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!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Chilcompton ahoy!


(16.10.2106 source)

A wonderful picture taken south of Midsomer Norton today (16.10.2016) showing the team laying sleepers for the extension to Chilcompton. Tracklaying has been progressing for about 15 years now and the team have become very expert at the job, these days aided by heavy equipment. In the early days all the tracklaying was done by hand. Notice the countryside starting to open up, the fantastic scenery along the line was always one of the main points of interest on the original S&D.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Midford today and tomorrow


BR Class 4, 2-6-4T 80134 brings a Bath to Templecombe train into Midford station towards the end of S & D services sometime in 1965 (Source)

Just a quick reminder to all New S&D members that we are having a two day working 'weekend' today - Sunday 9.10.2016 and tomorrow - Monday 10.10.2016 up at Midford. Members should start turning up from around 10am on each day, towards the latter part of each day there will be a barbecue (please bring food!) over the bonfire from each day's cuttings!

The work will involve cutting and clearing, with some smaller trees being pruned by Mick Knox's chainsaw. The weather's looking good and there is no better location on Britain's railway network than Midford. There is also the fabulous Hope and Anchor pub right next door to the station for those wanting sustenance at lunchtime. Come and join the S&D adventure at its most iconic location.

(Sadly due to sciatica I won't be able to make it, but I'll be there in spirit!)