an impact on the undergrowth! The Thursday gang can look forward to the rest of the clearance work.

C.J. picks up the last of the scraps for burning. A satisfying day.

(All pics, text and captions courtesy John Penny at Gartell)

I really miss this - I started at Midsomer Norton on the Monday (mainly) Track Gang, and it was a real pleasure and privilege to be on the line cutting back undergrowth, repairing fences and, eventually, helping out on tracklaying. Hopefully in the not too distant future we'll be doing this at Midford and other locations along the line!

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