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Author Topic: Rails to Lyme Bay - just a single survivor  (Read 2525 times)
grahame
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« on: November 28, 2023, 11:01:08 »

Rails to Lyme Bay

Fortuneswell
Abbotsbury
West Bay
Lyme Regis
Seaton
Sidmouth
Exmouth

Only one has survived as a modern public railway to current times, and even that was threatened in the Beeching report - mirror at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/mirror/BRB_Beech001a.pdf - but lives on, and I suspect there would be local protests if it were to be closed now.  You have to wonder how others would have done had they lasted into the current century.

Abbotsbury was an early loss. From the Dorset echo
Quote
Within two years of the end of petrol rationing, the inevitable further decline in the branch line’s fortunes resulted in complete closure, the last train departing from Abbotsbury at 8.55pm on November 28, 1952.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2023, 07:05:32 »

Have you got the maps from the Beeching Report mirrored anywhere? Nigh impossible to make out anything on the A5 reprint, not to mention the annotations on the copy they used.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2023, 07:18:22 »

Have you got the maps from the Beeching Report mirrored anywhere? Nigh impossible to make out anything on the A5 reprint, not to mention the annotations on the copy they used.

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/mirror/BRB_Beech001b.pdf

Edit to add map part:



Noting that Abbotsbury and Fortuneswell had both gone before the Beeching Report and are not shown on the map.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2023, 07:33:59 by grahame » Logged

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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2023, 10:10:15 »

I wonder if there is a large enough potential passenger count to justify rebuilding the section of railway between Colyton & Seaton Junction as an extension of the Seaton Tramway. Aerial mapping seems to show a largely unobstructed trackbed.
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rogerpatenall
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2023, 10:13:02 »

Interesting map. Exmouth seems to be lost to the network?
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2023, 10:21:01 »

I wonder if there is a large enough potential passenger count to justify rebuilding the section of railway between Colyton & Seaton Junction as an extension of the Seaton Tramway. Aerial mapping seems to show a largely unobstructed trackbed.

Good wonder.  It leads to questions about who the customers would be.

Would it be the current customer base which I believe is largely day return leisure trips, would they pay the extra and / or want the longer journey and would the Colyton Stations facilities be redundant?

Would extra traffic arrive by train and would Seaton Junction station re-open?  If that extra traffic arrived, would there be enough capacity along the tramway to cope?

What other traffic would there be / is there?  I am aware of camping sites that have been served in the past with late trams getting campers hone from the Seaton pubs.  Would traffic be generated for the none-motoring holiday maker?

General traffic and would a tram service usefully run all day, every day, all year?  Would it abstract from the bus?
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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2023, 10:23:40 »

Interesting map. Exmouth seems to be lost to the network?

Exmouth, Gunnislake and Looe were saved in spite of being proposed for closure in the Beeching report. Okehampton and Swanage were NOT proposed for closure but never the less were lost.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2023, 11:06:54 »

I’m not sure there’s a great deal of logic to what survived and what didn’t. In Bristol only two suburban stations were to be retained post Reshaping - Stapleton Road, and St Anne’s Park. In the end the Severn Beach line survived but St Anne’s Park didn’t. Stapleton Road’s role as an important interchange was largely usurped by Bristol Parkway, and it is now only served by local trains.

Meanwhile what would now be a very useful main line via Fishponds to Yate and Gloucester is a linear park. It’s all a bit random really.
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2023, 14:56:05 »

Interesting map. Exmouth seems to be lost to the network?

Never less than amazed that for a few years, was it Exmouth that saw a service... to and from Cleethorpes?

Mark
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2023, 16:45:57 »

The "was Beeching right" argument is one that has brought animated and heated discussions for many fora!

I look at the maps, at the lines proposed for closure that survived and the lines to be kept that closed and it's surprising that there's quite a few in both categories.

In my personal view, there were some crazy suggestions that (thank goodness) failed to go through as Liverpool Exchange to Southport and some which happened and are so sorely missed these days like Oxford to Cambridge. But overall some pruning, regrettably, made sense.   I may get myself into hot waters if I suggest that two stations in Bodmin - North and General looks like overprovision, and I can understand that Tavistock does not need two railways from Plymouth but for goodness sake in should have been left with one. Halwill Junction to(wards) Torrington is another example that I suspect may have been overdue for closure - but onwards closure to Barnstaple Junction was two steps too far.  And in each of these examples I am happy to be argued against (or to have things explained to me with a local knowledge I don't have).

There are, or were, a few baffling survivors. In almost every case, they baffle less these days; so much of that comes down to the hard work of ACoRP (Association of Community Rail Partnerships) and Community Rail Partnerships.  And some really sad losses - I suspect that if Bridport had survived just a few years longer, it would survive to this day, to the economic benefit of Bridport.
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bradshaw
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2023, 17:12:44 »

I can remember the Cleethorpes service as it passed through Crewkerne during my spotting days.

Detail mentioned in two other forums.

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/topic/81475-so-cleethorpes-to-exmouth-return-196012/

https://www.lner.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10134
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Mark A
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2023, 19:25:27 »

 I may get myself into hot waters if I suggest that two stations in Bodmin - North and General looks like overprovision

Not sure how the levels work for Bodmin - yes, the place really needed one station and a Bridgnorth-style tunnel beneath the town, though possibly not with a Bridgnorth-style construction shaft emerging in the town centre to build it, 'cos that was just mean.

Mark
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bradshaw
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2023, 19:44:01 »

I am not sure if the Bridport branch would be open today if it had survived. The problem, dating back into the 19th century was the connecting at Maiden Newton in order to get somewhere. Until this current timetable, the two hourly trains called an hour apart so the connecting in both directions was virtually impossible.
This would mean an extended journey time.
It is far easier to get to Crewkerne, Axminster or Dorchester to get the hourly services at those stations. Each is about 30 minutes from Bridport. While most would drive, the X51 and X53 bus links to Axminster along with Weymouth/Dorchester. With only a few through trios to Crewkerne/Yeovil the No 6 bus cannot provide as good a service as the other two.

Incidentally, the Bridport Railway was so disenchanted with the connections at Maiden Newton in the 1880s they proposed doubling the line to Dorchester in an attempt to force and improvement.
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2023, 10:54:59 »

In my personal view, there were some crazy suggestions that (thank goodness) failed to go through as Liverpool Exchange to Southport and some which happened and are so sorely missed these days like Oxford to Cambridge.

The Southport proposal resulted in the chopping of a well used and popular electric extension of the Merseyrail system to Crossens. I knew locals in that town who couldn't believe that their service would be just ripped away.

The very popular South Wales resort of Porthcawl lost its railway because of low passenger receipts from that town. The truth being that all of the traffic supporting the railway was coming into the town.
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Mark A
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2023, 11:34:26 »

Wow. The Disused Railways site quotes 2 million passengers a year too. I hadn't realised that the first stretch to Crossens counts as another of the UK (United Kingdom)'s closed electrified lines.

Mark

http://disused-stations.org.uk/c/crossens/index.shtml
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