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!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New S&D AGM 16 January 2016


The next AGM of the New Somerset and Dorset Railway will be on 16 January 2016 at the Avon Causeway Hotel, Hurn near Bournemouth, from 1.30pm to 4pm.

This is a very important meeting as we shall be looking at bringing in a lot more committee members and volunteers - if you care about the S&D it will definitely be the time to start making a difference!

The New S&D will be just short of 7 years old in January 2016. We own Midford and are of course cosmetically restoring Spetisbury. I've been Chair since the group formed in 2009, prior to that I was a committee member holding several posts at Midsomer Norton. I shall be stepping down as Chair at the start of the AGM as I simply no longer have the time to do anything outside of promotion, a role I hope to retain! I'd originally announced I'd be officially retiring as Chair in August 2016 but events have simply caught up with me (as anyone who's been following The Rail Thing will realise!) So if you feel you have the skill set needed for this role please let us know!

The venue is a Pullman coach at the site of the former Hurn station on the Ringwood to Christchurch line, which closed in 1935. There's still plenty of railway interest there so worth a visit just for that. We've always allowed non-members to attend meetings including the AGM, but not to vote of course.

We have two main vehicles for S&D activity on the route - The New Somerset and Dorset Railway and Wessex Links Ltd. It may be that we need to redefine each part's focus, so there's a lot to discuss.

It's imortant that anyone planning to attend give us notice of attendance as the venue's owner needs to know numbers. Food and drink will of course be available at the Avon Causeway (highly recommended!) and if more than 10 want to eat before the meeting we will need to pre-book the meals.

So would ALL members please email me on leysiner@aol.com to let me know if you are coming or not - non-members should also let me know if you are planning to come just so we have some idea of numbers.

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