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DavidB-AU

Storm-hit Dawlish railway line 'may be moved out to sea'

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I did wonder when I saw that report yesterday if Grayling had been receiving geography lessons from Raab.

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I think this proposal has been around for a couple of years, since the hoo-hah after the last lengthy closure. Costly? Maybe - but as costly as going inland, either locally or via Okehampton? Probably not. 

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Posted (edited)

It is too far away from London for any serious consideration, just mention 'the plans' every few years to keep the locals happy but dont spend any serious cash on it in between the announcements.

 

Funny thing is the bit between Holcombe (Parsons Tunnel) and Teignmouth has never really had an issue with the weather has it although the cliffs have been an issue for years.

Edited by royaloak
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5 minutes ago, royaloak said:

Funny thing is the bit between Holcombe (Parsons Tunnel) and Teignmouth has never really had an issue with the weather has it although the cliffs have been an issue for years.

 

That's the point, the plan is to move the line away from the unstable cliffs, hence into the sea :)

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Just now, RedgateModels said:

 

That's the point, the plan is to move the line away from the unstable cliffs, hence into the sea :)

Removing the beach in the process, meaning the line will be more susceptible to bad weather.

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A rather misleading headline (From a journalist? Surely not).

 

They are talking about a seawall a few metres further out so that the track can be slewed away fom the cliffs. Looks like a sensible option. A covered way (rock shelter) might be a better and cheaper option but you would not be able to maintain the rail service while it was being built.

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18 minutes ago, royaloak said:

It is too far away from London for any serious consideration, just mention 'the plans' every few years to keep the locals happy but dont spend any serious cash on it in between the announcements.

 

Funny thing is the bit between Holcombe (Parsons Tunnel) and Teignmouth has never really had an issue with the weather has it although the cliffs have been an issue for years.

 

Keep in mind that, after the Euro elections, there are a lot of nervous Tory MPs in SouthWest constituencies.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

Keep in mind that, after the Euro elections, there are a lot of nervous Tory MPs in SouthWest constituencies.

They wont be spending that sort of money down here, and even if they did the Tories are so (um be fair) unloved it wouldnt make any difference if they did.

Edited by royaloak
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Posted (edited)

A very clickbaity headline there. And one of those issues where something undoubtedly needs doing, but the British way is to propose something, talk about it for ages, propose something else, talk about that, and so on. Until an event occurs to make it impossible to just talk any longer, and then we build the worst solution at the price of the best one.

Edited by Zomboid
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Posted (edited)

I suspect the situation is not going to improve if the line remains as it is. Mess with nature at your peril. However, there must be some solution that has been used elsewhere in the world and if not, why not bring in some marine engineers to discuss options with the railway engineers, rather than  just suggest platitudes for political reasons. This may have already been done but somehow I doubt it. The inland route is really the best solution and although I am very biased the Okehampton way is not the right answer IMO. The authorities are in a bit of a Catch 22 situation with this problem. In the history of the sea wall here how many times was it breached so seriously as this last time when the major work was done? What is different now ?

Could the decision by a really negative Government be to sever the route altogether?

Phil

Edited by Mallard60022
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5 minutes ago, Mallard60022 said:

 The inland route is really the best solution and although I am very biased the Okehampton way is not the right answer IMO.

So what do you consider to be the right answer?

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6 minutes ago, royaloak said:

So what do you consider to be the right answer?

I don't know matey as I am no engineer, railway strategist or accountant. That's why I suggest that it is a catch 22 situation for those that have some idea what's what.

P

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Mallard60022 said:

I don't know matey as I am no engineer, railway strategist or accountant. That's why I suggest that it is a catch 22 situation for those that have some idea what's what.

P

So you state categorically that the Okey route isnt the best solution but cant offer an alternative, which begs the question how do you know the Okey route isnt the best solution?

 

Please dont say its the Exeter to Heathfield route, a line that frequently flooded which was one of the main reasons it was closed in the first place!

 

At least it could provide a service around North Devon, an area which has seen many new houses built with very few jobs in the area, so a rail line would enable those people to commute to where the jobs are without having to use the car, for example, anyone trying to use Tavistock Road to get into Plymouth in the morning peak (and out in the evening peak) can testify that something needs to be done to ease the congestion.

 

I am not saying the route would be profitable but at least it could provide a service which would cover some of the costs and also be useful to retain the train crews route knowledge, something the other proposals seem to forget about.

Edited by royaloak
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Posted (edited)

CK, 10800 and I went to an NR presentation in Teignmouth in 2016 (I think that it was) which was proposing something very similar but had passing loops, with all the associated pointwork equipment at the mercy of the sandy and salty waves!

 

CK pointed out the flaw in the thinking to the 'engineering PR' wallah who couldn't respond to CK's logic!

Edited by Re6/6
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Hmm.

 

How about moving the trackbed out a few metres from the cliff base so that it is clear of any rock fall and having it on a viaduct that the sea could pass relatively unimpeded beneath.  Wave action would play havoc with the base of the cliff, restarting the natural process of erosion that Brunel put a stop to with his sea wall, but the railway would function reliably in all but the most extreme weather conditions.  Designed properly, it could be an asset to the beach, providing sheltered morning sunbathing areas beneath the railway, or afternoon shade on the hottest days.

 

Not cheap, there isn't a cheap solution available here, and the tunnels would have to be re-aligned.

 

It would then be a matter of local authority funding for protection at the cliff base or allowing nature to take it's course, a problem which affects many coastal areas and which has led to the future abandonment of several villages on the Cardigan Bay coast, but the potential of the whole county of Cornwall as well as the city of Plymouth being cut off from the rail network completely every time there's an easterly gale with a high tide will be avoided.  If money was available to dual carriageway the A38 in South Devon, it should be available for this.  Factor in the cost of widening the A38 to cope with the traffic if the railway is abandoned, and it looks a bit more like value for money

 

The Okehampton route has, IMHO, potential as a basic railway and I think restoring the Meldon-Plymouth section would be of benefit, but I can't see it having the main line capacity required at any realistic costing it is ever going to attract; it's value as a diversionary route is limited.  It would provide a railhead for a good portion of North Cornwall and a good part of central Devon as well in the same way that Barnstaple does for North Devon.  But it's a bit of a red herring in terms of a solution to the Dawlish problem.

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1 hour ago, royaloak said:

So you state categorically that the Okey route isnt the best solution but cant offer an alternative, which begs the question how do you know the Okey route isnt the best solution?

 

Please dont say its the Exeter to Heathfield route, a line that frequently flooded which was one of the main reasons it was closed in the first place!

 

At least it could provide a service around North Devon, an area which has seen many new houses built with very few jobs in the area, so a rail line would enable those people to commute to where the jobs are without having to use the car, for example, anyone trying to use Tavistock Road to get into Plymouth in the morning peak (and out in the evening peak) can testify that something needs to be done to ease the congestion.

 

I am not saying the route would be profitable but at least it could provide a service which would cover some of the costs and also be useful to retain the train crews route knowledge, something the other proposals seem to forget about.

Look, don't have ago at me about this FFS. I am just suggesting that the route via Okehampton is not the best option and it has been discussed many times before. There was nothing categoric about y comment and I am fed up with people like you getting on their high horse and suggesting that I don't know what I am talking about. I am not saying I know what is best as I am no expert so lay off for a change If you don't like what I say then just ignore it.

Phil

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1 minute ago, Mallard60022 said:

Look, don't have ago at me about this FFS. I am just suggesting that the route via Okehampton is not the best option and it has been discussed many times before. There was nothing categoric about y comment and I am fed up with people like you getting on their high horse and suggesting that I don't know what I am talking about. I am not saying I know what is best as I am no expert so lay off for a change If you don't like what I say then just ignore it.

Phil

Where the eff have I had a go?

 

You stated that the Okey route wasnt the best idea so I simply asked you what you thought was the best route, so I ask again as the Okey route isnt the best route what do you suggest is the best inland route.

 

As you cannot/will not offer an alternative I would think it plainly obvious you dont know what you are talking about otherwise you would be able to offer a viable alternative proposal, Oh that isnt 'having a go' either, it is simply asking for clarification!

 

 

One thing that does pee me off is people saying others are wrong but wont explain why or offer an alternative!

That bit is having a go!

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Just now, royaloak said:

Where the eff have I had a go?

 

You stated that the Okey route wasnt the best idea so I simply asked you what you thought was the best route, so I ask again as the Okey route isnt the best route what do you suggest is the best inland route.

 

As you cannot/will not offer an alternative I would think it plainly obvious you dont know what you are talking about otherwise you would be able to offer a viable alternative proposal, Oh that isnt 'having a go' either, it is simply asking for clarification!

 

 

One thing that does pee me off is people saying others are wrong but wont explain why or offer an alternative!

That bit is having a go!

Look I have not suggested anyone was wrong. Just back off and let it rest thanks.  I'm not going to get into a tiff with you as it is a waste of time.

I won't offer an alternative route suggestion as I am not qualified to suggest one; is that good enough for you as you seem to be such a damn expert as a driver but sadly patronising along with it? Read my posts again and have a think about what you r saying please.

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5 minutes ago, Mallard60022 said:

Look I have not suggested anyone was wrong. Just back off and let it rest thanks.  I'm not going to get into a tiff with you as it is a waste of time.

I won't offer an alternative route suggestion as I am not qualified to suggest one; is that good enough for you as you seem to be such a damn expert as a driver but sadly patronising along with it? Read my posts again and have a think about what you r saying please.

I am a driver who has an interest in what he does, if you think that makes me an expert then that is your choice.

 

I simply assumed that as you didnt consider the Okey route the best option you would have been able to offer an alternative (no matter how left field) because in my book if you cannot offer an alternative then how do you know it isnt the best?

 

Oh and just for clarity I would like to see class 50s and 'coffins' back on the Paddington trains but that aint happening any time soon, but at least it is offering an alternative to the sHitachis, even if it is rather left field.

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1 minute ago, royaloak said:

I am a driver who has an interest in what he does, if you think that makes me an expert then that is your choice.

 

I simply assumed that as you didnt consider the Okey route the best option you would have been able to offer an alternative (no matter how left field) because in my book if you cannot offer an alternative then how do you know it isnt the best?

 

Oh and just for clarity I would like to see class 50s and 'coffins' back on the Paddington trains but that aint happening any time soon, but at least it is offering an alternative to the sHitachis, even if it is rather left field.

OK I accept your point, however I hope you understand that I do not want to offer an alternative idea as I don't actually know what would be a good option and, if nothing else on this forum, I have learned that it is best to not suggest something without having any grounds on which to base the idea. We boith know that to assume is not always wise  as it can result in the old story of it 'making an ass of you an me'.

P

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