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Will this be the end?

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by elaikenn628, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. elaikenn628

    elaikenn628 New Member

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    I have just read in RAIL that the Meldon Quarry, Devon has put the 18 mile line up for sale, so will this be the end of the Dartmoor Railway, I hope not.

    eDoes anyone else think this could happen?

    Ken
     
  2. Stu in Torbay

    Stu in Torbay New Member

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  3. elaikenn628

    elaikenn628 New Member

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    That was a good little story so lets hope it will stay open.
     
  4. domeyhead

    domeyhead New Member

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    Has there been any recent talk of continuing the line down to Tavistock and Plymouth? I heard the Tavistock reconnection was a realistic possibility.
     
  5. Rumpole

    Rumpole Member

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    The Tavistock reconnection to the national network is most likely from the Plymouth end, with an extension of the current Tamar Valley line from Bere Alston to Tavistock.

    The reopening is essentially tied in with a housing development on the outskirts of Tavistock, and the most recent information I can see is at http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/files/12.08.23.kilbride.pdf. Within this document it states that preparation of a T&WO application should start 'shortly', with a public inquiry in connection with the application and re-opening anticipated some time in 2014.
     
  6. Western Dreamer

    Western Dreamer New Member

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    The story in Okehampton people dates from 2011, so not sure if it offers any comfort after the latest news. It would seem madness to lose this stretch of line given the ongoing questions about the long-term future of the sea wall route, the closure of Plymouth airport, the inclusion of the idea of regular Okehampton services in the GW franchise, and the planned reopening to Tavistock (leaving just the Tavistock-Meldon section missing). Okehampton could be a railhead for a few London Waterloo trains for West Devon & North Cornwall.
     
  7. domeyhead

    domeyhead New Member

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    Knowing the holiday traffic problems getting to the west country it still amazes me that no TOC has managed to run a priofitable Motorail service. Okehampton would make an ideal motorail terminus as it lies west of Exeter and close to the main trunk route to/from Cornwall. It has the sidings for a locomotive runround and ample space for car loading. I am sure there are surplus wagons from new car traffic that could be sub-leased and there should be no shortage of sleepers or hauled stock. With the cost of fuel rising all the time a revivied motorail service could help maintain the viability of this line.
     
  8. campainr

    campainr New Member

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    I'd imagine the problem with starting a new motorail service is the investment in new rolling stock required. Also you can't actually carry that many cars in a train to make the price low enough and generate enough profit. The sleeper services are only just about surviving as it is.

    I can't see how the existence of the line itself should be under threat, but the effect on the tourist operation at Okehampton does seem uncertain.
     
  9. Stu in Torbay

    Stu in Torbay New Member

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    Enough catchment area/demand for a road/railfreight interchange - given there seems to be space?
     
  10. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    While I agree the Okehampton route should be retained in some form or another, I don't buy this idea it could be used as a future diversion for the sea wall section, it bypasses too many large population centres in South Devon for it to be a realistic alternative mainline in my opinion, though it has potential as a diversionary route or for local traffic, if not a heritage operation, apart from Okehampton itself, there doesn't appear to be any large population centres along the route until you reach the Tamar Valley by Tavistock.
     
  11. TonyMay

    TonyMay New Member

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    And it's one thing keeping a sleeper service going with an existing small but loyal customer base, quite another starting one up from scratch with just projections and guesswork.
     
  12. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie New Member

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    Simple answer to the lack of Motorail - convenience. It's why people like to travel by car in the first place. A (their house) to B (their caravan/hotel/campsite/b&b), to their timescale, broadly.

    Motorail on the other hand - A (their house) to B (the railhead, for an allotted time) ...sit in a queue...load on slowly...wait while vehicles are secured...get family off...get into carriage (dash back for Baby's milk)...to C (the railhead at the other end) ...get off...placate hyperactive children...wait for train to be shunted (which takes time, oh boy does it take time)...to D (the caravan/hotel/campsite/b&b).

    The only way you could possibly make a success of it was with a cost that was significantly less than the petrol to drive down and/or a significantly lessened journey time A to B. Neither of which I can see as an option in the way the British rail network runs today.
     
  13. John Stewart

    John Stewart Well-Known Member

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    I would like to see Plymouth reconnected to Tavistock and then to Oakhampton for the benefit of locals and as an alternative route during planned closures on the GW main line. However, I think that the Dawlish sea wall problem tends to be exaggerated. It is not all that difficult to make it weatherproof. Basically it needs either a new, higher, more robust sea wall, which would probably take up around 5m of beach, or some enormous rocks spread on the beach to break the wave power, probably taking 10m to 15m. Both would be costly but nothing like the cost of reconnecting Tavistock with Oakhampton. (I assume that Bere Alston to Tavistock will have been funded by then).
     
  14. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    The Dartmoor Railway website says it is owned, since 2008, by Iowa Pacific Holdings. If Iowa Pacific don't own the land then, presumably, they must have a lease which any new landowner would be required to honour.
     
  15. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR New Member

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    It's Okehampton. I'm only correcting publicly because I see it wrongly spelt so often. Hope no one minds and it is useful. Regards, Howard
     
  16. Stu in Torbay

    Stu in Torbay New Member

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    LOL, its like the way the Yanks refer to Ilfracombe as "Il-fra-comm-bay"
     
  17. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Okehampton was a motorail terminus in the past, c. 1961 I believe.
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Would this have been on the Lartigue system, perhaps using the stock from the Listowel line? :doh:
     
  19. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    B****r! OK so I should pay attention already ....


    Motorail :D
     
  20. domeyhead

    domeyhead New Member

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    It sounds to me like you have never been stuck on the M5 or the A35 outside of Exeter for four hours having had a miserable torrid time all the way down from the Midlands with a car full of screaming kids. Believe me when you have, queueing to get on a train does not seem half so bad!
     

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