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Captain Kernow

Heathfield branch developments

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Here's some good news for the railways of South Devon.

 

First, here's a photo of a very cold and neglected Heathfield station taken in January this year:

 

post-57-0-27426200-1308515073_thumb.jpg

 

 

...and here's a photo of an equally woebegone Teignbridge Level Crossing, taken the same day:

 

post-57-0-52676200-1308515113_thumb.jpg

 

What's good about all this is that the line has recently been de-mothballed and is now in operational status again, waiting for the first weekly train of timber to take place in a few weeks time. Colas Rail have got a contract to take timber from South Devon plantations up to Chirk, to be turned into chipboard and the like.

 

The timber will be taken by road to Teignbridge yard and the train will then load and convey it onwards.

 

The operation will be run to Newton Abbot, run round, run to Heathfield, run round and then down to Teignbridge, load up, run to Newton Abbot, run round, and then up north.

 

We are in the process of warning locals that the railway is operational once more and not to be tempted to trespass!

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Good news is this a sign that the economy has started to recover?

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Good news is this a sign that the economy has started to recover?

Well, this development is actually six months old, perhaps the demand for chipboard is increasing, but I understand that it's a case of the plantation owners seeking cheaper transport and also meeting 'green' obligations etc.

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Well, this development is actually six months old, perhaps the demand for chipboard is increasing, but I understand that it's a case of the plantation owners seeking cheaper transport and also meeting 'green' obligations etc.

 

Yeah 1 train being the same as 50 lorries. Good news though.

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Good news though.

Apparently Colas Rail locos have been seen route learning in South Devon (albeit not by me). Nice to see a smaller freight operator growing their business as well.

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Apparently Colas Rail locos have been seen route learning in South Devon (albeit not by me). Nice to see a smaller freight operator growing their business as well.

 

And of course Colas already work into Chirk (Kronospan) from Carlisle / Ribblehead 6 days per week. The interesting conundrum is the sidings at Chirk can only be accessed by Southbound trains, so a run round will be required or a routing via Crewe / Chester perhaps.

 

Time will tell when the paths enter the system.

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That is good news Tim.

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Let's hope the timings are convenient to see them!

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Don't suppose Colas operate Large Prairies do they? :)

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Good news indeed. I would prefer a Prairie but any traffic is good. Where can we get news of the first train? Want to get a picture.

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Where can we get news of the first train?

I will endeavour to find out, although we haven't been told the start date yet.

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Great news, Dave Harding at Exeter Model Shop had hinted this might be in the offing but it's good to get confirmationgood_mini.gif Finally a bit more freight through Exeter and Newton Abbot. biggrin.gif

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Great news, Dave Harding at Exeter Model Shop had hinted this might be in the offing but it's good to get confirmationhttps://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_emoticons/default/good_mini.gif Finally a bit more freight through Exeter and Newton Abbot. https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif

 

I might be wrong but Tim probably told him! wink.gif (He seems to be in there a lot buying things for John!)

 

Regards,

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I might be wrong but Tim probably told him!

 

I did!

 

He seems to be in there a lot buying things for John!

I try!

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Wish something would happen on the Cattedown branch.

Official status of that branch is that it is mothballed, pending any possible freight useage requests in the future.

 

Of course, the track only extends as far as the scrap loading area adjacent to the boat yard, the track beyond there to the former bitumen depot was removed shortly after it ceased to be used.

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Track is in good condition and the branch has survived the new Londis Supermarket development. Lifting barriers and equipment of the level crossing beyond the scrap yard has been removed recently. I can't see why scrap isn't still taken. The scrap yard is busy. I noted on Bing maps ariel photo that a 66 was probably the last loco down the branch.

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I can't see why scrap isn't still taken. The scrap yard is busy. I noted on Bing maps ariel photo that a 66 was probably the last loco down the branch.

Simply the customer (for the moment) is using road transport, which is his choice. I would agree re the 66 being the last loco down the branch. With any luck, one of them will be the first back down there, if traffic were to resume.

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Do you know why stopblocks are in place at Teignbridge if trains are going to have to run to Heathfield for the loco to run round?

 

Nigel

post-6440-0-85541900-1312023797_thumb.jpg

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Do you know why stopblocks are in place at Teignbridge if trains are going to have to run to Heathfield for the loco to run round?

There's a track fault through the level crossing, which will be dealt with prior to the start if timber traffic (latest estimated date for start is now later in August). In the meantime, the branch is closed beyond the sleeper barrier.

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There's a track fault through the level crossing, which will be dealt with prior to the start if timber traffic (latest estimated date for start is now later in August). In the meantime, the branch is closed beyond the sleeper barrier.

 

That's good news, I might be able to get down there to photograph it as I am off work. The barrier doesn't look terribly imposing or final does it?

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The barrier doesn't look terribly imposing or final does it?

Fortunately it's not meant to be!

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