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Author Topic: Okehampton-Tavistock. Discussion on reopening and potential use as a diversionary route  (Read 207885 times)
southwest
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« Reply #585 on: August 12, 2020, 03:46:07 pm »

A small update from Okehampton Times.

Quote
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.’

If I remember rightly the Dartmoor Railway hardly own anything only a few locomotives and rolling stock? The railway is owned by Aggregates and the station by DCC.
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« Reply #586 on: August 12, 2020, 03:49:30 pm »


If I remember rightly the Dartmoor Railway hardly own anything only a few locomotives and rolling stock? The railway is owned by Aggregates and the station by DCC.

Yes, you're right.  Add the café equipment, tables etc too and tools and some maintenance equipment and that'll be about it.
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« Reply #587 on: August 12, 2020, 09:56:44 pm »

Admins if this is not suitable in this post please feel free to move.

Any subscribers to RAIL magazine who have received their copy might wonder about the possibility of reopening new services if you read the article by Christian Wolmar.

He talks of the current cost of running the railway, potential for 2nd wave of Coronavirus and impacts upon the railway. Passenger numbers at only 16-23% of what they were the same week last year. The cost to Government of £700m a month and plans to cut services in sparsely populated areas. Cornwall Branch lines are mentioned specifically as well as other areas.

Described as worst cuts since Beeching resulting in redundancies and service cuts, even to inter City services. There is much more in the full article but must provide some concerns at least.

As a railway worker myself, I hope none of this is true, but if it is I think ANY plans to reopen any rail lines would be in severe jeopardy.

This could put the railway back a considerable amopunt of time
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« Reply #588 on: August 13, 2020, 12:28:08 am »

Admins if this is not suitable in this post please feel free to move.

Any subscribers to RAIL magazine who have received their copy might wonder about the possibility of reopening new services if you read the article by Christian Wolmar.

He talks of the current cost of running the railway, potential for 2nd wave of Coronavirus and impacts upon the railway. Passenger numbers at only 16-23% of what they were the same week last year. The cost to Government of £700m a month and plans to cut services in sparsely populated areas. Cornwall Branch lines are mentioned specifically as well as other areas.

Described as worst cuts since Beeching resulting in redundancies and service cuts, even to inter City services. There is much more in the full article but must provide some concerns at least.

As a railway worker myself, I hope none of this is true, but if it is I think ANY plans to reopen any rail lines would be in severe jeopardy.

This could put the railway back a considerable amopunt of time

It's important to read Nigel Harris' editorial alongside this.  I think Nigel is more on the money than Christian.  We'll see where we go from here.  Nigel's point that the crunch could come 18 months from now sounds right. 
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southwest
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« Reply #589 on: August 13, 2020, 06:20:41 pm »

Admins if this is not suitable in this post please feel free to move.

Any subscribers to RAIL magazine who have received their copy might wonder about the possibility of reopening new services if you read the article by Christian Wolmar.

He talks of the current cost of running the railway, potential for 2nd wave of Coronavirus and impacts upon the railway. Passenger numbers at only 16-23% of what they were the same week last year. The cost to Government of £700m a month and plans to cut services in sparsely populated areas. Cornwall Branch lines are mentioned specifically as well as other areas.

Described as worst cuts since Beeching resulting in redundancies and service cuts, even to inter City services. There is much more in the full article but must provide some concerns at least.

As a railway worker myself, I hope none of this is true, but if it is I think ANY plans to reopen any rail lines would be in severe jeopardy.

This could put the railway back a considerable amopunt of time

The truth is we don't know what is going to happen in a years time, certainly things have changed. I do wonder if it will practical to have Crossrail service Paddington - Reading when GWR are already providing a good service to those lines with 387s.
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« Reply #590 on: August 13, 2020, 07:22:39 pm »

Admins if this is not suitable in this post please feel free to move.

Good subject, but I may indeed split it

The truth is we don't know what is going to happen in a years time, certainly things have changed. I do wonder if it will practical to have Crossrail service Paddington - Reading when GWR are already providing a good service to those lines with 387s.

Even a week is a long time in politics ... but a decades is but the blink of an eye when it comes to re-opening a railway via Okehampton and Tavistock, and it's interesting to look at how the two timescales interact.

Lots of unknowns at the moment ... from yesterday's presentation I did at http://melksh.am/cc



I wonder at what will be needed in the Thames Valley, but with so many trains available and just waiting to run at Old Oak, I suspect we would / will see them come into play.   If there are too many electric trains floating around, here, the 387s could migrate away or we could even get on and do some more electrification.   More of a political timescale on that with the climate agenda.  My presentation above suggested we should be looking at electrification to Warminster and Frome.
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« Reply #591 on: September 06, 2020, 12:34:33 pm »

Due to Corona Virus we live in "Dark Days", the Railways are costing government a lot of money due to the lack of passengers and services are being (generally) kept up to roughly normal services, often with extra coaches to allow social distancing.

But the Corona Virus emergency is only TEMPORARY

Only 1 of 2 things can happen with Corona Virus,
 
One a Vaccine will be found and life can slowly return to a new normal. or
Two Corona Virus will slowly work it's way through the population, (quite quickly in the case of the USA) and life will return to the new normal.

The new normal will be much as pre-virus but many jobs will have been lost and MANY will work from home reducing Peak hour travel greatly, but remember per journey Season ticket holders generally have the Cheapest tickets. There may well be a change in rush hour train services.

But the Governments greatest task will be to get Britain working and the Economy back on track.

Construction is a great way to get things moving, well new offices won't be needed, to many working from home, New hospitals and Schools would help, New Electric (ONLY) vehicle Motorways are an idea, but building (rebuilding) railways and electrification of existing lines of would be a great way to get Britain working again.
And rebuilding the Waverley route back to Carlisle, Rebuilding the LSWR from Exeter to Plymouth, and a NEW railway from Okehampton to Launceston (electified) and on to the Cornish main line at Bodmin would be a good start.
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« Reply #592 on: September 11, 2020, 01:59:33 pm »

Due to Corona Virus we live in "Dark Days", the Railways are costing government a lot of money due to the lack of passengers and services are being (generally) kept up to roughly normal services, often with extra coaches to allow social distancing.

But the Corona Virus emergency is only TEMPORARY

Only 1 of 2 things can happen with Corona Virus,
 
One a Vaccine will be found and life can slowly return to a new normal. or
Two Corona Virus will slowly work it's way through the population, (quite quickly in the case of the USA) and life will return to the new normal.

The new normal will be much as pre-virus but many jobs will have been lost and MANY will work from home reducing Peak hour travel greatly, but remember per journey Season ticket holders generally have the Cheapest tickets. There may well be a change in rush hour train services.

But the Governments greatest task will be to get Britain working and the Economy back on track.

Construction is a great way to get things moving, well new offices won't be needed, to many working from home, New hospitals and Schools would help, New Electric (ONLY) vehicle Motorways are an idea, but building (rebuilding) railways and electrification of existing lines of would be a great way to get Britain working again.
And rebuilding the Waverley route back to Carlisle, Rebuilding the LSWR from Exeter to Plymouth, and a NEW railway from Okehampton to Launceston (electified) and on to the Cornish main line at Bodmin would be a good start.

There is no such thing as a 'new normal' it's just media speak to cause fear and panic. We didn't have a 'new normal' after the 2008 recession, nor after Swine Flu. Life changes as things evolve, tha's just general life.
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« Reply #593 on: October 29, 2020, 03:43:41 pm »

So far as trains to Okehampton are concerned, things may have been going on quietly in the background, according to a lengthy article in The Moorlander

Quote
Oke rail UPDATE - light at the end of the tunnel?

Posted By Eric Partridge on Oct 16, 2020


BEFORE 1 september 2020, Tors Road Bridge Credit Network Rail
Over the course of the last few years this newspaper has, in association with all of the various action groups and other interested parties, been campaigning incessantly for the reinstatement of the Okehampton to Exeter railway line, which was axed as a result of the ?Beeching? cuts in 1972.

More recently run as a heritage service by Dartmoor Railway ? operated by Dartmoor Railway Community Interest Company (DRCIC) ? the passenger experience included summer excursions and the Polar Express Christmas specials before their whole UK business was packaged for sale by its US owners IOWA Pacific, the troubled holding company of British American Railway Services (BARS).


AFTER 6 October 2020, Tors Road Bridge Credit Network Rail
(Continues at source...)
« Last Edit: October 29, 2020, 03:52:04 pm by Red Squirrel » Logged

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« Reply #594 on: October 29, 2020, 09:37:29 pm »

Glad to read that progress is being made (and the news that the quarry may need to be used again strengthens the case for reopening markedly). Apart from that, I enjoyed reading the article itself, quite well-written for once!

 
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« Reply #595 on: October 29, 2020, 10:55:11 pm »

Glad to read that progress is being made (and the news that the quarry may need to be used again strengthens the case for reopening markedly). Apart from that, I enjoyed reading the article itself, quite well-written for once!

Very much my view, too, on all points. There may be some that don't like the sound of a connection with HS2, but there could yet be evidence of collateral benefit.
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« Reply #596 on: December 10, 2020, 08:10:18 am »

From the Northern Route Working Group
"Making the case to reopen the Exeter-Plymouth railway via Okehampton and Tavistock"

Quote
Reopening the ?Northern Route? throughout from Exeter to Plymouth via Okehampton and Tavistock will provide transformative transport links to large parts of Devon and Cornwall, including direct trains to London, says the group examining a reopened electrified main line railway between Exeter and Plymouth via Okehampton and Tavistock.

Summary of the scheme

Core hourly daytime service to be provided by extension of South Western Railway London Waterloo-Exeter services to run to Plymouth via Okehampton and Tavistock to maximise passenger benefits and reduce additional rolling stock requirements; extra peak time trains possible if needed.

Route to be electrified throughout with in cab signalling and engineered to accommodate potential freight traffic which is currently deterred by perceived fragility of the coastal main line and steep gradients west of Newton Abbot.

Non-stop journey time from Exeter to Plymouth of 59 minutes; Exeter to Okehampton journey times of c22 minutes; Okehampton to Tavistock of c19 minutes, and Tavistock to Plymouth of c22 minutes.

Surge capacity in diversionary mode by ?flighting? trains of 3-4 trains per hour max.

Double-track railway from Exeter to Okehampton/Meldon, single track (extent to be confirmed in SOBC) through parts of Dartmoor to limit environmental impact; double track from Tavistock to Plymouth.

Potential for express connecting bus links from Okehampton serving Torrington, Holsworthy, Launceston/Bude, and Wadebridge/Padstow to provide faster East-West journeys from Exeter and beyond to those places than is currently possible by public transport.

Existing Gunnislake and Barnstaple branch services retained in full and enhanced.

Potential east-west chord line at Cowley Bridge Junction providing a direct connection from the Great Western Main Line from Taunton to Exeter, allowing trains to avoid congestion at Exeter St David?s station, and opening significant new through journey opportunities.

Summary of scheme benefits

A huge boost in transport connectivity to Mid, West, and North Devon and North Cornwall, leading to major improvement in social inclusion and access to work and education for those unable to drive or without a car.
A permanent and coherent response to the challenge of climate change.

Gives Network Rail the ability to close the coastal main line for longer to undertake its long-term resilience programme by diverting trains onto the reopened railway. This capability will make the interventions necessary cheaper, quicker and more effective, providing South Devon and Torbay with a more reliable railway far quicker than if the ?Northern Route? was not open.

Reduced road congestion and accidents on the A386 road between Tavistock and Plymouth, lower road traffic in and around Dartmoor and fewer lorry movements with potential for freight trains

Lower CO2 emissions from transport by operation of electric trains.

Opening the full through route will be much more viable economically than operating separate stubs from Exeter to Okehampton and Tavistock to Plymouth. It is the only way the full benefits of serving Tavistock and Okehampton by rail can be realised.

There's a lot more at the URL above ... quoting quite a lot here, encouraged by the following which points towards "spread the word" rather than "we want this to be our idea and keep copyright".   Also via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NorthernRouteWG/

Quote
Notes to editors

The Exeter-Plymouth via Okehampton and Tavistock railway closed as a through route in 1968, with stubs retained from Exeter to Meldon and Plymouth to Bere Alston (for the Gunnislake branch) to serve local communities and businesses. The passenger service from Okehampton to Exeter is expected to be reinstated next year.

Tavistock Okehampton Reopening Scheme CIC (TORS) is a formal body set up by members of the expert Northern Route Working Group, which has spent the last year examining the case. All work has been done on a pro bono basis to develop the case for a Strategic Outline Business Case and further work.

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« Reply #597 on: December 10, 2020, 09:01:18 am »

Goody Waterloo - Plymouth even further without refreshments.
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« Reply #598 on: December 10, 2020, 01:00:16 pm »

Goody Waterloo - Plymouth even further without refreshments.

Always one...  Grin

I like the way this has been presented - doubled throughout and electrified to boot! Better to start big and get bargained down, rather than ask for an hourly Turbo on a single track and get nowt.

Hopefully, we will at least get an official announcement on Okehampton soon, rather than the present build up of Chinese whispers.
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« Reply #599 on: December 10, 2020, 02:32:48 pm »

Goody Waterloo - Plymouth even further without refreshments.

Hopefully, we will at least get an official announcement on Okehampton soon, rather than the present build up of Chinese whispers.

We've had the Government commitment to reopening Okehampton, Tony.  It was in the National Infrastructure Strategy issued by the Treasury for the Autumn Statement a couple of weeks back.  What we don't yet know is the specification they are buying.
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