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, May 26, 2016

Gartell signalbox work

Trevor puts some finishing touches to this bit. Still the upper part to do!

Meanwhile, at the rear of the box, C.J. Ian and Hugh get to grips with what needs to be done.

I couldn't resist this shot, possibly because I hadn't really taken notice of the direction before. It looks right away from the station throat as you can see.

Looking back toward the engine shed from the picnic area, we can spot Keith finishing some painting of a bench. GLR No. 5 waits patiently for a driver.

Work on the Northern end of the box. Trevor is up the ladder, Mike on the steps whilst Ian keeps a watchful eye and Sheila takes a brief break away from landscape duty. One can certainly see the difference in the paintwork. All the front boards have been replace as well.

All above pics and text by John Penny 26.5.2016

We had fantastic weather down here in Wessex today and, as the above pics show, the team down at Gartell certainly made the most of it.

Gartell is famous for having a fully signalled route, and on operating days runs a very intensive service on the line. The signalbox and signals are certainly not there just to look right - they do the job they are supposed to, to keep the line moving and safe. Last time I was down there John Penny kindly allowed me into the box and it was hard to talk as he was constantly pulling some lever or other!

The Gartell Railway is an absolute gem and the attention to detail is fantastic. The line is of course operating this bank holiday weekend.

1 comment:

Tim Clarke said...

Very interesting and informative blog. Good luck with the project. I have just started a new blog about Westbourne where, of course, the former Bournemouth West station was located. I hope to include some information about this soon. Please take a look at Westbourne Life