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Heathfield branch developments


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I've finally had the chance to investigate the new bridge on the Wray Valley trail and include a couple of pictures in the dying light:

 

attachicon.gifIMG_9890.JPG

 

attachicon.gifIMG_9893.JPG

 

Unfortunately after this new bridge, the path deviates from the original tracked immediately, despite it appearing to be largely extant. Instead it follows the road on the other side of a thick hedgerow. It moves back towards the embankment, at Wray Barton, though this is the current limit of the cycle path. I can only assume that the cycle path will now rejoin the track bed as it continues South, as I can't see another option.

 

I'm sure I posted pictures of the other bridge on this thread, but turns out it was on this thread: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/35159-newton-abbot-to-moretonhampstead-line/ (post #7). Its taken 6 years to get the second bridge! Slow progress indeed!

I am hoping that progress is quicker in the future. I visit Moretonhampstead from time to time to visit a relative or stay for a short walking break

and have walked to Lustleigh and back via Hunters Tor, using the cycle path along the former track bed would be much quicker I suspect,

 

cheers

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  • 4 months later...

Interesting article in this week's Mid Devon Advertiser:

 

http://www.middevonadvertiser.co.uk/article.cfm?id=109767&headline=BOVEY%20TRACEY%20%26%20CHUDLEIGH%3A%20All%20abroad%20for%20Heathfield%3F&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2017

 

Was also mentioned on the Devon Live website:

 

http://www.devonlive.com/railway-group-want-to-reopen-the-heathfield-branch-line/story-30394003-detail/story.html

 

It does seem to echo many sentiments in this thread and other revival ideas that have cropped up over the years.

 

I've emailed my support and ideas to them (without response. I didn't ask for a response to be fair) and will keep an eye on this to see if anything comes of it.

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"We want to save the line, which is still in good condition, and have the line reopened and connected from Heathfield to Newton Abbot, and then possibly down to Buckfastleigh as well."

 

What ARE they talking about? That's the main line from Newton Abbot to Buckfastleigh, it's in full use, there's no other route between them. I just don't understand that; the rest is a nice idea but it seems a bit ill thought out given the statement above.

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I would have thought, given the HUGE housing development about 300m down the road that the sensible thing to do with the very end of the line would be a new platform and connection to a Devon Metro type set up, as currently the road from Kingsteignton to Newton Abbott is a total car park most of the time, especially at peak times.

I don't see the value in a heritage line on such a short section, but given the continuing development a metro set up would at least provide a useful service.

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"We want to save the line, which is still in good condition, and have the line reopened and connected from Heathfield to Newton Abbot, and then possibly down to Buckfastleigh as well."

 

What ARE they talking about? That's the main line from Newton Abbot to Buckfastleigh, it's in full use, there's no other route between them. I just don't understand that; the rest is a nice idea but it seems a bit ill thought out given the statement above.

 

The only main line I have travelled on goes From Newton Abbot to Plymouth via Totnes, with a South Devon Railway branch to Ashburton, truncated at Buckfastliegh due to the building of the A38 dual carriageway.

 

I can't see anyone being able to afford to build a new line from Heathfield to Buckfastliegh. They won't even build a short bit of mainline, that avoids the seawall at Dawlish.

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I'll be honest, the idea is a bit bonkers. I cant see it working as a heritage railway - theres nothing really to do or see at the the other end. 

 

The best solution would be - especially if there is to be a large housing development near Heathfield, would be to reopen as a proper railway. Run the trains through to the Torbay line as well. This whole corrider is quite congested for traffic. Kingskerswell still hasnt got its station, I believe? This could be something that D-train's could be used for.

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While being an advocate for any railway reopening, I'd be surprised if this one even has a chance.  Valid reasons have already been stated and while it would be nice if every disused line were reinstated, reality and common sense would dictate otherwise.  Its not likely that any more timber will be loaded; Riverside has had what was left.

 

Brian.

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  • 2 months later...

Saw the attached poster in the Co-Op in Bovey Tracey and thought I'd share it.

 

Seems to be the same chap from the article mentioned earlier in this thread.

 

Good to see them using various mediums to raise awareness of their cause.

 

post-25909-0-41077200-1505330348_thumb.jpg

 

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Well, I can't wish them anything but good wishes, but to be honest, they haven't got a hope, unless they have the full political and financial support of Devon CC and the DfT, to say nothing of Network Rail and GWR (the TOC).

 

These don't seem to be the same lunatics that I had to deal with a few years ago, who were intent on reopening the line using Parry People Movers, but who lacked (initially at least) the slightest understanding of the practicalities and the costs involved, especially the need to upgrade Teignbridge Level Crossing.

 

Even after we (patiently) explained to them what was required, there was still scant realism in their ideas and desired timescales.

 

Needless to say, given their unrealistic expectations, complete lack of 'real' funding/funding support and the indifference of the grown-ups in the Western Route of Network Rail, (I didn't count myself as a NR 'grown up', but I was still not convinced by the group anyway, but at least I ensured that they were listened to), I am not in the least surprised that that particular group disappeared without trace.

 

Serious money and politicial support will be needed by these individuals. Holding a raffle and a jumble sale to raise funds just won't cut it any more. There is no space at all for any car parking or even decent station buildings or sidings at the Heathfield end. The need to upgrade Teignbridge LC for passenger operation hasn't gone away. Much work is probably now required on the track (remember, this line is very prone to flooding each winter), and some fairly significant track work is required at the Newton Abbot end, plus a commercial agreement with GWR to use the disused platform 9 area, which will affect the GWR Station Lease with Network Rail.

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  • 1 month later...
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The revivalists have just had a piece on the spotlight news.

 

There is an interesting piece on BBC Spotlight about the hopes of a group to re-open the branch.

 

https://www.bbc.co.u...g-news-07112017 3 mins.50 secs in. Note that it's available up to 1800 hrs tonight only.

 

CK's comments above are well noted but good luck to them though but l fancy it will all come to naught.

Edited by Re6/6
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Well, I can't wish them anything but good wishes, but to be honest, they haven't got a hope, unless they have the full political and financial support of Devon CC and the DfT, to say nothing of Network Rail and GWR (the TOC).

 

These don't seem to be the same lunatics that I had to deal with a few years ago, who were intent on reopening the line using Parry People Movers, but who lacked (initially at least) the slightest understanding of the practicalities and the costs involved, especially the need to upgrade Teignbridge Level Crossing.

 

Even after we (patiently) explained to them what was required, there was still scant realism in their ideas and desired timescales.

 

Needless to say, given their unrealistic expectations, complete lack of 'real' funding/funding support and the indifference of the grown-ups in the Western Route of Network Rail, (I didn't count myself as a NR 'grown up', but I was still not convinced by the group anyway, but at least I ensured that they were listened to), I am not in the least surprised that that particular group disappeared without trace.

 

Serious money and politicial support will be needed by these individuals. Holding a raffle and a jumble sale to raise funds just won't cut it any more. There is no space at all for any car parking or even decent station buildings or sidings at the Heathfield end. The need to upgrade Teignbridge LC for passenger operation hasn't gone away. Much work is probably now required on the track (remember, this line is very prone to flooding each winter), and some fairly significant track work is required at the Newton Abbot end, plus a commercial agreement with GWR to use the disused platform 9 area, which will affect the GWR Station Lease with Network Rail.

 

Have to disagree about there being no space at the Heathfield end. Granted, at the site of Heathfield station space is non existent, although some of the units in Station Park have been up for sale recently. However, a bit further up the line towards Bovey there is a large parcel of empty land next to British Ceramic Tiles which sits right next the line. Clearly that doesn't mean it could be used for the site of a station but it does certainly appear to be an option if anything ever came of this line in the future.

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Have to disagree about there being no space at the Heathfield end. Granted, at the site of Heathfield station space is non existent, although some of the units in Station Park have been up for sale recently. However, a bit further up the line towards Bovey there is a large parcel of empty land next to British Ceramic Tiles which sits right next the line. Clearly that doesn't mean it could be used for the site of a station but it does certainly appear to be an option if anything ever came of this line in the future.

Space may or may not be available at Heathfield but one has to wonder where the funding would be coming from and the 'will' from all those listed in CK's post above. When one reads the mind boggling sums (£10Ms) reported in 'Rail' magazine for re-opening lines it would seem to an huge obstacle here.

 

Good luck to all concerned with the proposal. Nothing would please me more if it happened.

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Have to disagree about there being no space at the Heathfield end. Granted, at the site of Heathfield station space is non existent, although some of the units in Station Park have been up for sale recently. However, a bit further up the line towards Bovey there is a large parcel of empty land next to British Ceramic Tiles which sits right next the line. Clearly that doesn't mean it could be used for the site of a station but it does certainly appear to be an option if anything ever came of this line in the future.

Yes, that's correct, and you could argue that the better site for a station would be as far up the formation as you can now get, in the industrial estate.

 

Whether the local authority would permit a Change of Use for the industrial units in Station Park that are up for sale, and allow them to be demolished to provide a car park, is another matter altogether.

 

I'm afraid that this whole scheme still has the unmistakable whiff of wishful thinking over substance to me.

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There has just been a piece on the local spotlight news, that NR have given the revivalists permission to look at providing a park and ride service between Newton Abbott and Heathfield, subject to funding and rolling stock provision. The reporter is saying it could happen in the next couple of years.

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There has just been a piece on the local spotlight news, that NR have given the revivalists permission to look at providing a park and ride service between Newton Abbott and Heathfield, subject to funding and rolling stock provision. The reporter is saying it could happen in the next couple of years.

And pigs could fly..........

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There has just been a piece on the local spotlight news, that NR have given the revivalists permission to look at providing a park and ride service between Newton Abbott and Heathfield, subject to funding and rolling stock provision. The reporter is saying it could happen in the next couple of years.

Good idea, but I suspect not, the most frequently used word throughout the item seemed to be "if".

 

John

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There has just been a piece on the local spotlight news, that NR have given the revivalists permission to look at providing a park and ride service between Newton Abbott and Heathfield, subject to funding and rolling stock provision. The reporter is saying it could happen in the next couple of years.

There might well be traffic congestion in the Newton Abbot area, but I am not sure how much this would help,

are there that many folk who commute into Newton Abbot?

Surely many would need to change trains for elsewhere, so a Heathfield to Paignton local service might make more sense?

Significantly the Heathfield link is not shown in Devon County Councils 'Devon Metro' plans (unlike the Tavistock and Okehampton re-openings),

so I suspect there might not be much official support.

 

cheers

Edited by Rivercider
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