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Author Topic: Okehampton-Tavistock. Discussion on reopening and potential use as a diversionary route  (Read 203301 times)
Umberleigh
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« Reply #525 on: November 10, 2018, 09:21:54 am »

No apologies for bumping this after last night.

The Dawlish line has always been prone to weather disruption but this is now becoming a regular winter event, one which is almost predictable.

Forget Network Rail telling us we need a new double track mainline. All we need between Crediton and Bere Alston is a single track with a passing loop at Tavistock (and perhaps Okehampton) and the reinstatement of the junction north of Yeoford at Coleford to allow for a dynamic passing loop controlled by Crediton box. This should allow for one train per hour to be diverted in each direction.

Rest of the year run Sprinters between Exeter and Plymouth for the local and tourist trade. Suspend these services during diversions and lay on coaches for the much smaller number of passengers making much shorter journeys.

Yes, we need a new viaduct at Mellon and yes trackbed will have to be prised back from landowners and some buildings knocked down, but its not exactly HS2, is it?
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bignosemac
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« Reply #526 on: November 10, 2018, 10:11:40 am »

No apologies for bumping this after last night.

The Dawlish line has always been prone to weather disruption but this is now becoming a regular winter event, one which is almost predictable.

Forget Network Rail telling us we need a new double track mainline. All we need between Crediton and Bere Alston is a single track with a passing loop at Tavistock (and perhaps Okehampton) and the reinstatement of the junction north of Yeoford at Coleford to allow for a dynamic passing loop controlled by Crediton box. This should allow for one train per hour to be diverted in each direction.

Rest of the year run Sprinters between Exeter and Plymouth for the local and tourist trade. Suspend these services during diversions and lay on coaches for the much smaller number of passengers making much shorter journeys.

Yes, we need a new viaduct at Mellon and yes trackbed will have to be prised back from landowners and some buildings knocked down, but its not exactly HS2, is it?

And how does that help the combined populations of Teignbridge, Torbay and the South Hams? That's 400,000 odd people cut off from access to the railway, while trains do their double reversal and long detour to serve Plymouth and Cornwall.

Dawlish Avoiding Line keeps everyone in Devon & Cornwall, who currently has access to rail, connected.

Okehampton - Tavistock should reopen too. But its raison d'etre for opening should not be as a diversionary route. It should be costed on the new traffic it has the potential to generate. Costed on the benefits a regular passenger service would being to the folk of West Devon. No benefit/cost weighting should be given to it for use as a diversionary route during disruption. You can survey and predict passenger numbers for a new line. You can't survey and predict (beyond short term weather forecasts) meteorological disruption.

Your plan would means buses and coaches replacing the local services along the LSWR route during disruption, in addition to the rail replacement fleet required for South Devon, Teignbridge, Torbay, and the South Hams. TOCs struggle to source such vehicles at short notice as it is.

Trying to sell the new line to folk, but curtailing the local service when the coastal route closes, won't make the reopening that attractive.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 10:21:09 am by bignosemac » Logged

Southernman
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« Reply #527 on: November 10, 2018, 11:05:29 am »

During closure of the main line the good people of Torbay etc have no rail service anyway! I am of the firm opinion that the 'northern' route should be re-opened as a local, single tracked railway (with passing loops as previously suggested) which can be used as an alternative by the people of Plymouth and Cornwall, also benefitting residents of Devon & Cornwall who are vast distances from any railway. Don't forget its not just high tides that cause closures - also engineering works and emergencies.

The old GWR scheme (all land sold off I believe) by-passed Dawlish & Teignmouth.

The Borders Railways has shown what can be done - and this is for locals only (until the full route is re-opened).

It is only a matter of time before another long-term closure of the Dawlish route happens, however hard Network Rail try. Building out into the sea I hear is now not the preferred option, just one of them.

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Umberleigh
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« Reply #528 on: November 10, 2018, 11:06:32 am »

No apologies for bumping this after last night.

The Dawlish line has always been prone to weather disruption but this is now becoming a regular winter event, one which is almost predictable.

Forget Network Rail telling us we need a new double track mainline. All we need between Crediton and Bere Alston is a single track with a passing loop at Tavistock (and perhaps Okehampton) and the reinstatement of the junction north of Yeoford at Coleford to allow for a dynamic passing loop controlled by Crediton box. This should allow for one train per hour to be diverted in each direction.

Rest of the year run Sprinters between Exeter and Plymouth for the local and tourist trade. Suspend these services during diversions and lay on coaches for the much smaller number of passengers making much shorter journeys.

Yes, we need a new viaduct at Mellon and yes trackbed will have to be prised back from landowners and some buildings knocked down, but its not exactly HS2, is it?

And how does that help the combined populations of Teignbridge, Torbay and the South Hams? That's 400,000 odd people cut off from access to the railway, while trains do their double reversal and long detour to serve Plymouth and Cornwall.

Dawlish Avoiding Line keeps everyone in Devon & Cornwall, who currently has access to rail, connected.

Okehampton - Tavistock should reopen too. But its raison d'etre for opening should not be as a diversionary route. It should be costed on the new traffic it has the potential to generate. Costed on the benefits a regular passenger service would being to the folk of West Devon. No benefit/cost weighting should be given to it for use as a diversionary route during disruption. You can survey and predict passenger numbers for a new line. You can't survey and predict (beyond short term weather forecasts) meteorological disruption.

Your plan would means buses and coaches replacing the local services along the LSWR route during disruption, in addition to the rail replacement fleet required for South Devon, Teignbridge, Torbay, and the South Hams. TOCs struggle to source such vehicles at short notice as it is.

Trying to sell the new line to folk, but curtailing the local service when the coastal route closes, won't make the reopening that attractive.

Many diversions would happen late at night when the local services have ceased, and anyway 802s could stop at Okehampton and Tavistock when diverted, then stick the handful for Bow etc in a taxi. A passing loop at Bere Alston would allow the Gunnislake services to continue in some fashion.

We don’t need to cut the existing route, as I firmly believe the Dartmoor route would generate quite substantial tourist numbers and not insignificant local usage. Certainly enough to keep a 158 busy.

In time, rising sea levels will make some sort of remodelling of the coastal route necessary, but that is some time away.

The time taken to reopen the Dartmoor line would be sufficient to order and build new trains or to benefit from the electrification cascade.

Welsh lines and the Borders line have been reopened - it is feasible.
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #529 on: November 10, 2018, 11:22:02 am »

Welsh lines and the Borders line have been reopened - it is feasible.

Funded by the Welsh and Scottish assemblies. The English government is not particularly interested unless it benefits London.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #530 on: November 10, 2018, 11:47:12 am »

During closure of the main line the good people of Torbay etc have no rail service anyway!

Which is precisely why they need a rail alternative to the coastal route that doesn't completely bypass them. Users of Newton Abbot, Torquay, Paignton and Totnes would be delighted to learn that sparser populated areas of Devon get a rail service during disruption, while they are consigned to buses and coaches.

The need for a solution to the frequent coastal route disruption is not some time away. Dawlish Avoiding Line, Now!

Too reiterate. I'm not either/or. I'm just against promoting and costing the LSWR as a diversionary route. And I firmly believe that any call on funding has to first go to protecting and enhancing the current and considerable rail passenger flows. Any buses or coaches needed should be reserved solely for serving Dawlish. Even Teignmouth can keep a rail service during sea wall related disruption, with a shuttle from Newton Abbot served by connecting services off the DAL.

I appreciate that I may be in a minority in the rail enthusiast community, with its large supply of rose tinted spectacles. But one has to look first at which option is of more benefit to more people.
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broadgage
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« Reply #531 on: November 10, 2018, 01:33:07 pm »

Time for another round of studies, reviews and consultations I suspect. Cheaper than actually doing anything.
 
Have newt breeding and bat nesting been considered yet ?
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Umberleigh
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« Reply #532 on: November 10, 2018, 01:52:48 pm »

During closure of the main line the good people of Torbay etc have no rail service anyway!

Which is precisely why they need a rail alternative to the coastal route that doesn't completely bypass them. Users of Newton Abbot, Torquay, Paignton and Totnes would be delighted to learn that sparser populated areas of Devon get a rail service during disruption, while they are consigned to buses and coaches.

The need for a solution to the frequent coastal route disruption is not some time away. Dawlish Avoiding Line, Now!

Too reiterate. I'm not either/or. I'm just against promoting and costing the LSWR as a diversionary route. And I firmly believe that any call on funding has to first go to protecting and enhancing the current and considerable rail passenger flows. Any buses or coaches needed should be reserved solely for serving Dawlish. Even Teignmouth can keep a rail service during sea wall related disruption, with a shuttle from Newton Abbot served by connecting servicfes off the DAL.

I appreciate that I may be in a minority in the rail enthusiast community, with its large supply of rose tinted spectacles. But one has to look first at which option is of more benefit to more people.

With the Dawlish avoiding line, you need a very expensive tunnel which will be needed about seven days a year. With the Okehampton route you get 365 days of parkway railway access for North West Devon, North West Ciornwall, Dartmoor and the growing town of Tavistock. You also get a diversiionary route for those seven days each year that the largest city in Devon and the entire county of Cornwall are cut off.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #533 on: November 10, 2018, 02:09:22 pm »

No it wouldn't.  See here: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=20630.msg251103#msg251103
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #534 on: November 10, 2018, 08:09:08 pm »

During closure of the main line the good people of Torbay etc have no rail service anyway!

Which is precisely why they need a rail alternative to the coastal route that doesn't completely bypass them. Users of Newton Abbot, Torquay, Paignton and Totnes would be delighted to learn that sparser populated areas of Devon get a rail service during disruption, while they are consigned to buses and coaches.

The need for a solution to the frequent coastal route disruption is not some time away. Dawlish Avoiding Line, Now!

Too reiterate. I'm not either/or. I'm just against promoting and costing the LSWR as a diversionary route. And I firmly believe that any call on funding has to first go to protecting and enhancing the current and considerable rail passenger flows. Any buses or coaches needed should be reserved solely for serving Dawlish. Even Teignmouth can keep a rail service during sea wall related disruption, with a shuttle from Newton Abbot served by connecting servicfes off the DAL.

I appreciate that I may be in a minority in the rail enthusiast community, with its large supply of rose tinted spectacles. But one has to look first at which option is of more benefit to more people.

With the Dawlish avoiding line, you need a very expensive tunnel which will be needed about seven days a year. With the Okehampton route you get 365 days of parkway railway access for North West Devon, North West Ciornwall, Dartmoor and the growing town of Tavistock. You also get a diversiionary route for those seven days each year that the largest city in Devon and the entire county of Cornwall are cut off.

How.....much......will......it....cost?
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bignosemac
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« Reply #535 on: November 10, 2018, 08:15:12 pm »

With the Dawlish avoiding line, you need a very expensive tunnel which will be needed about seven days a year. With the Okehampton route you get 365 days of parkway railway access for North West Devon, North West Ciornwall, Dartmoor and the growing town of Tavistock. You also get a diversiionary route for those seven days each year that the largest city in Devon and the entire county of Cornwall are cut off.

The DAL wouldn't be used for just 7 days a year. It'd become the mainline. Built to modern standards on a faster alignment to offer modest journey time improvements. The sea wall route would be rationalised to single line along the Sea Wall.

Now, if it is just 'seven days' then that's further reason to not include any benefit/cost uplift to the LSWR route for diversions. Just as I wouldn't expect the DAL to include an uplift for the occasions when it carries traffic to Plymouth for Tavistock when the LSWR route is snowed in!
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bignosemac
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« Reply #536 on: November 10, 2018, 08:19:21 pm »

How.....much......will......it....cost?

A darn sight less than an unnecessary third direct route between London and Birmingham. And think of the benefit. You can get by train to any winter game at The Brickfields!  Tongue
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #537 on: November 10, 2018, 09:06:38 pm »

How.....much......will......it....cost?

A darn sight less than an unnecessary third direct route between London and Birmingham. And think of the benefit. You can get by train to any winter game at The Brickfields!  Tongue

Good answer! But I'm still waiting for someone to give a figure of how much it's going to cost, and without that, there's no basis for a sensible or meaningful debate!
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bignosemac
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« Reply #538 on: November 10, 2018, 09:58:17 pm »

The most recent costings are in the 'West of Exeter Route Resilience Study' published after the 2014 washout.

https://www.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/West-of-Exeter-Route-Resilience-Study.pdf

No option scored particularly highly on benefit/cost analysis. Although one could question the methodology and political input. What is clear though is the LSWR route as a diversion scored lower than a couple of the DAL options. And that was taking into account the new traffic the LSWR would generate.
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Southernman
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« Reply #539 on: November 10, 2018, 10:00:02 pm »

How.....much......will......it....cost?

A darn sight less than an unnecessary third direct route between London and Birmingham. And think of the benefit. You can get by train to any winter game at The Brickfields!  Tongue

Good answer! But I'm still waiting for someone to give a figure of how much it's going to cost, and without that, there's no basis for a sensible or meaningful debate!


The Peninsular Rail Task Force commissioned a report and the findings of January 2016 are here:-

https://peninsularailtaskforce.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/work-stream-summary-consultation-draft-v1-5-5-16-clean-copy.pdf

Pages 23 -26. e' cost of Okehampton to Tavistock £450m for a modest scheme. There are other costs, including upgrading Crediton to Okehampton for regular use which will have to be found if that proposed reinstatement of regular services actually happens. And also the bit between Bere Alston and Tavistock which seems to grind forwards ever so slowly!
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