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Author Topic: Okehampton-Tavistock. Discussion on reopening and potential use as a diversionary route  (Read 203302 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #570 on: February 08, 2020, 11:06:46 am »

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It could be called Electric Avenue

...or perhaps the Electric Expressway, so that it keeps at least some of it's current naming.

Stick with the original - I've already made plans to ask Eddy Grant to do the opening.
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grahame
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« Reply #571 on: February 08, 2020, 02:19:04 pm »

New group to look at case for reopening the Northern Route

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I'm very pleased to announce the formation of an ad hoc group looking at the case for reopening the #NorthernRoute. It's a team of highly respected rail industry experts examining the capability the railway would need to provide a local service and sufficient freight and diversionary capacity, as well as the potential for extending the #GraniteWay from Lydford to Tavistock, which could generate significant benefits too. We're keen to hear from organisations and individuals with a view on the reopening for or against and particularly those affected by the #Dawlish closure in 2014. At this early stage there are no preconceptions on the case and how the railway would operate, but if there is a case we're looking to develop a detailed and costed proposal for further discussion. If you do have a view, please get in touch with me either here or via the website - andrewroden.com - we strongly believe there could be a very positive case, but it is vital that if there is it is credible costed and developed in a way which maximises the benefits and treats individuals and organisations affected with the utmost decency and courtesy. The South West cannot depend on a single rail link, needs more transport investment, and #NorthernRoute could be critical in helping to generate economic, social and environmental benefits in a region too often overlooked by central government.   
Further discussion on Twitter
https://twitter.com/andyroden1/status/1225344332498165760?s=21

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=10066.msg105825#msg105825

and from the website above (((link)))

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Roden chaired the Save Our Sleeper campaign of 2005 which saved the 'Night Riviera' overnight train from Cornwall to London from closure, and is based in West Cornwall.



Excellent, getting experts together. From my "Save the Train" days
1. Make people aware there is a case to look at
2. Work out what would be [most] appropriate
3. Get that appropriate solution implemented
4. Work to make it a sustainable success

These overlap, and I believe the NorthernRoute campaign (as it is at the moment) is at stages 1. and early in 2. ... the quoted text suggests as much.  It will switch from a campaign to a partnership - the NorthernRoute partnership or perhaps a different name if they so choose as a trusted implementation partner takes up the cause and takes over the reins (the driving seat) and orders of magnitude greater tasks of getting it from a refined paper case through to a class 198 or 757, 802 (or even 801) pulling out of Exeter St. Davids, northbound, headed for Plymouth arriving via Devonport with regular paying (unless public transport is free by then) passengers on board in the process of their normal journey.  Phase 4 continues as a partnership - whether the wording is "A Community Rail Partnership" or "a member of the Community Rail Network" is just semantics - the key is so Make people aware, work out what's best, get it done, ensure it's kept.

For these early stage, I sat in my armchair and asked about a 45 m.p.h. standard calculated for loops at Okehampton and Tavistock ; another loop halfway between to double the capacity.    I only asked, yet received a very strong email telling me that even asking this was detrimental to the case, and it should be 60 m.p.h. to allow loops at Okehampton and Bere Alston instead, and to avoid a capacity bottleneck at Ernesettle; fair enough on the technical side. Working towards the "find most appropriate solution", I strongly refute the argument that my input was detrimental; rather, I believe it strengthens the discussion towards the right case - whether that's 45, 60, 90, or HSn.

I look forward to seeing "what is most appropriate" moved forward under the strong technical team I read of.
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« Reply #572 on: February 09, 2020, 09:17:39 am »

As ever though, it’s a mighty big chasm between steps 2 and 3.
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« Reply #573 on: February 09, 2020, 09:32:54 am »

As ever though, it’s a mighty big chasm between steps 2 and 3.

Yes, there are many ducks to get in a line before that jump can be made, and steps 1 and 2 need to be worked out and agreed ...  then there's a wait and / or a chivvying of the ducks so they're lined up.  Many projects will wait for ever to jump the chasm, some will fall into it - but projects really need to have faith to get through the first two steps to be ready to jump should an opportunity arise, and to keep looking for that opportunity. 

Also to look at helping make that opportunity by shaping strategic policy via consultation inputs, etc, so the project fits, getting in onto politician's agendas, keep reminding people how appropriate and supported the project is, etc.
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« Reply #574 on: February 09, 2020, 06:33:24 pm »


For these early stage, I sat in my armchair and asked about a 45 m.p.h. standard calculated for loops at Okehampton and Tavistock ; another loop halfway between to double the capacity.    I only asked, yet received a very strong email telling me that even asking this was detrimental to the case, and it should be 60 m.p.h. to allow loops at Okehampton and Bere Alston instead, and to avoid a capacity bottleneck at Ernesettle; fair enough on the technical side. Working towards the "find most appropriate solution", I strongly refute the argument that my input was detrimental; rather, I believe it strengthens the discussion towards the right case - whether that's 45, 60, 90, or HSn.


Should we be seeking out cheap solutions, or demanding the best? This really seems to divide opinion.

You might think that asking for a few tens of thousands to sort out a problem at one station would be more likely to get a result than, say, asking for hundreds of millions to sort out a whole route. History suggests otherwise. If we beg for the crumbs from the table, it seems we are unlikely to be taken seriously. Given the current climate, why not demand the table and all the food on it, plus some extra for contingency and optimism bias?
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« Reply #575 on: February 09, 2020, 07:53:38 pm »

Should we be seeking out cheap solutions, or demanding the best? This really seems to divide opinion.

At the early stages, we should evaluate options of both types to the point of having numbers alongside them - in terms of cost, and in terms of BCR.  We should look at the differences in terms of wider benefits and what each will bring and won't bring.

Only when we have the clear evaluated comparison do we need to make the final choice - perhaps not even them as we see what funding route(s) come in to meet one of the excellent cases

Quote
You might think that asking for a few tens of thousands to sort out a problem at one station would be more likely to get a result than, say, asking for hundreds of millions to sort out a whole route. History suggests otherwise. If we beg for the crumbs from the table, it seems we are unlikely to be taken seriously. Given the current climate, why not demand the table and all the food on it, plus some extra for contingency and optimism bias?

I would certainly say that  if you put  in "X" effort to get "Y" funding,  you are going to have to put in far less than 10x"X" to get 10x"Y" of funding should there be a pot of 10x"Y"accessible.
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« Reply #576 on: February 11, 2020, 12:55:57 pm »

Out of curiosity, if/when services to Okehampton are reinstated, is it likely that the junction with the Barnstaple like would be moved back to Coleford - or Yeoford - to turn the two parallel single lines into a double track/passing loop stretch?  With or without this, what would/could be the likely impact on the Barnstaple line services (stopping/service patterns, frequency)?

If it were possible to enhance Barnstaple services thanks to added flexibility provided by a double track stretch between Crediton & Coleford, this would surely help the case along.

 

 
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« Reply #577 on: February 11, 2020, 04:39:52 pm »

You would also need to re-instate the second platform at Yeoford as well as extend Crediton's signalling capabilities out to Coleford.

All completely possible I'd imagine, but someone would need to foot the bill.
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« Reply #578 on: July 19, 2020, 03:58:11 pm »

A conversion of part of the former Tavistock North railway station and platform - marketed as "The Ticketing Hall" - is now on the market for a £275,000 guide price.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/inside-former-railway-station-ticket-18609354

https://www.onthemarket.com/details/8709510/

What is the general view of how a reopened Okehampton-Tavistock-Bere Alston line would go through this area?
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« Reply #579 on: July 19, 2020, 05:21:51 pm »

What is the general view of how a reopened Okehampton-Tavistock-Bere Alston line would go through this area?

In a nutshell, with difficulty.

Tavisyock station is the least of the problems. There is a large District Council Office complex to the east of the station, and housing development to the west. Then there is the viaduct, and whether that is suitable for a modern railway to use it is an unknown, at least to me. The same applies to Shillamill viaduct, and of course Meldon. 

On top of all that, I thought one of the justifications for even thinking about reopening was that reopening of Bere Alston to Tavistock was going to happen anyway. But this of course was originally planed to stop on the south west outskirts of the existing town, so the viaduct and  former station area would not have been distubed by it. The last I heard even that was up in the air. Does anybody have a recent  update?
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« Reply #580 on: July 19, 2020, 07:45:09 pm »

I feel the only hope now for Tavistock is if trains can be brought back to Okehampton and demand far exceeds expectations (as has happened with reopening elsewhere). There might then be the political will to reopen to the site short of the old Tavistock station. I would hope the brick viaducts were to prove up to the task. If Tavistock is a huge success then who know? Offices and houses  aren’t about to stop HS2 being built.
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« Reply #581 on: July 19, 2020, 08:44:07 pm »

Offices and houses  aren’t about to stop HS2 being built.

Of course they won't. But one way or another thay will have to be paid for, be it by compensation or good old fashioned Compulsory Purchase. And that will increase the costs of any scheme.

And, being realistic, although a view not probably shared by all on this forum, HS2 will be by far a greater strategic benefit to the UK than Exeter to Plymouth via Okehampton could ever hope to be. Some in South Devon, Cornwall and Taplow might beg to differ  Grin
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« Reply #582 on: July 19, 2020, 09:07:47 pm »

What is the general view of how a reopened Okehampton-Tavistock-Bere Alston line would go through this area?

In a nutshell, with difficulty.

Tavisyock station is the least of the problems. There is a large District Council Office complex to the east of the station, and housing development to the west. Then there is the viaduct, and whether that is suitable for a modern railway to use it is an unknown, at least to me. The same applies to Shillamill viaduct, and of course Meldon. 

On top of all that, I thought one of the justifications for even thinking about reopening was that reopening of Bere Alston to Tavistock was going to happen anyway. But this of course was originally planed to stop on the south west outskirts of the existing town, so the viaduct and  former station area would not have been distubed by it. The last I heard even that was up in the air. Does anybody have a recent  update?

Bere Alston - Tavistock is being considered by the Department for Transport under the "Accelerating Existing Proposals" section of the Beeching Reversal or "Restoring Your Railway Fund".  Yes, the station would be in the south west corner of the town, surrounded by new housing from which there is a S106 contribution available for the railway - something like up to £11.5 million, I think.  A reopened line heading north of that would have to go through the old station site and the whole site including the council offices would need a lot of reorganisation.  I would guess the old Up platform would be brought back into use!
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« Reply #583 on: July 20, 2020, 11:36:10 am »

Bere Alston - Tavistock is being considered by the Department for Transport under the "Accelerating Existing Proposals" section of the Beeching Reversal or "Restoring Your Railway Fund".  Yes, the station would be in the south west corner of the town, surrounded by new housing from which there is a S106 contribution available for the railway - something like up to £11.5 million, I think.  A reopened line heading north of that would have to go through the old station site and the whole site including the council offices would need a lot of reorganisation.  I would guess the old Up platform would be brought back into use!


The council has said before that it will happily move their offices if that is what it takes. I think, though, that the Accelerating Current Proposals scheme may be the last roll of the dice, with the best alternative being to maintain passive provision for what will be the distant future.
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« Reply #584 on: August 11, 2020, 09:54:06 pm »

A small update from Okehampton Times.

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Work behind scenes on Okehampton rail service
Thursday, 30 July 2020 - Transport

Sarah Pitt
by Sarah Pitt - Senior Reporter

 @okeytimes  sarah.pitt@okehampton-today.co.uk
AS a question mark continues to hang over the future of the Dartmoor Railway at Okehampton, Devon County Council has confirmed that work continues behind the scenes to bring a regular rail service back between the town and Exeter, writes Sarah Pitt.

The county council owns the station at Okehampton, which has been shut up since Dartmoor Railway went into administration in February.

It has confirmed that the Sunday Rover passenger service on summer Sundays from Okehampton to Exeter, subsidised by the county council, will not take place at all this summer.

However, the county council has said work continues on the long-awaited regular passenger service.

A spokesperson said: ‘Network Rail and GWR [Great Western Railway] are continuing to work in partnership to understand the feasibility of reopening the Okehampton line to regular passenger services, which has the potential to be funded by the Department for Transport’s ‘Restoring your Railway Fund’.

‘Surveys and further development work will continue throughout the summer, which will allow a funding application to be submitted. A decision on the outcome of this funding is expected by early 2021.’
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