One of the UK's less-well known restoration projects is the Somerset and Dorset Railway down at Midsomer Norton. At the same time it is the UK's most ambitious set-up with eventual restoration of the Bath to Bournemouth line as a heritage and, most importantly, transport link as its aim.
Public passenger trains on a short section from Midsomer Norton South towards Chilcompton will begin in summer 2008, medium term objectives are restoration through the tunnels to Chilcompton station and northwards to Radstock. The line will then be extended north and south from these points.
At the moment the site is open on Sundays and Mondays, with Saturday opening starting in the next few weeks. There is a fully-stocked shop, secondhand shop and excellent catering coach and patio.
The S&D is also very keen to actively involve younger enthusiasts with a myspace and bebo site, and hopefully summer evening discos on the patio throughout this summer.
Our current workaday engine is No 10 (pictured above), a Sentinel is under construction and long-term hire of steam locomotives will begin with the reopening.