Following on from the award of the Outline Planning Consent in November 2019, the Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust is continuing with work to construct sidings and a building on land at Somervale in Midsomer Norton for the maintenance of the railway’s rolling stock.
Progress had been delayed by the impact of Covid, together with the Heritage Lottery Fund cancelling all applications for funding that had been submitted in 2020.
Since then, the Trust has assessed other locations to establish a maintenance facility and has identified an area of land off Tunnel Lane as the preferred location.
However, the Trust still intends to build one or two sidings at Somervale to allow the rolling stock to be relocated from the station platforms and goods yard.
In preparation for a full planning application to be submitted for sidings on the Somervale site, engineers from Geotechnics and Mott MacDonald have been undertaking geotechnical ground investigation surveys.
Once the surveys have been completed and soil samples analysed, the Trust will then be in an informed position to understand exactly how many sidings can be installed, the exact location in Somervale where they can be located, and what the final track design will look like.
If sidings holding railway rolling stock are to be built on this land, it is important that the Trust has detailed information about the type of land, its stability, and load-bearing capacity, so that it can make the correct decisions and spend the Trust’s money wisely.
The geotechnical surveys will provide the required information, but they are costing a substantial amount of money However, the Trust considers that this is money wisely spent, and will significantly reduce the risks of any future subsidence or stability issues on this land.
Anyone who wishes to make a donation to assist with the cost of this work can make a donation here on their website