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, May 22, 2016

Lift off for Midford!


26.9.2013 copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing

The New S&D had an important meeting yesterday, the main aim of which was to increase the amount of active members at committee level, look into setting up as a Trust and, most importantly, start using the one asset we have - the station and 200 metres of trackbed at Midford, possibly the most scenic and iconic location on any British railway.

We now have two extra committee members, three potential trustees for the new Trust and the core of a working team at Midford. We also now have a Project Manager for Midford, Peter Sandell.

So if you fancy spending hours or days or weeks over the coming years working in this wonderful location please get in touch. I can be reached at leysiner@aol.com, contact details for Peter will appear very soon.

We expect working parties to start again in the next few weeks, once we have set up insurance for the site. Work will involve cutting back undergrowth at first, but the intention is to start rebuilding the station as soon as we can. This will create a fantastic asset for the Midford Valley, and the fifth active restoration project and location on the S&D!

Steve Sainsbury MA
Chair, New S&D

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