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!

Monday, May 23, 2016

You can do anything if you set your mind to it!


All 22.5.2016 source

These pics are stunning. Whilst perhaps I'm stretching this post by labelling it Chilcompton I'm sure it won't be many more years before trains are running into that village again.

To really understand the transformation here it helps to see what the trackbed beyond the old station boundary looked like ten years ago!

23.10.2006 copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing

When I started at Midsomer Norton in about 2004 there were a couple of track panels in place, but nothing in the station platforms, yet even back then it felt like a station. It does seem that as more was done there then more was able to be done, but the scale of track extensions now are in a totally different league to when we used to put in one panel at a time by hand!

The S&D has risen from the dead. True that for now there's only a mile of track all told, but each year it will get longer and longer. Personally I can't wait until the first panel goes down at Midford, and the journey starts all over again!

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