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Author Topic: Bideford looks to restore rail link to Barnstaple  (Read 1685 times)
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« on: January 31, 2022, 03:12:04 pm »
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2022, 11:46:50 am »

They refer to a “restoring your railways” application, but the tone of the last DfT» (Department for Transport - about) announcement in October suggests to me that process is complete?   

There were four applications over the three phases that failed to make the cut that involved Barnstaple, but Bideford wasn’t ever a part of any of the named “ideas” as far as I can see.

« Last Edit: February 01, 2022, 11:52:26 am by paul7575 » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2022, 03:01:27 pm »

I do wish people wouldn't give their campaigns such odd names, makes the proposers seem like complete cranks.

I also wonder of the wisdom of suggesting it be built on top of a sea wall, surely that's a recipe for getting it kicked into the long grass?

Does anyone know how easy it would be operationally to extend Barnstaple services?

Finally, based on the Portishead proposals, I reckon one of the main obstacles could be the level crossing at Instow. Network Rail were really not keen on the idea of one in Portishead

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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2022, 04:18:01 pm »

Not absolutely impossible at the Barnstaple end because the newish A361 / A3125 junction is raised above the level of the original railway so I think a bit of cut & cover would do the job. This has already been done with the Tarka (Line from Barnstaple to Exeter) Trail but east of the original railway alignment. Fremington inlet would probably need an additional cycle/pedestrian bridge because I don't think the old railway bridge is wide enough to take multiple traffic types.
Instow level crossing would definitely be an issue. If it cannot be retained maybe a height restricted road bridge would work (as long as the Marine Parade buses are not double-deckers).
The remainder of the original railway alignment all the way to East-the-Water doesn't appear to have any obvious obstacles. much as I am in favour of railway reopening I would question whether such a scheme would have the passenger volumes to make it at all viable.
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2022, 06:40:08 pm »

There's a bit more here with recent developments in Devon Live.

While I'll leave it to those with more local knowledge to comment on the chances of this coming to much in the current economic climate, the point made in the article about the great success of Okehampton Station and The Dartmoor Line is a good one.
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2022, 11:55:06 pm »

Indeed not absolutely impossible, but the railway is on the wrong side of the river at Bideford and up a bit of a hill, and Barnstaple station is also not brilliantly positioned for the town centre. The current bus service takes you more conveniently centre to centre, almost certainly more frequently than the train would run. Perhaps the train is envisaged more to connect Bideford with the wider world, but if competition from the railway reduces bus passenger numbers and so leads to a reduced frequency I'm not sure that fewer buses or a walk to the station would be more popular locally than keeping the existing level of bus service.

If the line hadn't closed I'd definitely support keeping it open, but reopening it now is a different matter.
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