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Author Topic: Lynton - Barnstaple railway extension plans  (Read 39235 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2016, 08:06:24 am »

The NDJ is Mrs FT, N!'s chip-wrapper of choice, but we are not there this week so didn't see it. Thank you, CfN!

The true situation could be conveyed with a simple one-word edit in the article. Before the words "Mrs Louise Grob" delete the word "including" and replace with the word "namely".

I shall find the outline application, and express my full support. I think it would be an asset to the area for a number of reasons, and not just to me (and my small business interest in North Devon).
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 08:14:45 am by Four Track, Now! » Logged

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TonyK
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« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2016, 07:00:01 pm »

The Planning Applications (seven in total) have been submitted.

Those to be determined by the Exmoor National Park Authority are here.

Those to be decided by North Devon District Council are at this address and this address.

The consultation period ends on 4 March 2016. The railway would certainly welcome comments to the two authorities in support - please see their website for more information.
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« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2017, 07:24:52 am »

The Lynton and Barnstaple, I learned yesterday, has had the longest gap from a line closing to being re-opened as a heritage line of any in the UK (United Kingdom).   I wonder if it will ever reach Barnstaple Town again - will you see a train here, and might you ever see a connection onwards?   A very brief look over the last couple of days showed a lovely path and cycle way beside the river, but a loss of all sign of the bridge that brought the railway across from "Barnstaple Junction" as it was to the town itself.



Another long gap between closure and re-opening was the Welsh Highland, and should the Leek and Manifold re-open at any point it would eclipse the claim of the Lynton and Barnstaple.

There's a well know story (and it was told yesterday) that a group of local councillors went up to London to see the Southern Railway when the closure proposals for the Lynton and Barnstaple came out in the 1930s.  However, they let slip that they'd travelled by road and hadn't used the very railway they set out to save ...
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« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2017, 01:34:20 pm »

Following a recommendation by a member of GWR (Great Western Railway) management I took a trip to the Lynton & Barnstaple this morning and I wasn't disappointed.



It was certainly worth paying the extra £3 to travel first class.  Not only did it get me away from a coachload of schoolchildren but it afforded me a compartment of my own at the end of the train with the best views of the countryside.



Obviously helped by the lovely weather but the scenery was some of the best I have seen on a heritage railway.







At present the railway offers a two mile round trip to Killington Lane.



Beyond the buffer stops is the target for the extension towards Blackmoor Gate.

Well worth a visit and easily accessible by public transport.

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TonyK
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« Reply #34 on: July 12, 2017, 06:31:46 pm »

The North Devon Gazette reports that a £600,000 new-build steam loco has been acquired by the L&B to replace that lost in 1935.

Quote
New £600,000 locomotive is ‘returning’ to the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway


The LYN locomotive at Alan Keef's yard in Herefordshire. Picture: Trevor Garnham

North Devon’s biggest heritage railway has made a massive investment with a completely new build steam locomotive to replace the one lost in 1935.

A £600,000-plus investment will see a brand new steam locomotive arrive at a North Devon heritage railway this September.

The Lynton and Barnstaple Railway at Woody Bay will welcome back a new built copy of its famous LYN locomotive at its Autumn Gala at the station on Saturday, September 30.

The engine has been built at the works of engineering contractor Alan Keef in Herefordshire and has been made possible thanks to funding from independent charity The 762 Club.

The famous narrow gauge railway which ran from Lynton to Barnstaple for less than 40 years has £16million ambitions to reopen swathes of track and put North Devon back on the map as a rail destination.

The Lynton and Barnstaple Railway is bidding to be restored to its former glory as a massive boost to the North Devon economy. Picture: Tony Nicholson
It ran from 1898 to 1935 but since 1979 a dedicated band of volunteers has been working tirelessly to reinstate the railway.

The LYN will be a big part of those plans and marketing director Keith Vingoe of the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Trust said the new-build loco is the fastest ever to be built in heritage railway history, at just over eight years.

He said: “Although it looks like the locomotive scrapped in 1935, what’s going on underneath is a very different things altogether.

“Effectively it’s the greenest steam locomotive to be built in the UK (United Kingdom) and it’s more than £600,000 investment in North Devon and Exmoor tourism.

“The LYN will have a permanent home at the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, though it may also visit other railways as there is a great deal of interest in this engine.”

The original LYN was a Baldwin 2-4-2 and was commonly referred to by railway staff as ‘The Yankee’.

Despite a few teething problems, LYN was a popular and distinctive engine that was also the most powerful on the line - on occasion pulling five-coach trains, one more than normally allowed.

Closure of the line came in September in 1935, and after the November auction when LYN was sold for £50 it was quickly reduced to pile of scrap with only the nameplates, head-lamp and gauge glass surviving.

The modern railway already has a mile of track from Woody Bay Station, but £16.5m extension plans are in the works to add another four-and-a-half miles to take it to Blackmoor Gate and Wistlandpound.

Final planning permission could be granted as early as September.
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Umberleigh
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« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2017, 08:15:16 pm »

Well done to all the volunteers and supporters who have achieved their goal of a replica of L&BR (British Rail(ways)) Baldwin loco 762 which was scrapped in the 30s when the line was closed - a tremendous achievement:

http://www.762club.com/762home.php

Really need some positive news on the planning front though, as it is now a very long time since the railway was extended to Killington lane, a bare mile from Woody Bay

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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2017, 11:39:47 pm »

With many thanks for your update post, Umberleigh, I have now merged it with an ongoing discussion topic here, purely in the interests of clarity and continuity.  Smiley

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« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2018, 09:37:19 am »

The NDJ is Mrs FT, N!'s chip-wrapper of choice, but we are not there this week so didn't see it. Thank you, CfN!

The true situation could be conveyed with a simple one-word edit in the article. Before the words "Mrs Louise Grob" delete the word "including" and replace with the word "namely".

I shall find the outline application, and express my full support. I think it would be an asset to the area for a number of reasons, and not just to me (and my small business interest in North Devon).

An update:

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/multi-million-pound-plans-north-1274811

Part of the article:

Quote
Multi-million pound plans to extend a historic North Devon are being recommended for approval – despite running within feet of the house in which Lorna Doone was written.

The application is the first of three further phases which are planned to complete the full reinstatement of the railway from Lynton to Barnstaple and is set to have £10m a year of benefits to the economy.

The first phase would see the reinstatement of 4.5 miles of track which would lead from the end of the existing line at Killington Lane to the north of Parracombe, to Blackmoor Gate, and under the A399 and then outside the Exmoor National Park towards Wistlandpound Reservoir.

A report to planners advises that this phase is the pivotal phase and will establish the railway’s centre of operations at Blackmoor Gate and provide the platform for the completion of the next two phases – the extension from Woody Bay to Lynton and from Wistlandpound to Barnstaple.

But residents are protesting against the plans and say that the line will run with a few yards of the house in which Lorna Doone was written by R.D.Blackmore.

The house where Lorna Doone was written is now lived in by their Louise Grob, and her dad Douglas May said: “There has been tremendous ill will and upset but I have a horrible feeling it’s a fait accompli.”

Mrs Lee, who lived in Parracombe for many years, said: “Everyone is up in arms and no one is listening.”

Mr May said: “It was closed because it goes up such a steep incline that it’s dangerous. There have been tremendous protests and it goes through such beautiful countryside.

“It runs within a few yards of a very famous church – St Petrocs, which people come from all over the world to visit.

“It also is going to be within five or 10ft of the house where Lorna Doone was written by R.D.Blackmore.”

But the planners are asked to back five separate planning applications when they meet on Tuesday at Lynton Town Hall.

An economic impact statement submitted with the application says that the proposals are expected to increase passenger numbers to 70,000 a year and will have a direct economic benefit of £10million per year over the next 10 years.

The report adds that the net economic benefits, when the account of construction cost is added, is approximately £62million and that it will create at least 24 full time jobs.

The original Lynton to Barnstaple railway was opened in 1898 and was built as a narrow gauge railway, but closed in 1935. The current railway reopened in 2004 and operates from Woody Bay Station.

The extension plans advise that the railway would continue to operate for 12 months of the year, and would provide rolling stock that would comprise twelve carriages that would provide capacity for 70,000 passengers a year.

Recommending approval, the report says: “The proposal is not considered to bring insurmountable environmental impacts and while there are some objections to the proposal, there is support, and the various technical experts that have been consulted are satisfied that the proposals are acceptable.

“Officers have concluded that in terms of impact on the landscape and heritage assest there will be minor harm and that other impacts including ecology, flood risk and highway safety are acceptable.

“Officers consider that the proposal will increase recreational opportunities in the National Park and will provide opportunities for increasing the understanding and enjoyment of the national beauty, wildlife, and cultural heritage of the National Park – both through the experience of travelling on the train itself and the opportunities for viewing and better understanding and appreciating the National Park from it.
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« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2018, 11:37:53 am »

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It was closed because it goes up such a steep incline that it’s dangerous.

Really? My official 'History of the Lynworth and Barnchester Railroad', which sadly I have mislaid but I am sure I'm remembering correctly, said that the main reason the line closed was because the rails were attracting magnetic Martian goob-goob rays which were making the alpaca milk go bad, thus damaging the local hipster economy. But I may be misremembering....

Quote
It runs within a few yards of a very famous church – St Petrocs, which people come from all over the world to visit.

In a cutting...

They'll be able to get there by train when the line is built - isn't that better than clogging up the lanes with tourist buses?

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TonyK
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« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2018, 12:38:32 pm »

Exactly, Red Squirrel. I've been in that church, (St Petrock's Church in Churchtown, Parracombe) and had to travel there by car. It is very pretty, but has been redundant since 1969, not even benefiting from the short-lived craze for pet rocks in the mid-1970s. But didn't the railway run by it, and the house where Laura Dune was written, for nigh on 40 years until closure? I can find no record of complaints about it during those times. In any case, Blackmore hasn't written any books there since he joined Deep Purple in 1968.

So what's the problem? Ah - I see the name of Louise Grob! She appears concerned that this will become the south-western arm of HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)). She is not in a minority of one - I found two further objections in a random prod at the representations on the planning website.  She and her family may well have concerns about the railway passing so close to their properties, but they seem to have exaggerated the likely effects to the point where their valid objections become lost, a bit like Dele Alli hoping for a penalty.

(Like Red Squirrel, I might have some of the facts slightly mis-remembered.)
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grahame
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« Reply #40 on: March 01, 2018, 12:51:56 pm »

To put the timeline in context

Lorna Doone was published in 1869 (and presumably written in the year or two leading up to that

The Lynton and Barnstaple was opened in 1898 and closed in 1935; it failed to serve the business needs of the area, indeed there's the famous urban (rural?) legend of the local dignitaries going to Waterloo to plead the case for its retention - but travelling by car not by train.

I've seen no evidence of complaints of the railway causing issues at the location of the cottage where Lorna Doone was written during the time it was open.

There might just be a significant financial opportunity for the owner of Lorna Doone author's place should the railway bring tourists who would like to see the place, as well as a bit of "nuisance value" brought indirectly if people came to the area by train and walked around poking their noses up against the glass of people's homes they wished to keep private. One wonders what the local's views on whether to become a tourist attraction, sell up to the highest bidder, or go into siege mentality while shouting how the system has wronged them might be.
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« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2018, 02:07:21 pm »

While following the White Rabbit that grahame's recent post set running, I found the 40-odd page report that Ms Grob commissioned Peter Brett Associates to compile in opposition to the L&B's scheme.

Here's an example of their work: I won't quote it verbatim, for fear of finding myself on the wrong end of copyright litigation, but Para 2.2.2 claims that Parracombe Halt never functioned as a place where people could get on or off a train but acted merely as a place where (and I paraphrase slightly, but not much) fuel was put in locomotives' water tanks.

I am not a lawyer, or an expert on the history of the L&B, but I think that assertion could probably be challenged...

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« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2018, 03:27:22 pm »

Looking at old maps, Parracombe is never shown as a having a halt, let alone a station, just Parracombe Siding. Woody bay is shown as a station (though not at Woody Bay, obviously). Finding a map with the route on it does show just how remarkably wiggly it was.
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« Reply #43 on: March 01, 2018, 04:41:15 pm »

...also noting that Woody Bay was the highest station in Southern England....

From Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynton_and_Barnstaple_Railway

Quote
The L&B rises and falls several times along its length. Starting at 15 feet (4.6 m) above sea level, The first 3 3⁄4 miles (6.0 km), through Barnstaple, and along the Yeo Valley stays relatively level. Collard Bridge marks the start of an 8-mile (13 km) climb, mainly at one in fifty, to Blackmoor Gate. A shallower down-gradient follows, of about 2 miles (3.2 km), towards Parracombe Bank, and the start of another climb, of about 2 1⁄2 miles (4 km), to Woody Bay — at 1,000 feet (305 m), the highest railway station in southern England. The line then falls, again mostly at one in fifty (2%) - to Lynton & Lynmouth station, still 700 feet (213 m) above the sea, and hidden by the landscape from the town of Lynton. The minimum radius on curves was 5-chain (100 m).
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« Reply #44 on: March 01, 2018, 05:44:57 pm »

Finding a map with the route on it does show just how remarkably wiggly it was.

That was the whole point of narrow gauge - It allows tighter curves to allow the line to cling to contours reducing the need for costly earthworks and structures. 
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