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

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1 minute ago, Reorte said:

Could NR still be left with having to maintain the seawall even if the line moved?

I guess unless they can find a fool to take it off them.

 

Can't imagine Sustrans having it at the top of their list.  :lol:

 

Closing the route would need government sign off as they would be funding any new route and strategies for the existing route would be taken care of in that scheme. 

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On 21/01/2020 at 03:56, Harlequin said:

There’s another video and some stills on Devon Live:

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/beaches-retained-under-new-plans-3758836


The scheme is explained by a different member of NR staff in this one.

 

It’s a nice model and the model maker cut a hole in the Parsons Tunnel end board almost as if he/she had thoughts of operating it!

 

But only with 800s, 150s, 158s, Voyagers and 4 coach HSTs - anything else would just not be prototypical i.e. no hydraulics or kettles except on railtours.  :lol::lol:

 

It would make a change though, people usually model the past or the present, this could actually model the near future.  Bet it would be popular too.

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1 hour ago, Oldddudders said:

Point taken - but if NR moved inland, and the existing trackbed were abandoned, it would surely make a fine corridor to build relatively affordable sea defences, enough to protect the town at least as well as now. 

Dawlish itself, almost certainly, but for those sections without habitation behind them, probably not.

 

The cynic in me suspects that, by the time all the "interested parties" finished arguing about what was necessary/justified and who would pay for it, half of the existing structure would be too far gone....

 

John 

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If HS2 is cancelled, there will be money available for an avoiding line, with electrification! Keep one line open on the seawall for local services, maintaining local links and justifying the upkeep. ;)

 

Awaiting hollow laughter, tumbleweed....

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If the avoiding line is built and there was a major breach of the seawall,  I think there would be a good chance of it being abandoned on the grounds of costs.

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Ramblin Rich said:

If HS2 is cancelled, there will be money available for an avoiding line, with electrification! Keep one line open on the seawall for local services, maintaining local links and justifying the upkeep. ;)

 

Awaiting hollow laughter, tumbleweed....

If the wall had only carried local traffic, it wouldn't have been viable to repair last time and it would probably have gone long before that.

 

NR could probably maintain all the local links much less expensively by offering free bus services via the A38.

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling
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58 minutes ago, Ramblin Rich said:

If HS2 is cancelled, there will be money available for an avoiding line, with electrification! Keep one line open on the seawall for local services, maintaining local links and justifying the upkeep. ;)

 

Awaiting hollow laughter, tumbleweed....

 

Not so. I has been stated many times that the HS2 money would NOT be diverted into other railway uses It either builds HS2 or nothing. .

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20 minutes ago, class26 said:

 

Not so. I has been stated many times that the HS2 money would NOT be diverted into other railway uses It either builds HS2 or nothing. .

They could divert HS2 funds to Social Care, some of the Social Care funds to NHS and then finally some of the NHS funds to railways.

 

There we go, we can cancel HS2 now and still get more trains & tracks - except beyond Hemel Hempstead, that bit is full, for that bit we need a new railway through the Chilterns, maybe call it the New London Extension.

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Could they not just abandon the coastal route in favour of an inland route instead? The former coastal route could then be converted into a new high speed road, but leave NR to maintain the sea wall......isn't that the way Govt does things?

 

Stewart

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3 hours ago, Ramblin Rich said:

If HS2 is cancelled, there will be money available for an avoiding line, with electrification!

 

2 hours ago, woodenhead said:

They could divert HS2 funds to Social Care, some of the Social Care funds to NHS and then finally some of the NHS funds to railways.

 

Hmm, it looks like folks have some quaint ideas where the HS2 funding would come from (or not).

 

To start with, it's not a pile of cash sitting in a bank, waiting to be spent. Just like our decades of National Insurance contributions are not sitting in a bank waiting for our State Pension payouts (but that particular Ponzy Scheme is another story). In fact, the HS2 budget is not cash anywhere, because the money does not exist at all. Because of the size of the project, and it is capital expenditure, the money would be a loan. This is the point that gets completely blank looks from most folk. The money does not exist until it is borrowed. Only then is it created as a loan, and assigned as a temporary asset.

 

Therefore, if we don't carry on with the HS2 project, there is no big pot of cash looking for a new home. If people find this unbelievable (and many do), I refer them to the explanation from the Bank of England on how loans work.

 

Quote

This article explains how the majority of money in the modern economy is created by commercial banks making loans. Money creation in practice differs from some popular misconceptions — banks do not act simply as intermediaries, lending out deposits that savers place with them, and nor do they ‘multiply up’ central bank money to create new loans and deposits. The amount of money created in the economy ultimately depends on the monetary policy of the central bank. In normal times, this is carried out by setting interest rates. The central bank can also affect the amount of money directly through purchasing assets or ‘quantitative easing’.

 

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

 

 

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@KeithMacdonald Thanks for the mansplanation, I really didn't understand capital spending and taxation until today.

 

Actually, there is no such thing as money, it is just a form of numbers that we all agree has an instrumental value, rather like law and order, it only exists because the vast majority agree it exists and we abide by the value placed upon it.

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4 hours ago, Ramblin Rich said:

If HS2 is cancelled, there will be money available for an avoiding line, with electrification! Keep one line open on the seawall for local services, maintaining local links and justifying the upkeep. ;)

 

Awaiting hollow laughter, tumbleweed....

It was a joke BTW we've gone through the arguements so many times. I'm using a phone an couldn't be bothered finding the jester emoji...

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Isn't it now established government policy to abandon stretches of coast which are hard to defend from encroachment by the sea? (except London of course!!!) There is a big problem in the north east where the cliffs are crumbling, and I think I am right in saying that in Cardigan Bay some bits will not be protected - the Fairbourne area comes to mind. So would the government abandon Dawlish and Teignmouth if there were no railway?

Jonathan

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2 hours ago, corneliuslundie said:

Isn't it now established government policy to abandon stretches of coast which are hard to defend from encroachment by the sea? (except London of course!!!) There is a big problem in the north east where the cliffs are crumbling, and I think I am right in saying that in Cardigan Bay some bits will not be protected - the Fairbourne area comes to mind. So would the government abandon Dawlish and Teignmouth if there were no railway?

Jonathan

I wouldn't bet against it but, in reality, the railway's going nowhere.

 

Well, bits of it are, but not far...:jester:

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling

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On 22/01/2020 at 13:54, Dunsignalling said:

If the wall had only carried local traffic, it wouldn't have been viable to repair last time and it would probably have gone long before that.

 

Not a chance; in the 21st century there's no political appetite for closing any railway service - hence the Conwy Valley is reopened at vast expense every few years, Island Line get's a £26m upgrade and even a station as lightly used as Breich gets a complete rebuild despite frequent suggestions on forums like this that the money won't be found.

 

In this case the line's aesthetic appeal alone would probably prompt enough of an outcry to make any politician think twice, let alone the size of the local population it serves and the political ramifications of trying. Closing railways is something most modern politicians just want nothing to do with thankfully.

Edited by Christopher125
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22 minutes ago, Christopher125 said:

 

Not a chance; in the 21st century there's no political appetite for closing any railway service - hence the Conwy Valley is reopened at vast expense every few years, Island Line get's a £26m upgrade and even a station as lightly used as Breich gets a complete rebuild despite frequent suggestions on forums like this that the money won't be found.

 

In this case the line's aesthetic appeal alone would probably prompt enough of an outcry to make any politician think twice, let alone the size of the local population it serves and the political ramifications of trying. Closing railways is something most modern politicians just want nothing to do with thankfully.

Nowadays, I entirely agree, but there were several incidents of major damage back in times when such enlightened attitudes did not prevail and local traffic alone would not have been sufficient to save it. The line primarily serves Torbay, Plymouth and everything west thereof, the settlements between Exeter and Newton Abbot are relatively small. Had the GWR built its proposed inland "bypass" in the thirties I doubt the coastal route would have survived Beeching.

 

TBH the scenic aspect is, where maintaining the route purely for transportation purposes is concerned, something of a double-edged sword. From a ruthlessly practical engineering standpoint, the optimum solution might be to encase the whole shooting match in reinforced concrete tubes and electrify. Everything would be nicely protected from both sea and cliff falls, and long term, it would probably be cheaper and more robust than any other way of tackling the problem.

 

It'll never happen, of course, but few of the reasons it won't have anything to do with maintaining a vital communication link.

 

John  

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2 hours ago, Christopher125 said:

 

Not a chance; in the 21st century there's no political appetite for closing any railway service - hence the Conwy Valley is reopened at vast expense every few years, Island Line get's a £26m upgrade and even a station as lightly used as Breich gets a complete rebuild despite frequent suggestions on forums like this that the money won't be found.

 

In this case the line's aesthetic appeal alone would probably prompt enough of an outcry to make any politician think twice, let alone the size of the local population it serves and the political ramifications of trying. Closing railways is something most modern politicians just want nothing to do with thankfully.

This attitude extends back further than we might care to admit.  Even in the "dark period" of the 70s & 80s when we feared the railways might be obliterated altogether, there were quite a few lines rebuilt or even relocated after "environmental" damage:

  • Penmanshiel Deviation on ECML (tunnel collapse)
  • Burnmouth Deviation on ECML (moving line back from cliff edge)
  • Selby Diversion on ECML (avoiding potential coal mining subsidence as well as the Selby bottleneck)
  • Glanrhyd Bridge on Central Wales Line (bridge collapsed)
  • Lochluichart Deviation on Kyle line (Loch water level raised by new dam)
  • Cumbrian Coast line North of Whitehaven (more than once, after sea erosion)

The last three are on what were at the time, some of the biggest loss-makers on the UK rail network.  Despite that, they were rebuilt.

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It would appear that there might have been a case for the Devon and Cornwall Railway, after all:

 

"By now there were two schemes vying against each other with the new ‘Central Line’  proposed to take a route skirting around the north of Bodmin Moor from Bodmin to Camelford before passing Roughtor and then taking a southerly passage to Launceston before heading to Exeter via Hatherleigh and Crediton. The new ‘southerly route’ was to follow a line from Truro to St. Austell before travelling to Lostwithiel and up the Fowey Valley to Bodmin. From here the line was to continue to follow the Fowey River till about three miles west of Liskeard, it was to run north east to Launceston before it too would head towards Hatherleigh, Crediton and Exeter."  There was to be a branch to Plymouth whilst avoiding the coastal problem.

 

More info from Google on the subject, as well as 'The Struggle for the Cornwall Railway' - Hughes.

      Brian.

 

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Not really.

 

The underlying fatal flaw of the LSWR route is a lack of population, and thus a lack of traffic.

 

Reading the Cornwall Railway WIkipedia page reveals that the route you mention was considered on the basis that Falmouth wanted the fastest route to London possible - the goal being to protect the lucrative packet trade that Falmouth relied on, and was in danger to losing to Southampton.  This emphasis on fastest route meant they would avoid all the major population centres, not just in Cornwall but in Devon.

 

Fortunately for Cornwall, the UK government removed the packet trade from Falmouth before they could raise funds for the line.  Without the packet trade (which would have disappeared anyway - note Plymouth's eventual failure to keep the transatlantic passenger trade), the line would have been (as the LSWR found out eventually anyway) a financial albatross without serving the population centres.  This in turn meant the Cornwall Railway instead looked into building a railway that actually served the population centres in Cornwall.

 

It also wouldn't have prevented the GWR route, as somebody would have built a route that served the major population centres and resort destinations of South Devon anyway.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornwall_Railway

 

 

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Of course, this is correct!  Economies have always been fragile in the far West.  The tin trade opened up various small ports around the coast with the consequent opening of railways to serve them like the L & C to Looe and others followed by china clay companies at Par and Fowey with Portreath and its  incline on the North coast.  All have now disappeared except at Fowey where enough business is warranted to be still rail served and the Looe branch which unfortunately lost its goods business for good.

     Brian.

Edited by brianusa
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11 hours ago, brianusa said:

Of course, this is correct!  Economies have always been fragile in the far West.  The tin trade opened up various small ports around the coast with the consequent opening of railways to serve them like the L & C to Looe and others followed by china clay companies at Par and Fowey with Portreath and its  incline on the North coast.  All have now disappeared except at Fowey where enough business is warranted to be still rail served and the Looe branch which unfortunately lost its goods business for good.

     Brian.

Looe....Pilchards and Sardines was the major rail usage, yes the branch has been radically shortened (no longer winds it’s way along the quay to the market) but there is still a 40 tonne artic almost daily which squeezes its way through the car park and minor roads to pick up fish. Although having said that the fish it does pick up is only part of the pick up route, no 40 tons of fish being caught here anymore :o

 

And the Looe branch is one of the prettiest rides in the SW, and interesting for visitors when the driver gets out just after leaving Liskeard to flip the points and change ends to continue the journey, the look on people’s face when they think they got the best seats at the front suddenly turn into the rear seats and they are facing the wrong way also is a picture :lol:

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14 hours ago, Northmoor said:

This attitude extends back further than we might care to admit.  Even in the "dark period" of the 70s & 80s when we feared the railways might be obliterated altogether, there were quite a few lines rebuilt or even relocated after "environmental" damage:

  • Penmanshiel Deviation on ECML (tunnel collapse)
  • Burnmouth Deviation on ECML (moving line back from cliff edge)
  • Selby Diversion on ECML (avoiding potential coal mining subsidence as well as the Selby bottleneck)
  • Glanrhyd Bridge on Central Wales Line (bridge collapsed)
  • Lochluichart Deviation on Kyle line (Loch water level raised by new dam)
  • Cumbrian Coast line North of Whitehaven (more than once, after sea erosion)

The last three are on what were at the time, some of the biggest loss-makers on the UK rail network.  Despite that, they were rebuilt.

The Selby diversion was very different from the others because it was mainly paid for by the NCB setting up its new coalfield while the top two were ECML and thus rather different from impecunious rural routes.

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People moaned when the West Country was cut off by the sea wall collapse, they moan about Network Rail's plans to do something about it, and no doubt they would moan if nothing was done ! Hopefully the crusties dangling from trees in Buckinghamshire will hear about this and move to Devon, allowing HS2 to move forward unimpeded.

 

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Perhaps Teignmouth station should be closed for a few months to see if the locals complain that they no longer have a train service, that may shut the naysayers up.

 

 

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