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DavidB-AU

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

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13 minutes ago, lightengine said:

CK, in your judgement and for the benefit of people that believe that a north Devon route is feasible, if it was completed and all trains to Cornwall up and running (please stop tittering at the back). How much would the NR maintenance of the seawall cost in comparison to the present figures, which obviously includes rail maintenance? Allowing that cliff falls would be retained inside the seawall and they would not cause additional repair work. 

So are you assuming that the railway would cease to serve Dawlish and Teignmouth and leave Newton Abbot and Torbay on a sort of semi-inaccessible branchline running eastwards from Plymouth?   I somehow don't think you'd find any local (or Cornish) support for that irrespective of what might happen to the sea defences if the railway were to close.                                                                                        

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29 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

So are you assuming that the railway would cease to serve Dawlish and Teignmouth and leave Newton Abbot and Torbay on a sort of semi-inaccessible branchline running eastwards from Plymouth?   I somehow don't think you'd find any local (or Cornish) support for that irrespective of what might happen to the sea defences if the railway were to close.                                                                                        

No Mike.  I intend keeping it, but there are people that seem to think that re opening an old rout is the answer.  If that was to happen surely the increased costs for 2 lines would be pretty costly. So just supposing that Dawlish lost the railway and a Teignmouth-Paignton shuttle took place, what would the seawall maintenance cost be percentagewise of the present cost.

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44 minutes ago, lightengine said:

what would the seawall maintenance cost be percentagewise of the present cost.

 

I wonder if this may be a reason why they seem to be trying to find a way to keep the current line?

 

First thought is that if you don't need to run trains on the line, then as a seawall only the costs should be much lower.

 

The problem though I would guess is that it likely can never "just be a seawall", the nature of the existing pedestrian walkways along much of the line means that even with the railway gone your costs are going to have to include making sure it remains people safe, because with trains gone then people will start walking the old ROW.

 

The most obvious aspect to this would be that NR can't just walkaway from the cliff issue, because there will still be people at risk.

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6 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

 

In which case you should be well placed to understand the 'dead hand of HMTresuary' in the Government decision process..

 

Maybe he is part of that dead hand (hence the holier than thou attitude) of HM treasury or the DaFT , you know that wonderful organisation that deciding to end an electrification scheme at Newbury while the train service actually carried on to Bedwyn, or the second leg which finishes short of Chippenham while the service carries on to Bristol TM (that one even has one of the substations the wrong side of Chippenham), or ending the last leg at Cardiff when half the services carry on to Swansea, all meaning the Electric fleet had to be modified (at great expense negating some/most of the 'savings') to bi-mode spec, yeah they really know what they are doing! 

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You forgot all about the other leg which finishes at Didcot whilst the train service goes (went) to Oxford.

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2 hours ago, lightengine said:

No Mike.  I intend keeping it, but there are people that seem to think that re opening an old rout is the answer.  If that was to happen surely the increased costs for 2 lines would be pretty costly. So just supposing that Dawlish lost the railway and a Teignmouth-Paignton shuttle took place, what would the seawall maintenance cost be percentagewise of the present cost.

 

Given the railway through Dawlish is going to have to be retained in all situations (other than perhaps a new inland alignment betwen Starcross  Teighmouth along with replacement stations for the current route as far as is practicable) to serve Torbay, a more realistic queston to ask is to say were all Plymouth / Cornish services diverted away from the sea wall, what scope would there be for savings.

 

For example the reduction from 2 tracks to one woud presumanly bring a small saving from the p-way budget as well as providing more room between the tracks and the bse of the cliffs if it were the sea side track tha was retained.

 

However any such savings will be miniscule compared to the costs of constructing other soltions so its all a bit of a pointless excercise.

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54 minutes ago, royaloak said:

Maybe he is part of that dead hand (hence the holier than thou attitude) of HM treasury or the DaFT , you know that wonderful organisation that deciding to end an electrification scheme at Newbury while the train service actually carried on to Bedwyn, or the second leg which finishes short of Chippenham while the service carries on to Bristol TM (that one even has one of the substations the wrong side of Chippenham), or ending the last leg at Cardiff when half the services carry on to Swansea, all meaning the Electric fleet had to be modified (at great expense negating some/most of the 'savings') to bi-mode spec, yeah they really know what they are doing! 

 

We do have to be carefull using the GWML electrification as an example of DfT / HM Treasuary failings due to the ample eviance that NR also (i.e. in addition to the aforementioned organisations) made a right pigs ear if their role in delivering the scheme too.

 

Better examples of Govenmental incomptance are  the procurement of the class 800 or 700 trains, the screwing up the letting of various franchis (including the ECML 3 times now), issuing of new franchises on a total fleet replacement basis which leave loads of nearly new / heavily refurbished stock without a home), etc

Edited by phil-b259
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23 minutes ago, Zomboid said:

You forgot all about the other leg which finishes at Didcot whilst the train service goes (went) to Oxford.

I did indeed, deferred due to the major rebuild that Oxford was supposed to be getting which turned out to be an old platform being brought back into use and some track renewal, IE nothing to prevent the OHLE being installed to just short of the station and then finished when the station was complete.

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7 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

 

We do have to be carefull using the GWML electrification as an example of DfT / HM Treasuary failings due to the ample eviance that NR also (i.e. in addition to the aforementioned organisations made a right pigs ear if their role in delivering the scheme too.

 

A better example is the procurement of the class 800 or 700 trains, the screwing up the letting of various franchis (including the ECML 3 times now), issuing of new franchises on a total fleet replacement basis which leave loads of nearly new / heavily refurbished stock without a home), etc

When NR get signed up to deliver such a massive undertaking when they have basically zero qualified staff to carry out the work it was always going to be a slow start, as time progressed NR had got their arriss in gear and were making up chunks of the delays but then Failing Grayling pulled the plug on all legs of the scheme.

 

Your second point is spot on the money as well.

Edited by royaloak

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4 minutes ago, royaloak said:

When NR get signed up to deliver such a massive undertaking when they have basically zero qualified staff to carry out the work it was always going to be a slow start, as time progressed NR had got their arriss in gear and were making up chunks of the delays but then Failing Grayling pulled the plug on all legs of the scheme.

 

Hence I used the word 'carefull' - the blame cannot be lumped only on one party unlike the other examples I gave.

 

Those who support the Government position will be looking for ways to discredit the industry professionals - we shouldn't give them ammunition by avoiding our own failings.


 

(I should say that as regards the GWML electrification I have repeadly expressed the same sentiments as you - as an examination of the relvent thread will show.)

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This topic seemingly has no end which is understandable to those who are affected but the rest of the country must wonder what's the big deal unless like myself, have a long time interest.  Unlike the old days of summer holidays in Devon or Cornwall, those who still travel to these resorts go by car, irrespective of problems like the Exeter bypass, etc.  Indeed they are probably more familiar with Costa someplace rather than St. Ives!.  So is the train still relevant to the extent that it requires so much money to keep the shore line open or construct a second route inland.  It would appear that it is so and NR is stuck with the maintainence and although costs have been reduced, it must still an eye opening amount and not much further can be done, remembering the singling debacle of a few decades ago.  As much as a Tavistock reopening would be useful, it will be seen from many responses that it will never happen in this lifetime and as for any new route, likewise just a pipe dream.   Both from the enthusiasts view point but also from governmental bodies whose decisions good or bad, will prevail.

    Brian.

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3 minutes ago, brianusa said:

Indeed they are probably more familiar with Costa

Virtually everyone in the UK is probably familiar with Costa these days, Brian!

 

(Except Totnes, who successfully told them where to go).

 

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11 hours ago, Captain Kernow said:

Virtually everyone in the UK is probably familiar with Costa these days, Brian!

 

(Except Totnes, who successfully told them where to go).

 

I'm sorry, CK, but your increasingly obvious familiarity with Totnes is a worry for those of us who see you as a decent, grounded sort of chap. The place is famous for alternative outlooks and lifestyles. We hope you don't become infected. 

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17 minutes ago, Oldddudders said:

I'm sorry, CK, but your increasingly obvious familiarity with Totnes is a worry for those of us who see you as a decent, grounded sort of chap. The place is famous for alternative outlooks and lifestyles. We hope you don't become infected. 

Decent, grounded??? Have you never met CK? 

I will introduce you one day, if you visit the UK. Then you will know the truth.

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1 hour ago, pb_devon said:

Decent, grounded??? Have you never met CK? 

I will introduce you one day, if you visit the UK. Then you will know the truth.

Sorry PB, too late. He's already met me!

 

The Truth is Out There.

 

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17 hours ago, lightengine said:

No Mike.  I intend keeping it, but there are people that seem to think that re opening an old rout is the answer.  If that was to happen surely the increased costs for 2 lines would be pretty costly. So just supposing that Dawlish lost the railway and a Teignmouth-Paignton shuttle took place, what would the seawall maintenance cost be percentagewise of the present cost.

Exactly so.  This is a big reason (but not the whole reason) why the costs stack up against the Dartmoor route.  Reopening the Dartmoor route is one thing, making it suitable as a diversionary route is whole lot bigger and more expensive thing.

 

I can't really see the coast route closing (unless changes in sea level eventually force such closure but I could see it retained in a rationalised form if the inland route were ever to be built.  But that again comes back to a wider than 'just the railway' decision because it really becomes a question of closing Dawlish and Dawlish Warren stations (a new station could readily serve Teignmouth as was planned in the 1930s) and transferring the sea defence costs to 'somebody else'.  So maybe a branch to the existing Teignmouth but I think that would be unlikely and Teignmouth & Dawlish Parkway would be a more likely outcome.

 

And I think knowing the way Britain generally seems to work what will happen is that the coast route, with spending on improved defences, will probably survive because it will remain the cheapest option for many years to come and will only ever close if there is no alternative because of changes in sea level.  But none of that will bring a reopening via Dartmoor - it just won't work as a business case - that hasn't really changed since it was closed and the population hasn't moved from Exeter-Torbay to north west Devon.

 

If we look at the current big scheme for Parsons Tunnel to (almost) Teignmouth the direct railway infrastructure cost is unlikely to be much more than about 15% of the total (and maybe up to 20% if we include design) but a lot depends on g how costs are spread.  I do wonder if it is the right way of doing the job and it might be better, cheaper, and considerably less disruptive to adopt the approach suggested by CK of trimming back the cliffs instead.  But what I don't know is anything about potential subsurface risks to the railway infrastructure so I wonder if NR are intending to 'do a Dover' and actually put the railway on what amounts to a buried viaduct on deep piles (which seems to have worked at Dover).  Oddly that approach wouldn't be novel along that coast as Brunel put some of the line on viaduct - until the sea destroyed the viaduct.

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4 hours ago, pb_devon said:

Decent, grounded??? Have you never met CK? 

I will introduce you one day, if you visit the UK. Then you will know the truth.

I am led to believe that OD has been spotted at a location between Dawlish Sea Wall and CK Towers.:sungum:

Edited by TheSignalEngineer
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3 hours ago, TheSignalEngineer said:

I am led to believe that OD has been spotted at a location between Dawlish Sea Wall and CK Towers.:sungum:

I am, a number of weeks each year, to be found in and around Torbay, and it was on one such occasion a few years back that I first met CK, in the company of Re6/6 and 10800. Once met, never forgotten - but a decent sort of chap, and of course a railwayman of high repute. I would not want the siren calls of Totnes to divert him to the bad. 

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The good people of Totnes threw out Costas plans so they can't be all bad.

Especially around the shops at the top of the main street where there is always a herbal smell.

Edited by lightengine
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On 18/06/2019 at 10:27, DavidB-AU said:

 

Getting a little off topic but there are few places in a lot more danger than Dawlish. Gwynedd Council is now seriously considering a halt to flood management for Fairbourne, which could see the town abandoned in around 25 years. That plus ongoing issues with the Barmouth Bridge could have serious implications for the Cambrian line.

 

Cheers

David

https://www.governmenteuropa.eu/cp6-rail-investment/92805/

 

Includes the statement "The Barmouth viaduct, a prominent architectural icon of the Welsh rail system, will undergo a £22 million (€25.8 million) renovation."

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10 hours ago, 96701 said:

https://www.governmenteuropa.eu/cp6-rail-investment/92805/

 

Includes the statement "The Barmouth viaduct, a prominent architectural icon of the Welsh rail system, will undergo a £22 million (€25.8 million) renovation."

Although from what I have been told major signalling modernisation on the North & West (aka 'Marches') route has been deferred and a lot of work is being carried out on existing lever frames.

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On 24/06/2019 at 16:45, Oldddudders said:

I would not want the siren calls of Totnes to divert him to the bad. 

Far, far too late for that now.

 

Man.

 

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13 hours ago, lightengine said:

I looked through all of this a few weeks ago and sent NR a long critique of their proposals. No one has responded to me so far (but then again, they usually tried to ignore me when I worked for them, not that I ever let them get away with that!).

 

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On 27/06/2019 at 21:49, lightengine said:

What I can't understand is why the cliff cutback option would require the railway to be 'closed for 6 -12 months'.  Sounds to me almost like something which didn't involve lots of fancy engineering but did require land take from private residents has been rejected because it was so straightfoward!

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