I see that Richard Younger-Ross, Martin Wrigley and Gary Taylor have a Wave Breaking News 2nd Editon leaflet out that came through my door. A wave breaking reef is their idea to protect Dawlish's sea wall and keep the line open. They also want the government to do a study on it to see what effect it would have on reducing the seas impact once it hits land. Sign online at signme.org.uk/1023
I say it is worth supporting, especially since in the Dawlish Post Friday, December 8, 2014 page 12
Anne Marie Morris said 'On infrastructure, I am delighted that the government has indicated continued support for our Dawlish rail line, which I have lobbied ministers long and hard for.
'Plans to support an alternative route north of the moor are welcome. It is ridiculous for the south west to have to rely on just one rail route, but my view has always been clear - additional routes, but not alternative ones!
I don't know about anyone else, but if an alternative line goes ahead, they will then have the excuse to close ours due to not being able to afford both!
@Kaz. Well said. I think the breakwater/ wave breaking reef is a excellent idea. Anne Marie Morris seems to have changed her tune. Dawlish has lived with the coastal route for years and has not had a additional route. So many things to overcome yet before that one opens.
We all know what the issues are:-
1) Ineffective maintenance of the route by a profit sucking private company. Whose only goal is to bleed every single penny out of the system to stick in their own pockets.
2) Trains that are poorly designed for the route they travel and have not been modified to deal with the coastal route.
For a lot less than the cost and time to develop an alternate/additional route I'm sure that the current line/trains could be upgraded so they were fit for purpose.
It seems while the people of the South West continue to endure poor infrastructure and non existant maintenance of this precious life line. The other parts of the country are having, will be having, billions spent on their already uptodate infrastructures.
Old Fart, whilst I am inclined to agree with your second comment you are wrong with your first. Network Rail, or Railtrack as it was, is a not for dividend limited company so nobodys pockets are being lined. Except the governments perhaps, as it is now classed as a Central Government Body and has now added about £34 billion to the our national debt.
I seem to remember Anne Marie Morris was advocating a breakwater right back when the damage was done at the start of the year. She may be saying an additional route but she certainly didn't seem to be suggesting getting rid of the Dawlish section.
It it seems that the LibDems have jumped on the breakwater bandwagon that was already rolling, no doubt they are hoping people will forget they weren't the first ones to push for it. But I guess that's politics for you.
@DJ. You are absolutely correct. She was interviewed on the BBC Breakfast programme, in the rain and mentioned breakwaters.
As I understand it DJ, Richard Younger-Ross raised the issue of a wave-breaking reef back in 2009 when he was our MP. With RYR living in Teignmouth and AMM living in Newton Abbot, I know who my money would be on for keeping open the mainline coastal route via Dawlish.
Imglad youposted that SOD , you precluded what I was goingto write
SoD, but as a Lib Dem representative, you'd naturally always back him over her wouldn't you? ;-)
You have me at an advantage, madam. And you are?
BTW, This just in from RYRs press office:
Rail campaigners are delighted that Network Rail are future proofing new works to their west of Exeter lines to allow for electrification. Council officiers working on the design of bridges over the mainline for the Teign Estuary Trail have been told that the bridges must be high enough for for electrification at a later date. Teignmouth County Councillor Richard Younger-Ross said it showed common sense. " It of course doesn't mean that electrification of the line is around the corner but it does show that Network Rail believe the electrification of the seawall line and lines west are feasible and that will help our campaign to improve the service to London and the North. Ends
@SoulofDawlish - i wonder what they mean by 'the bridges must be high enough for electrification'. does that mean that if there are tunnels on the route, they would also have to be enlarged!
I noticed this 'Planning underway to electrify Bath's railway'. This will be completed long before any electrification happens down here, if ever.
Interesting stuff, OF. I note that Bath's Box Tunnel is being modified by lowering the track to allow space for the overhead wires. Our coastal rail line tunnels will probably need to be more extensively modified as it would be unilkely the line could be lowered due to the risk of flooding. I see no reason why (technically) our tunnels cannot be raised to allow for overhead wires - nor perhaps raised a litle further, to allow the track to be raised for additional resilience in the future.
Designing any new bridges to allow extra height clearance makes eminent sense, but should not be taken as indicating that Network Rail is saying that the electrification is feasible. Extra height would allow such things as 'double-decker' trains to be run which would certainly ease over crowding on certain services. However that is an entirely different discussion. Allowing extra clearance just makes sense.
So Howard are you saying that the Council Officers have been badly advised?
@SoulofDawlish i have no idea what the council officers were told. but interpretation of what is being advised can be very subjective. i would say that it is a 'no brainer' to make bridges high enough to accommodate future technologies. i just think it is a big step to suggest that this can be interpreted as meaning that 'electrification is feasible' along the sea wall through dawlish, even if they were told that higher bridges would be needed for electrification.
It would be entirely possible that one option might be the running of an electrified branch line down the Teign Valley to Teignmouth, terminating at Teignmouth and connecting with an electrified main line at Newton Abbot. An electrified commuter service could then be introduced from Teignmouth to, say Torquay/Paignton.
The study on rail connections is just starting, so all options are open I think.
Thank you Howard. Just out of interest, one of the least expensive options for a 'Dawlish Avoiding Line' would run through Dawlish Warren, bisecting the new housing area DA2 and going around the back of the town over Dawlish Water. Reason enough to keep the pressure on maintaining and improving the existing line?
Today I had a folded leaflet from Anne Marie Morris MP put through my door.
It reads 'My plan to secure a better future for Dawlish.' Her 6 point plan sets out her targets within the opened document, but on the back it states 'The fight for our coastal railway line goes on'.
‘Well over £30 million has been spent on repairs and improvements so far but I am fighting for more money that is needed for work further along the line. And we need to make sure that the line is protected over the long term. One possibility, for example, is to build a breakwater out to sea and this is being considered. People talk about building another line but I am determined to ensure that, one way or another, our existing iconic railway line is protected and preserved for many years to come.’
So it looks like both parties want the same, as do we in Dawlish and surrounding areas. Let us remember it is not just the railway line, it is our flood defence as well.
Sorry DJ I was pressing for investment in our seawall when AMM was still chasing a safe Tory seat in Sussex where she was a County Councillor. The seawall has been breached many times but the 2004 failure just south of the station and subsequant delays led to a Tory MP Anthony Steen camaigning for the a new line to replace the seawall line. All we could get out of "Network Rail" then was that it would keep the line by the sea and was happy spending £millions to do so. Government refused to help. The 2007 storms really forced the issue with many SW MPs demanding action to replace the line. Three options, a new inland line, a new seawall or a wave breaking reef then as now. I had meetings with Ministers and Network Rail. The Government pressed for a study to see if the line was viable in the long term. A joint Network Rail/Met Office study was set up. With pressure for a new line still growing at an estimated cost of £3billion I decided in 2009 to press harder for a study on the cheapest option, a wave breaking reef. I use this date although I had sugested the possibility of the reef a few years earlier after a study had been done to see if we could have a surf generating reef off of Teignmouth. (Study said it would not work). I can find no record of calls for investment in the seawall by the local MP before the collapse last Feb but I sure the Tories on this site will be able to point us to the letter or debate if there was and if they can't I am sure they can get AMM and tell us she first took up the case for the wave breaking reef. Officers at County Hall have been looking at this since well before the Feb collapse.
On electrification. Network Rail are future proofing I am just try to raise this as an issue. Adrian Sanders MP has been fighting hard on this. At the Teignmouth Town Centre Management meeting last week Network Rail thought electrification could get as far as Exeter. So the new generation of trains which we desperatly need to order now will have to be dual fuel. We are likely to get more hand me downs in the meantime. This is not acceptable, we need new the new trains.
This is worth watching if you missed the latest episode 'The Railway' the day the line reopened.
@ Howard re doiuble deck trains
Found this series by Channel 4 in 1984 ...with a mention of double deck trains, how they were built in late 40s but did not last. Some good history on trains, Nationalisation and how people did not like it ..and second one is on Beeching and how he thought goods and passengers should be by road.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goh_sbtAhcY re Nationalisation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV63tqmZ63M re Beeching
Re all the problems today on trains in London ..with Network Rail (the track is nationalised) ...just wonder if it would be in better hands if private.