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Author Topic: Dawlish Avoiding Line - ongoing discussion, merged topic  (Read 150294 times)
eightf48544
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« Reply #285 on: May 08, 2014, 10:54:35 am »

My thoughts are strengthen the seawall, which will hopefully stave off having to build a new line from Exeter to Newton Abbott for a few more years. Putting off such projects fits in well with our natinal phsyche

However, at the same time reinstate Okehampton Bere Alston as has been said as a railhead for North Devon for Plymouth and Exeter and as diversionary route. In order to forfill the latter requirement the line will need to built with a capcity of at least 3 tph each way so some more loops south of Bere Alston will be required as well double track on the new line.  There would be a normal 1tph local service (possibly 2tph to Tavistock in the peak). This would give scope for a London and Bristol (Reversing at Exeter) to Plymouth train per hour when when Dawlish is shut. It would also probably have to be open 24/7 when in use as a diversionary route for stock moves and freight (of which there should be much more).
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Dark Star
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« Reply #286 on: June 22, 2014, 05:52:38 pm »

Sorry I've been on a jolly around Europe, so delay in reply to Eighf 48544, I quite agree with his post, indeed there should be much more freight into Plymouth and Cornwall but modern "just in time" delivery doesn't sit happily with One Route to Plymouth.
So reopen the LSW route to Plymouth is sound idea.

How about a second route to bypass RAB at Saltash, rebuild the North Cornwall line??

Passport in hand, hard hat on head,hold that EUROSTAR, I'll be back.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #287 on: July 02, 2014, 05:36:02 pm »

From the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page):

Quote
Dawlish railway track alternatives 'too expensive'

Building an alternative to a major railway track destroyed in winter storms would be prohibitively expensive, the BBC understands.

The cost of alternatives to the coastal track at Dawlish in Devon are "eye-watering", said sources.

Network Rail is considering five options, including reinstating the Okehampton line.

The line, which links much of the South West with the rest of the UK (United Kingdom), was destroyed by storms in February.



Network Rail is preparing a government commissioned report into the inland alternatives.

BBC South West Political Correspondent Martyn Oates said: "It would appear to leave strengthening the existing line, a few feet from the sea at the bottom of the cliffs, as the only option. However, it's understood this itself has yet to be costed."

Network Rail said in a briefing to MPs (Member of Parliament) in February that reinstating the Okehampton line would cost up to ^700m.

Network Rail's options are:
- Reinstate the Okehampton line (between Plymouth and Exeter, via Okehampton), which closed in 1967
- Create a new line connecting existing freight lines from Alphington (near Exeter) and Heathfield (near Newton Abbot)
- Three options between Newton Abbot and Exeter via Teignmouth (with new tunnels)

The briefing also suggested making the existing coastal railway "more resilient".
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #288 on: July 02, 2014, 06:04:09 pm »

I'm genuinely rather puzzled by the timing of this story - has Martyn Oates been on a five-month sabbatical? Just wondering why he's telling us now about a briefing that took place in February? Or is the 'news' element of this story the detail that 'sources' have just got round to replacing their calculator batteries and are therefore, at last, able to reveal that ^700 million is an 'eye-watering' amount? Huh

Or has the story been placed to prepare us for disappointment when the report on alternatives is published?  Cry
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bobm
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« Reply #289 on: July 02, 2014, 06:15:05 pm »

I fear your last sentence could be the telling one....
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ACE
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« Reply #290 on: July 02, 2014, 07:00:49 pm »

Never saw this coming, did we?
https://www.facebook.com/bbcspotlight  Angry
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« Reply #291 on: July 02, 2014, 09:32:06 pm »

Well, it's game on as far as I'm concerned. The arguments are complex, and the costs and socio-economic benefits uncertain. What is certain though is that the closure of the main line earlier this year hurt most of Devon and all of Cornwall a lot, and perhaps more than expected. So, I'm willing to run a campaign to open some sort of alternative to Dawlish that means trains can keep running. Crucial question - is anyone prepared to back it?

Andy
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ChrisB
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« Reply #292 on: July 03, 2014, 08:29:43 am »

Yet to see aby verifiable figures oddly
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #293 on: July 03, 2014, 08:58:16 am »

I watched the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) local news (2 July)  (is it 'Spotlight South West?') on the iPlayer - they're talking figures way over ^1BN for diversionary routes.

The Borders Railway website now has a page of videos taken from drones (see http://www.bordersrailway.co.uk/progress/videos.aspx ) which show what you get for just over ^10M/mile. Without droning on (again!) about demolition of houses on the trackbed, diversions, new bridges and so on I was surprised to see how much work has been done on the open line - new embankments, culverts, re-inforced cuttings and so on. This line, when it opens, will be better than new.

We know that any new line in Devon will require platinum rails and that any new structures will need to be made out of diamond, but even so it's hard to see how they could spend in excess of a billion on any of these routes.
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grahame
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« Reply #294 on: July 03, 2014, 09:21:11 am »

Well, it's game on as far as I'm concerned. The arguments are complex, and the costs and socio-economic benefits uncertain. What is certain though is that the closure of the main line earlier this year hurt most of Devon and all of Cornwall a lot, and perhaps more than expected. So, I'm willing to run a campaign to open some sort of alternative to Dawlish that means trains can keep running. Crucial question - is anyone prepared to back it?

Official view ... the forum's here for discussions such as this, and posts pressing for additional / alternative routes are most welcome, including links to events, campaigns, etc.  ... please make use of our resource.  You may like to note that our server is backed up quite often, and in the event of a failure of our infrastructure, we have an alternative way to get you to the site you want to go to within a few hours. Of course, we have taken a careful view of the cost of having that available in comparison to what we would loose if it wasn't there, and also a comparison to having a single system that's ultra-robust.
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eightf48544
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« Reply #295 on: July 03, 2014, 11:22:14 am »

Quote from: Andyroden on Yesterday at 09:32:06 PM
So, I'm willing to run a campaign to open some sort of alternative to Dawlish that means trains can keep running. Crucial question - is anyone prepared to back it?

Yes in my limited fashion, although I think it should be led from Devon/Cornwall.

Working hypothesis: Plymouth and Cornwall require a resilient rail link to the main Network. 
This needs to be the core objective agreed by everyone.

How to achieve it.

 As I've stated in my previous post in this thread, it seems to me that the Dawlish seawall should be repaired/stenghthed to the highest possible standard It would be a waste to have spend millions on the recent repairs only to have it breached again in the next 1 in 1000 year storm.

However, as these storms seem to be occuring more frequently it would seem prudent to consider alternatives.

The obvious one being the ex Southern route via Okehampton and Tavistock. This was built as a main line over quite rugged terrain to a reaonable standard. When I worked at Waterloo in the early 60s and we still controlled the line I was not aware that were any major problems with the actual infrastructure. Obviously drainage will need to be improved as many culverts will be blocked.
Possibly Meldon Viaduct.

Therefore, there seem to be few obstacles (apart form Sustrans?) in the way of reinstatement.

There also seems to be a number of arguments other than providing an alternative route to Plymouth in the event another breach of the seawall. It will give Tavistock there long awaited link to Plymouth. Further it will provide a railhead (Okehampton Parkway?) for a large portion of North Devon/Cornwall via the A30.

Who knows, if we could overcome the C19th rivalries (LSWR (London South Western Railway) GWR (Great Western Railway)) you could even have trains running to Paddington from this line (reversing at St Davids).

The third future (distant) objective would be the Dawlish avoiding line hopefully built before the seawall becomes irrepairable.

i would suggest that the first objective of strengthening the seawall is almost achieved. It is the standard and projected longevity that is arguable.

Therefore, work should be concentrated on making the case for reinstating the Southern line as perhaps the main line in the event of a breach (to be discussed).

Which could mean that plans should be drawn up for a single line over the seawall or build the bypass.

Just stones in the pond to see how far the ripples get.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #296 on: July 03, 2014, 03:57:53 pm »

Quote

No Dawlish line alternative 'ruled out'

A report detailing alternatives to the vulnerable Dawlish rail line has not ruled out any of the five options being investigated, the Western Morning News understands.

The BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) has reported the Network Rail analysis of five new links has deemed a possible cross-country route through Okehampton to be "too expensive", and that strengthening the existing line is the "only option".

But sources have told the Western Morning News the report - due to be handed to the Department for Transport this week - makes no recommendation or "value judgement" on which is the favoured way forward.

Read full article at http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Dawlish-line-alternative-ruled/story-21324327-detail/story.html#4SV5sIuYSr66sXdd.99


The Western Morning News' sources are plainly different to the BBC's...

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« Reply #297 on: July 03, 2014, 05:00:21 pm »

Bit of gun jumping,possibly.At the height of the aftermath of the seawall breach back in February,the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) reported this;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26110559

Hopefully the BBC sources will prove to be as unreliable now as they were then.
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chaulender
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« Reply #298 on: July 04, 2014, 11:09:13 am »

The latest report on the Council website gives a total figure of ^26m for the re-instatement of the Bere Alston to Tavistock line, a distance of 5.5 miles; and planning for that is already in progress.

So, the creation of a total Exeter/Okehampton/Plymouth link would require only the incremental re-instatement of the Tavistock to Meldon section, which I think is about 17 miles.  Just scaling up for distance would give a figure of ^80m.  Simplistic I know, but even doubling the cost/mile would give a ^160m cost.

So what's the basis of the "at least ^700m" cost quoted for re-creating the Exeter/Okehampton/Plymouth line?  Is there a known huge cost re Meldon viaduct?  Or is the ^700m number based on creating a highly engineered mainline over the whole route with full signalling and high capacity?  If so, that is surely not the appropriate brief.  Surely what's needed is a line that could be available as an emergency diversionary route, whilst having the advantage of enabling an ongoing 'local' service.  It might not be able to handle a full service in emergency times but I'm sure having some sort of service during the recent coastal closure would have been a huge plus.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #299 on: July 04, 2014, 12:30:36 pm »

Surely what's needed is a line that could be available as an emergency diversionary route, whilst having the advantage of enabling an ongoing 'local' service.  It might not be able to handle a full service in emergency times but I'm sure having some sort of service during the recent coastal closure would have been a huge plus.

Which would still leave the entire Torbay and South Hams area without a rail service when the sea wall route is closed. I still maintain that the best option for all is a new inland route between Exminster and Newton Abbot.
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