Preliminary Work on Okehampton Line: progress updates

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Following on from previously post

Sampford Courtenay Stn
No change here except a number of porta cabin sheds, toilets and storage units have appeared, 2 being on the platform!

Okehampton Stn
A lot of works happening here, ainscough crane on site moving sleepers around, a 2nd main base Stn radio van on site (other one was at north Tawton) and geological unit on the tracks testing the ground.
Major change is the station car park is now closed and being used for contractors vehicles only - don’t know if this is a permanent or temporary change.



Correct - just tack renewals , reballasting etc - there is 100% no new track infrastructure.

thanks for the pics & detail.

i assumed it was just renewals for 2021 but interested to know what works are needed in 2022 to make it hourly; I assume some areas will remain a lower speed until done.

seems a lot of journey time needs to be improved on (under 25 minutes probably)

there’s mention of the parkway station; though it’s not committed to - at this point I’m sure the crossover would need to move to keep it hourly
 

50032

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Okehampton Stn
A lot of works happening here, ainscough crane on site moving sleepers around, a 2nd main base Stn radio van on site (other one was at north Tawton) and geological unit on the tracks testing the ground.
Major change is the station car park is now closed and being used for contractors vehicles only - don’t know if this is a permanent or temporary change.


Correct - just tack renewals , reballasting etc - there is 100% no new track infrastructure.
I'd be interested to see some pictures of the Meldon end of Okehampton, and whether the point has been reinstated to the Bude bay? The stock was removed from there last week, so one would assume so. But was it temporary? The NR Sectional Appendix also shows it as being connected, a statement of intent, perhaps?
 

Devonman2014

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I'd be interested to see some pictures of the Meldon end of Okehampton, and whether the point has been reinstated to the Bude bay? The stock was removed from there last week, so one would assume so. But was it temporary? The NR Sectional Appendix also shows it as being connected, a statement of intent, perhaps?

Hi

Does this help - Meldon end of Okehampton station looking towards Meldon. Signal box on right of pic.
My untrained eye says the bay is not connected but I could be wrong.
 

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24Grange

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3. Platform 1 is the Bude bay, - it was originally a through line, but only used for passengers at the Plymouth End. Platform 2 was the down line ( to Plymouth -now an extended siding). Platform 3 is the up line ( with the main station building on it) to Exeter, one way and the Meldon Quarry the other.
 

Devonman2014

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How many platforms are there at Okehampton?

3 - platform 1 is the old Bude Bay
Platform 2 was Meldon bound trains (where polar express stock was stabled)
Platform 3 was Dampfor Courtenay bound trains

That’s how I understand it worked.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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3. Platform 1 is the Bude bay, - it was originally a through line, but only used for passengers at the Plymouth End. Platform 2 was the down line ( to Plymouth -now an extended siding). Platform 3 is the up line ( with the main station building on it) to Exeter, one way and the Meldon Quarry the other.
OK, thank you, was there a run round look for the Dartmoor railway services to use when they were operating?
 

24Grange

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No - Only at Meldon - They didn't use it , but did "push pull". At the other end, Credition , I'm not even sure could be used as a passing loop ? Just for trains passing?

The old ballast trains must have run around at meldon at some point in the past, but don't remember ever a railtour passenger train ( or dartmoor railway) train ever doing so - They aways had a loco at both ends. Might mean the passing loop at Meldon is out of use, or signaling won't allow.

Dartmoor railway always wanted to run to Yeoford ( long term plan) and reinstate the 2nd abandoned platform. There would have been room for a run around loop around the back of the abandoned platform, but they never did it before they went bust & I'm.speculating.

They used a brake van at the front in 2019 as a " driving cab" being propelled by the loco at the back. They also used a ex BR VEP, with a cab or similar to be propelled. One early season they hired in a little black steam tank loco, but that was also Push pull.
 

Devonman2014

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Thanks, was that taken today?

There's a photo here (https://www.dartmoor-railway-sa.org/comingsgoings) of the 08 moving the stock from the bay on the 22nd March. Perhaps they craned it out? Or temporarily slewed the rails?

Photo was taken yesterday at 12:45

Looking at the rails I don’t think any works were done and there’s always a crane in the yard now.

I wonder (don’t know) if was crane out to platform 2 and towed from there ??

Be good to see a pic at Stn to see how it was done - had I known would of popped down !
 

bishdunster

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Photo was taken yesterday at 12:45

Looking at the rails I don’t think any works were done and there’s always a crane in the yard now.

I wonder (don’t know) if was crane out to platform 2 and towed from there ??

Be good to see a pic at Stn to see how it was done - had I known would of popped down !
You would need a far bigger crane than the one in the pics to lift anything much bigger than a Wickham Trolley !
 

Cowley

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You would need a far bigger crane than the one in the pics to lift anything much bigger than a Wickham Trolley !

I’ll say! :lol:
I believe that NR cut the track, slewed it across and the 08 was then used to drag everything out of the platform.
 

Irascible

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I’ll say! :lol:
I believe that NR cut the track, slewed it across and the 08 was then used to drag everything out of the platform.
I have this vision of a bobby pulling the lever, which turns on a light in a ganger's hut & a swarm of orange pour out & slew the track...
 

Ash Bridge

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I’ll say! :lol:
I believe that NR cut the track, slewed it across and the 08 was then used to drag everything out of the platform.
Thanks for this Mr C, I contacted DRSA yesterday to see if they had any knowledge on how the move was achieved but still waiting on a reply from them as yet. Anyway I know you have a reliable sources of info so that’s good enough for me :)
 

Brush 4

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DRSA aren't very good at replying, as in they don't. As is often the case though, it is probably one person letting the side down, not the whole organisation. Hope you get a reply though......
 

Cowley

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I have this vision of a bobby pulling the lever, which turns on a light in a ganger's hut & a swarm of orange pour out & slew the track...
Thanks for this Mr C, I contacted DRSA yesterday to see if they had any knowledge on how the move was achieved but still waiting on a reply from them as yet. Anyway I know you have a reliable sources of info so that’s good enough for me :)

No problem Mr Bridge. :)
 

Ash Bridge

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DRSA aren't very good at replying, as in they don't. As is often the case though, it is probably one person letting the side down, not the whole organisation. Hope you get a reply though......
Yes, you could well be correct there. Though if I do get a response I will definitely advise here:)
 

MarkyT

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I’ll say! :lol:
I believe that NR cut the track, slewed it across and the 08 was then used to drag everything out of the platform.
SDR has a (normally) unconnected siding at Buckfastleigh used for long-term stabling of stock awaiting overhaul or other fate and some vans used for engineering parts storage. Loco 4920, Dumbleton Hall, had been parked on the track in question for many years before recent disposal. On the very rare occasions that access is required, the adjacent depot line can be broken and slewed across to join it. It's likely there are other examples of this in preservation, as it saves the expense and maintenance liability of a turnout.
 

Devonman2014

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Yes, you could well be correct there. Though if I do get a response I will definitely advise here:)
The DRSA all gathered on platform 2 and were chatting with NR staff on Tuesday.

If I see them on my travels I will ask :)
 
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Ash Bridge

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I’ve actually I’ve just received a reply from Jon Kelsey from DRSA and my good friend @Cowley was pretty well spot on with his above reply. Jon also mentioned that to best of his knowledge this has also been done on at least two previous occasions so the joints are in the right place and the bolt holes all line up, he also pointed out that on this occasion it was carried out by NR.
 

3973EXL

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DCRP update on N Tawton work last weekend.


Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership on Twitter: "Work is well and truly underway to get the #DartmoorLine to Okehampton ready to reopen by the end of the year.
https://dartmoorline.com/2021/04/new-track-on-north-tawton-bridge/
Work to get the Dartmoor Line in shape for reopening is proceeding apace. These photos show work from the weekend on North Tawton Bridge where 45 metres of new track has been installed, with 65 new concrete sleepers, new rail and 200mm of fresh ballast.
 
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Devonman2014

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Update from todays little treck around the area

Nymets Bridge all the line has had temporary lighting installed with a farmer local to the area indicating works are underway most nights.

Bow station area again temporary lighting is installed , track is in place and a heap of ballast piled next to the track. Local chat is Thursday night a major amount of renewal works are being undertaken. Photo of area below.

North Tawton Stn more temporary lighting installed across the bridge and along trackside in the Okehampton direction. Blue boxes are stacked there (any idea what they contain ?) looking towards the bridge you can just see the new ballast installed as part of the renewals across the bridge mentioned above.photo below shows what can be seen.
 

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Bald Rick

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The blue boxes? Probably an endless supply of sandwiches and snickers bars.

(Or, possibly, for collecting up small parts of scrap metal - bolts, spikes, chairs etc, for possible reuse or scrapping)
 

Devonman2014

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56302 en route to Crediton (then onto oke branch) with Balfour Beattytrack renewal train

70808 en route to Crediton with a train load of new sleepers , assumed for Crediton ....
 

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