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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by 50044 Exeter, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Sorry to be pernickety, but ...... From what I'm seeing, there's a question of tense here. Having not yet been 'gained', so far as many in Parracombe are concerned, there is nothing to be 'lost', merely a more homogenised consensus against incomers who've established a track record for .... is there a nice way of saying "lying through their teeth to present a fait accomplis"? Make no mistake, that's precisely how it would be seen.

    I'm completely with @SpudUk, although I'd take it a step further and outright say any high handed behaviour with respect to local sensibilities will remove any realistic prospect of future good relations. It seems to need mentioning that it won't do much for many who feel their support was solicited under false pretences either.
     
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  2. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    What a helpful chart! And yes, wildly varying lengths, but presumably (and sadly) the effort is not proportional to the trackbed length. Is there any clarity on when the TWAO application is going to go in?
     
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  3. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    Whatever the rights and wrongs of reopening the railway (and clearly, there are some who will never support it), I can't help wondering if this latest planning round might have had a smoother ride if the ambitions had been scaled back to simply carrying out some token work to secure the existing permission, rather than pushing on to Parracombe as a temporary terminus. Reading the objections, once you strip out those who are simply going over old ground, the main issue seems to be the perceived unsuitability of the site as a terminus. Regardless of whether or not you agree with that, it would have been easier, surely, not to have needed to have that argument at all?

    [For what it's worth, when we were down in Devon a few years ago we drove into Parracombe and tried to find the former station site and failed miserably. Had the option of catching a train there been available, that would have reduced the car movements in the village by 1 that day. I wonder how much higher than 1 the real figure is?]
     
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  4. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    It is really useful. Now we all have a handy resource for future reference, plus something we haven't had readily available up until now, which is the actual number of separate plots involved in EA's part of the reinstatement, and while there is still a good way to go on aquisitions, it's nice to know that there are some currently "in the pot".
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2022
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  5. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    I think that would have added to the opposition's view that the railway would start something and then leave it half finished. An extension to Parracombe would at least prove that the railway can finance and construct an extension, this would be one less point that the opposition could use against further extensions.
     
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  6. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    Keith (@ghost)

    The obvious problem with this argument is that an extension to Parracombe would risk leaving the extension through ENPA unfinished if the subsequent funds weren't raised or CP powers were turned down in the TWAO Public Enquiry -- hence the Grampian Conditions being imposed in the first place. Indeed, the current plan is even riskier by building two separate railways and then connecting them up. Why is the Trust propsing to do it this way? How would it even work until the middle section and the depot is built at Rowley Farm?

    Thanks,

    Toby
     
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  7. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    I'm with @SpudUk @30854 and others: I'm very keen to extend the railway, and Bridge 65 plus associated works seems like a sensible step to lock in the planning permission, but I'm wary about Parracombe unless there is strong local support for it.
     
  8. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Follow the signs (if there are any) for the Village Hall, and when you get there keep going until you run out of road :)
     
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  9. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    It's a little uphill from the pub; I guess MW didn't offer a rack option on the 2-6-2Ts to get up and down to the centre of Parracombe.....
     
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  10. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    But the pp grampian conditions don't allow for just a few bits to be built.
    I agree that the '2 railways' scheme seems rather odd, but the extension to Parracombe may help to reinvigorate support for the railway and show the locals what can be achieved
     
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  11. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    ...hence the need for the Sec 73 applications.

    But I think the key point under discussion here is whether the Sec 73 perhaps should have been confined to just Bridge 65 for now (to secure the trackbed permission) plus the road accesses at Blackmoor (to secure the other applications), leaving the more contentious issue of going to Parracombe as a temporary terminus to a latter date (by which time we might even be able to carry straight on through...).
     
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  12. ross

    ross Member

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    Apart from the few preserved railways that were able to simply buy a closed line as a whole, most railways have grown slowly from their initial base and short running line. Many have extended to much beyond what their original supporters thought would be feasible. Nothing succeeds like success- and nothing fails like failure, as anyone who has followed Scottish football can attest.
    We all know that the early stages of a project are slow and hard- the few try to keep momentum with small resources, against all the naysayers. Then after a time, progress becomes tangible, support increases, funds start to increase, progress becomes quicker, begetting more support, money etc. The clever way forward, especially in this age of social media, is to celebrate small victories. Can you fund a 50 foot extension? Yes, then build a 50 foot extension, declare it a triumph, and start asking for funds for the next 50'. The Corris lot seem to have sussed this, and their website seems to have photos of every new doorknob, every bit of fresh paint, every lorryload of spoil for the southern extension. And it seems to be working.
    The opposition know this too, hence the absurd claim that the L&B might not (eventually) complete the project due to lack of resources. By insisting that the funds are in place to complete the entire Barnstaple to Lynton route before any work can begin, they hope to mire the railway in perpetual fundraising, whilst preventing any visible progress.
    It is essential for the future of the L&B that there is a 'breakout' from the constraints of Woody Bay to Killington Lane. I am not sure if a new, temporary terminus at Parracombe is the best next step. The target has to be somewhere, and there aren't a lot of somewheres to choose from on Exmoor. Still less on the original route, and most of those somewheres are pretty inaccessible.
    It might be that consideration should be given to establishing a new railhead somewhere else (as in the 'two railways' scheme) and mothballing the KL-Woody Bay section. A bitter pill for those who have worked so hard, but if you can't afford two railways, resources, staff, locos, rolling stock et al, you have to do what you can afford.
    My own view is that a southern extension from Killington Lane to a temporary terminus near St Petrock's could be attainable, without some of the opposition created by aiming for Parracombe Halt itself.
    Maj.Gen. Browning's words regarding the bridge at Arnheim come to mind
     
  13. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    My first thought when I read this was to hear Urquhart's famous quote about lunatics laughing from the woods;), but I get it. By the way, such a proposal would involve topping and tailing, as no run-round would be available, so probably not economic.
    Incidentally, as for the idea of mothballing an established operational railway along with all it's resources, for what is effectively a greenfield site with no facilities, virtually no access, except off a lane at the southern end, no parking whatsoever, no space for a run round, shed nor maintenance of any kind, plus a far less scenic journey... Sounds enticing, doesn't it.
    Cup of tea, sir?
     
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  14. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    And full marks to Corris, they're doing a great job.

    In fairness, it is for us to demonstrate the absurdity of this.

    Except that that's not what the situation is, unless I've completely missed something. AIUI, the Grampian Conditions require the Trust to own all the land between KL and Blackamoor Gate and have the funding in place to complete this as a single project. Unfortunately, at least one landowner has said publicly that they won't sell without CP powers, and the only way to get CP powers is via a TWAO, and this almost certainly means a Public Enquiry. This isn't a problem per se, but the length of time (exacerbated by COVID etc) means that there is a real risk that the Planning Permission will lapse next spring, meaning you'd have to start all over again.

    Ergo, to avoid this, the railway needs to start construction, and any one of the s73 orders would allow that. Given that it has the lowest impact on Paracombe, Bridge 65 (very tangible process) strikes me as the easiest to get through - getting the Grampian Conditions waived entirely seems unlikely. And then we have to raise the money to acquire the land and build the whole thing.
     
  15. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    Let's not forget that re-instatement of the railway is a policy in the local plan and the existing planning consent accepted this, objections to the S73 amendment need to concentrate on reasons why the construction should not be phased. The trust will have discussed the application with officers at ENPA who would have advised on what documents needed to be submitted.
     
  16. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Which is why IMHO the Board needs to be more 'open' and informative towards the membership as to the current situation, so that we can be more accurately optimistic/pessimistic about the possible outcome.
     
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  17. evosport

    evosport New Member

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  18. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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  19. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    Thanks @evosport . But I'm now (charitably speaking) more confused than before -- looking at this, I would understand that the plan was to build Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 in that order; there is no other logical position to take.

    However, it seems that what were actually proposing is Stage 1, Stage 3, Stage 2 -- in which case, for the purposes of transparency, why not list them in that order? Again, either I've got it badly wrong, or this is another needless piece of sophistry that does the Trust no good at all.
     
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  20. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Actually, if you look at the Construction Stage Plan, and especially Appendix A1 therein, there are four Stages which are listed in chronological order of construction. The slightly confusing bit, though I understand why it has been done, is that Stage 3 is in fact the work in the NDC area, and therefore nothing to do with the Sec 7s application at all, but included for completeness in the overall scheme for Phase 2A.

    What is really confusing IMHO is that the 'Stage' breakdown given in the nice fancy map in the website update has different Stages from those used in the Construction Stage Plan, and in a different sequence too !! Oh dear.......:-(
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
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