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Dawlish News

13 Sep 2014 19:24

Improvements to the South West's rail network should draw on pre-war advertising, says Neill Mitchell

According to the Leader of the House of Commons, William Hague, a Government statement on the future routing and resilience of the Great Western main rail line at Dawlish is now "imminent".

All logic indicates that the permanent resolution of this issue should be comprised of two elements. Firstly, the obvious need to enhance the shortest and fastest route between Paddington and Penzance.

This means resuming work upon an upgrade, to today's 125mph operational standards, of the "Dawlish Avoiding Line (DAL)" – re-alignment of the main line between Exminster (or Alphington) and Bishopsteignton, tunnelled directly beneath Haldon, as previously provided for by the GWR Acts of 1936 and 1937 and commenced in 1939 (only to be thwarted by the onset of the Second World War).

This would clip some 12 miles off the circuitous length of the current 60mph main line, reducing the rail mileage between Plymouth and Exeter from 57 miles to near parity with the 44 road miles of the A38 "Devon Expressway". It would reduce intercity rail journey times to and from all destinations west of Exeter, secure all-season climatic resilience and deliver readiness for future electrification. "Wins" all round.

Secondly, as already confirmed, beefing up the Dawlish Sea Wall against the predicted impacts of sea level rises and increasing risks of landslips to thus extend its operational life for local, scenic special and freight services for the foreseeable future.



14 Sep 2014 21:51

Well it would be great if there is a reliable line in place.

Interesting that nobody commented on this ..guess little interest on railways.

Seems every chance Scotland will say yes that will save the treasury loads of who knows we could all benefit down here in many ways.

I think Scotland will be mad to say yes but hey ho guess they know best.

1 Agree
01 Oct 2014 20:43

@wondering - this article is actually factually incorrect.  i got my little scale ruler out and even a dead straight line from alphinton to newton abbot station doesn't clip anywhere near 12miles off.  aso the best a 125mph line would shave off between these stations is 5mins.  and that is half the problem with getting such a high speed line built.  several billion pounds for 5mins quiker just doesn't pay.  securing the resilience of the line west of exeter howsoever it is achieved, ah, should be a no brainer whatever the cost.

01 Oct 2014 21:47

You know I heard the line they are wanting to build from London to the north will cut time by 18 minutes .but.will also require larger station exits to cope and that an extra 20 minutes should be allowed to access and exit the station.  So no gain at all. Dunno what people want to do with these odd minutes they save.

I see Okehampton are stepping up the call with DCC for a weekday service into Exeter..

02 Oct 2014 23:09

Am actually a fan of HS2 - it's about 50 years late and very badly needed.  It's not about the speed but capacity.  The justification for it being so fast is that when you build new infrastructure it has to be future proofed.  Having said that I do believe that it is not the optimun design.  It's the interconnectivity with existing lines that is lacking, that plus it is a bit unnecessarily fast, i.e. could be far less environmentally intrusive if built to 300kph same as HS1.  FYI current design gives London - Manchester at 65mins, which is a game changer for that city.  Other reason to build it is that like it, or lump it, this little island's population is on the up with no end in sight.

As for Okehampton, that one will sadly get discussed for quite a while yet.  It's best chance of getting a service worth having anytime soon is if it is included in the 'Dawlish solution'. 

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