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Author Topic: Okehampton-Tavistock. Discussion on reopening and potential use as a diversionary route  (Read 231079 times)
grahame
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« Reply #600 on: December 10, 2020, 04:05:08 pm »

I like the way this has been presented - doubled throughout and electrified to boot! Better to start big and get bargained down, ...

Almost ...

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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.

Sample timetable is showing a 19 minute journey from Okehampton to Tavistock, with 13 minutes at one and and 9 minutes at the other to avoid any waiting around for a train that's a few minutes late coming off that section.  Not clear about local traffic Okehampton to Sampford Courtney / Yeoford / Crediton / Newton St Cyres flows (though I imagine that a couple of those journeys would be as rare as Barry Docks to Barry Links), nor Barnstaple to Plymouth journeys that look like they need to double back at Exeter during the daytime cycle?
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trainbuff
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« Reply #601 on: December 10, 2020, 07:41:00 pm »

I like the way this has been presented - doubled throughout and electrified to boot! Better to start big and get bargained down, ...

Almost ...

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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.

Sample timetable is showing a 19 minute journey from Okehampton to Tavistock, with 13 minutes at one and and 9 minutes at the other to avoid any waiting around for a train that's a few minutes late coming off that section.  Not clear about local traffic Okehampton to Sampford Courtney / Yeoford / Crediton / Newton St Cyres flows (though I imagine that a couple of those journeys would be as rare as Barry Docks to Barry Links), nor Barnstaple to Plymouth journeys that look like they need to double back at Exeter during the daytime cycle?

I am pleased to see this proposal which is similar to what I did for Destination Okehampton and Peninsula Rail Group (PRG) around 5 years ago. Mine had slightly less double track but was workable. I may be wrong too, please correct me if I am, but there appears to be a stopper train at Tavistock between xx52 and xx32. Or to put it another way for 40 minutes. It can shunt after the through departs at 28, but this unit is effectively blocking the route to other services such as freight for forty minutes. This must surely be an error in the sample timetable
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« Reply #602 on: December 10, 2020, 08:03:17 pm »

I like the way this has been presented - doubled throughout and electrified to boot! Better to start big and get bargained down, ...

Almost ...

Quote
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.

Sample timetable is showing a 19 minute journey from Okehampton to Tavistock, with 13 minutes at one and and 9 minutes at the other to avoid any waiting around for a train that's a few minutes late coming off that section.  Not clear about local traffic Okehampton to Sampford Courtney / Yeoford / Crediton / Newton St Cyres flows (though I imagine that a couple of those journeys would be as rare as Barry Docks to Barry Links), nor Barnstaple to Plymouth journeys that look like they need to double back at Exeter during the daytime cycle?

I am pleased to see this proposal which is similar to what I did for Destination Okehampton and Peninsula Rail Group (PRG) around 5 years ago. Mine had slightly less double track but was workable. I may be wrong too, please correct me if I am, but there appears to be a stopper train at Tavistock between xx52 and xx32. Or to put it another way for 40 minutes. It can shunt after the through departs at 28, but this unit is effectively blocking the route to other services such as freight for forty minutes. This must surely be an error in the sample timetable

As I see it, if you have a single line from Tavistock to Meldon/Okehampton, there's not much room for anything other than the hourly service each way while that runs so that 40 mins at Tavistock wouldn't matter very much.  The cost of the scheme is such that if you did decide to put in a bay at the new Tavistock station to get the terminator out of the way, it wouldn't really make a lot of difference moneywise.  If you're going to do this, what is another, say, ?10m? 

A little puzzled by Graham's comment about waiting time - the sample timetable shows one minute calls at Okehampton and Tavistock.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #603 on: December 11, 2020, 09:49:50 am »

As far as I can discern the original alignment of the LWSR route between Okehampton & Tavistock was double track. It is intended that the reinstated service will reuse this alignment. I therefore do not understand why this section of line has to be 'single track...through parts of Dartmoor to limit environmental impact.' Have I missed something obvious?
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grahame
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« Reply #604 on: December 11, 2020, 09:58:01 am »

As far as I can discern the original alignment of the LWSR route between Okehampton & Tavistock was double track. It is intended that the reinstated service will reuse this alignment. I therefore do not understand why this section of line has to be 'single track...through parts of Dartmoor to limit environmental impact.' Have I missed something obvious?

It's my understanding that cuttings and embankments degrade over time - the ones I've heard about are lines which haven't closed but rather have been singled, and to put double track back on them would require catching up with half a century of earthwork. A single track might go back in the middle of a reduced formation??
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« Reply #605 on: December 11, 2020, 11:41:51 am »

Am I right in thinking there is also an issue of an existing cycle  track on part the old trackbed?
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #606 on: December 11, 2020, 01:21:35 pm »

Yes - the Devon Coast-to-Coast (NCN 27) between Meldon and Lydford, and then for a short way on the run-in to Tavistock.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #607 on: December 11, 2020, 01:34:35 pm »

As far as I can discern the original alignment of the LWSR route between Okehampton & Tavistock was double track. It is intended that the reinstated service will reuse this alignment. I therefore do not understand why this section of line has to be 'single track...through parts of Dartmoor to limit environmental impact.' Have I missed something obvious?

It's my understanding that cuttings and embankments degrade over time - the ones I've heard about are lines which haven't closed but rather have been singled, and to put double track back on them would require catching up with half a century of earthwork. A single track might go back in the middle of a reduced formation??

Yes, by now many culverts will have collapsed, cess drains will be blocked, and tree roots will have got into everything. All that will need to be sorted out.

It's probably a bigger issue that the original formation would not have allowed for modern track access requirements, and won't have grandfather rights. If existing bridges are to be re-used, it may well be that they will only accommodate a single track now. Shame it wasn't broad gauge!
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #608 on: December 11, 2020, 04:20:15 pm »


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.

One of the justifications for this in the report is the suggestion that, as a result of climate change, the Dawlish route could be disrupted for up to 120 days a a year by 2080. If (big if) this were to be the case then it would mean that the existing service from the east to Dawlish, Teignmouth, Newton Abbott, Torquay, Paignton and Totnes would be unsustainable.

Taking his logic one step further, as these places would still need a direct service to Exeter and London, it makes much more of a case for the inland diversion option of the GWR (Great Western Railway) route than it does for reopening the northern route.




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Andy
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« Reply #609 on: December 11, 2020, 07:50:42 pm »

Looking at the proposal, it seems as if there is one new station proposed: at Tavistock. A stop at Lydford (for Lydford Gorge) with a passing loop would cut the single track section in half.
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RichardB
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« Reply #610 on: December 11, 2020, 08:37:33 pm »

Looking at the proposal, it seems as if there is one new station proposed: at Tavistock. A stop at Lydford (for Lydford Gorge) with a passing loop would cut the single track section in half.

Yes, you're right.  Just one extra station - Tavistock.  It is such a rural area between Tavistock and Okehampton that personally I don't think you could justify a station at Lydford or anywhere else between the two.  Lydford Gorge would attract some custom but I can't see it being huge.  As for another loop, depends what you want the line to do and what the Government would be prepared to pay for.   

I think Okehampton Parkway, a mile or so east of Okehampton station, has a really good chance of success and suspect that will be something to factor in to these proposals.

If the expected full reopening of Exeter - Okehampton next year is a huge success (as we all hope - and yes, those involved, including me, know the issues and limitations), that will lay the groundwork for this and, if not this, then Bere Alston - Tavistock. 

Exciting times.
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« Reply #611 on: December 11, 2020, 11:57:51 pm »

I am pleased to see this proposal which is similar to what I did for Destination Okehampton and Peninsula Rail Group (PRG) around 5 years ago.

Exciting times.

Let's hope this does indeed move forward in the next five years, and we're not just looking at more similar proposals by then.
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paul7575
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« Reply #612 on: December 12, 2020, 11:53:43 am »

One of the justifications for this in the report is the suggestion that, as a result of climate change, the Dawlish route could be disrupted for up to 120 days a a year by 2080. If (big if) this were to be the case then it would mean that the existing service from the east to Dawlish, Teignmouth, Newton Abbott, Torquay, Paignton and Totnes would be unsustainable.
That sounds suspiciously like the ?do nothing? scenario at Dawlish.  Newsflash, they?re already doing something at Dawlish designed for the conditions expected in 2115...

Paul
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« Reply #613 on: December 12, 2020, 02:16:40 pm »

I can never get my head round the fact that people knock sensible schemes like rebuilding the old LSWR (London South Western Railway) route from Exeter to Plymouth.

The plan is to return services to Okehampton (a new Railhead for much of East and North Cornwall) I'm certainly looking forward to be able to take "Normal" train services to Okehampton, I just hope there is a sensible level of service from day 1.

But to extend on to Tavistock and on to Plymouth just makes sense, Tavistock and Okehampton have expanded greatly in recent years with many new homes.

Rail Freight hardly exists in Cornwall mainly because would be freight users know only too well that the Dawlish line can go down at ANYTIME, and the rails from Newton Abbot to Plymouth have some off the shortest rail head life due to the steepness off and the sharp bends across the South Downs meaning on some days every year there are NO services between Exeter and Plymouth whilst Rail replacement occurs.
The sooner the Northern route reopens via Lydford the Better.

PS As an extra comment the Operating department of BR (British Rail(ways)) wasn't at all happy to loose the LSWR route from Plymouth to Exeter and I understand around 1971 a class 25 Locomotive and inspection saloon was arrange at Laira to work from Plymouth to Exeter, at Plymouth the PW (Permanent Way) inspection team complained the Inspection saloon was to be pushed and not hauled!
It was still believed by at the operating department at the time that the Southern Metals STILL existed from Bere Alston to Meldon.

I hope someone who worked for BR can confirm this event

Electric cars will bring a big change in travel patterns.
Whilst an electric car might have the range to travel Exeter to London, it would need to recharge before returning, and it takes a long time (typically 8 hours or more) to sensibly fully charge a Electric Car.
There is an option to rapid charge an electric car BUT it's my understanding from a Battery Expert that rapid charging takes up 1% from the Battery life, this depends on just how fast the rapid charge is (and for how long).
But after 50 rapid charges the battery power is down to around only 70% of Power available when new, as he puts it, Battery's are like people they can work VERY hard but they need to rest.
And whilst an Electric car might have a range of 250 miles on a full charge that's at an average speed of 27MPH.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #614 on: December 13, 2020, 06:46:42 pm »

I don?t know if either of the last two posts were aimed at me, but whether they were or not I will clarify my position. I have no problem with reopening Plymouth to Okehampton. If a business case can be made for it and the money can be found then that is OK by me.

What I do have a problem with is getting my head around the contention that somehow this will be a panacea for south Devon and Cornwall.

The principle problem for the railway in that part of the world is that the competition is very strong. There is now a motorway or dual carriageway from Plymouth and Carland Cross near Redruth to Chiswick in the east and to Scotland in the north. A rail replacement bus can get from Bodmin to Tiverton Parkway faster than the train can do it. Reopening the moorland route will do nothing to address that, and it is doubtful that the existing GW (Great Western) route can do much about it either.

What is needed is a high speed line from London to Plymouth and ideally beyond. Much of that is already there as far as Exeter and the problem is further west, where gradients, curvature and a winding route especially in Cornwall all contribute to the problem.

So far from a ?do nothing? stance my position is the complete opposite. We need to find a way to considerably increase speeds west of Exeter. If that involves building new sections of railway, and it probably would, then we should be concentrating on that and getting on with it pronto. If we can have the Okehampton route as well then that would be icing on the cake, but whatever happens it will be always be the secondary route to the far west.


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