Any news on proposals to build an alternative route between Exeter & Plymouth?

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longylong

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Does anyone know the latest on the plans for diversion routes to Plymouth if the Dawlish sea wall collapse she again?

Since it happened I have heard of plans to reopen the Teign valley line, Reopen the Dartmoor railway via okehampton, Tunnel under Holdon forest or build a new line further out at sea.

I haven't heard anything lately though so any news on this one please?

Thanks
 
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The Ham

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From what I hear about the cost benefit analysis, no chance of it happening

Which is why I think that there should be an exercise done to see if running Waterloo to Plymouth via Okehampton would likely attract more passengers. As although, in theory, journey times from some places could be longer there are a lot of places (including some quite large places like Southampton and Portsmouth) where journey times would be faster. Even those places where it would still be quicker are likely to be fairly close in time, probably close enough that it would be quicker than waiting for the next slightly faster service.

Even from parts of London it would be quicker to use the SWT route (the fastest journeys from Clapham to Exeter are within a couple of minutes depending on which route you go, but there are only a few a day where the GWR route manages to be that close, but on those times it does win it by 2 minutes but there's two changes rather than it being direct). Why is that important, because of day only 1 in 500,000 people want to travel to Plymouth in any year the more people that can do so easily then more people who will do so.

By improving the journey time for long distance passengers it means that you need fewer of them to bring in the same amount of money. Assuming that each long distance passenger earns £20 each way (half the return cost of Basingstoke to Exeter) then you need at least 1/4 the number of passengers that you need for local passengers as they would be bringing in at most £5 each way (half the return between Exeter and Plymouth).

To put this into perspective it would mean that rather than needing to grow rail passengers by at least 200,000 people over at most 12 stations to bring in each £1 million a year you could grow it by 50,000 picking up new travelers over a much wider area (although they would all still want to travel to the same few stations).

However what is worth remembering is that it would do both, and so it is likely to be something like 30,000 long distance travelers and 80,000 local passengers, for each £1 million.

It would also mean that travel between other local stations would be easy and so it could attract more people who want to travel between say Honiton and Okehampton or Tavistock and Cranbrook.

Yes there could be some losses as people switch to cheaper services, but given the rate of growth in passengers it is likely that the GWR services would soon replace the few lost passengers with new ones.
 

fflint

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The Ham.
Which is why I think that there should be an exercise done to see if running Waterloo to Plymouth via Okehampton would likely attract more passengers. As although, in theory, journey times from some places could be longer there are a lot of places (including some quite large places like Southampton and Portsmouth) where journey times would be faster. Even those places where it would still be quicker are likely to be fairly close in time, probably close enough that it would be quicker than waiting for the next slightly faster service.

Even from parts of London it would be quicker to use the SWT route (the fastest journeys from Clapham to Exeter are within a couple of minutes depending on which route you go, but there are only a few a day where the GWR route manages to be that close, but on those times it does win it by 2 minutes but there's two changes rather than it being direct). Why is that important, because of day only 1 in 500,000 people want to travel to Plymouth in any year the more people that can do so easily then more people who will do so.

By improving the journey time for long distance passengers it means that you need fewer of them to bring in the same amount of money. Assuming that each long distance passenger earns £20 each way (half the return cost of Basingstoke to Exeter) then you need at least 1/4 the number of passengers that you need for local passengers as they would be bringing in at most £5 each way (half the return between Exeter and Plymouth).

To put this into perspective it would mean that rather than needing to grow rail passengers by at least 200,000 people over at most 12 stations to bring in each £1 million a year you could grow it by 50,000 picking up new travelers over a much wider area (although they would all still want to travel to the same few stations).

However what is worth remembering is that it would do both, and so it is likely to be something like 30,000 long distance travelers and 80,000 local passengers, for each £1 million.

It would also mean that travel between other local stations would be easy and so it could attract more people who want to travel between say Honiton and Okehampton or Tavistock and Cranbrook.

Yes there could be some losses as people switch to cheaper services, but given the rate of growth in passengers it is likely that the GWR services would soon replace the few lost passengers with new ones.

My head hurts.
 

Master29

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Like Blair. Make an off the cuff promise and then go away having forgotten all about it.

A bit like their political careers.

I think there is more chance of organising a fun run up Olympus Mons on Mars than anything actually happening between Exeter and Plymouth.
 

The Ham

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My head hurts.

Sorry, but by it being run by a service that is a viable option in terms of speed alone that the extra income generated by the higher prices paid fewer passengers would be needed to generate the save level of income.

Meaning that the level of benefits are likely to be higher, potentially making it more likely that something could happen.

You could go further and evaluate the cost benefit of including doubling the line so that it is a two track railway between Exeter and Basingstoke with a half hour frequency between Waterloo and Plymouth to see if that helps both projects be more viable.
 

swt_passenger

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I still say that hypothetical through services to/from the Waterloo line are a total red herring. First they do nothing to help maintain services to Torbay. Secondly, a modern DMU or IEP operated service can reverse direction at Exeter St Davids in little more than the duration of a long station stop, so that rules out any operational NEED to run through the station and then via Central.

Nostalgia and history seem to be steering the proposals as usual, while doing nothing whatsoever to fix the issues of the seawall...
 

yorksrob

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I still say that hypothetical through services to/from the Waterloo line are a total red herring. First they do nothing to help maintain services to Torbay. Secondly, a modern DMU or IEP operated service can reverse direction at Exeter St Davids in little more than the duration of a long station stop, so that rules out any operational NEED to run through the station and then via Central.

Nostalgia and history seem to be steering the proposals as usual, while doing nothing whatsoever to fix the issues of the seawall...

It would ensure that services could be maintained to the west of England even when the sea wall was causing problems.

The WoE main line from Waterloo passes through a number of reasonably large centres in its own right. Running through to Plymouth would improve journey opportunities from these areas to the West of England.
 

DarloRich

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Does anyone know the latest on the plans for diversion routes to Plymouth if the Dawlish sea wall collapse she again?

Since it happened I have heard of plans to reopen the Teign valley line, Reopen the Dartmoor railway via okehampton, Tunnel under Holdon forest or build a new line further out at sea.

I haven't heard anything lately though so any news on this one please?

Thanks

No plans to do owt: just lots of hot air
 

yorksrob

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A hiccup, but nothing that wouldn't be sorted by foliage control etc, were the line open.

Some people seem to think that a reopened line through Okehampton would be some sort of an existential threat to the existing route through Newton Abbot, which is presumably why they seem to be so cheered by any sort of hiccup.

Absolute nonsense of course, the route through Okehampton would only complement the existing route, but people seem to have it in their brains for some reason.
 

Ash Bridge

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A hiccup, but nothing that wouldn't be sorted by foliage control etc, were the line open.

Some people seem to think that a reopened line through Okehampton would be some sort of an existential threat to the existing route through Newton Abbot, which is presumably why they seem to be so cheered by any sort of hiccup.

Absolute nonsense of course, the route through Okehampton would only complement the existing route, but people seem to have it in their brains for some reason.

Totally agree, it was also very encouraging to see a photograph of 500 passengers crowding Okehampton station yesterday morning awaiting the special HSTs arrival, surely that is a very good indication of local support there for a fully restored rail service.
 

yorksrob

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Totally agree, it was also very encouraging to see a photograph of 500 passengers crowding Okehampton station yesterday morning awaiting the special HSTs arrival, surely that is a very good indication of local support there for a fully restored rail service.

Indeed. And the weekly Sunday DMU service has proved to be popular as well, from what I read.
 

Bald Rick

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Totally agree, it was also very encouraging to see a photograph of 500 passengers crowding Okehampton station yesterday morning awaiting the special HSTs arrival, surely that is a very good indication of local support there for a fully restored rail service.

If an HST turned up at my branch line station that hasn't seen a weekday ervice for more than 45 years, I'd hope that rather more than 500 people would turn up.
 

yorksrob

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If an HST turned up at my branch line station that hasn't seen a weekday ervice for more than 45 years, I'd hope that rather more than 500 people would turn up.

Why ?

Given that trains of various sorts have been coming into Okehampton for years, I don't see why vast crowds of sightseers would be expected to turn up, other than those actually travelling on it.
 

GW43125

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It would ensure that services could be maintained to the west of England even when the sea wall was causing problems.

The WoE main line from Waterloo passes through a number of reasonably large centres in its own right. Running through to Plymouth would improve journey opportunities from these areas to the West of England.

They used to run through to Plymouth/Paignton but we wanted an hourly service! <D
 

Chester1

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Would a cheap park and ride station at Meldon quarry justify a daily London service? There is plenty of space for a long platform and a gravel car park for upto 500 cars. Even if Meldon and Oakhampton were lightly used it would probably be used heavily as a peak time extra for Exeter, Taunton etc.
 

Ash Bridge

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If an HST turned up at my branch line station that hasn't seen a weekday ervice for more than 45 years, I'd hope that rather more than 500 people would turn up.

Exactly, as I understood it they actually had to turn would be passengers away as the train booked up in next to no time, perhaps they will organise another in the not too distant future.
 

yorksrob

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They used to run through to Plymouth/Paignton but we wanted an hourly service! <D

Well, I know the local user group wants modern trains, but there may be cascaded 158's available this time round to extend (although first priority should probably be to restore six carriages west of Salisbury !).
 

Bald Rick

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Why ?

Given that trains of various sorts have been coming into Okehampton for years, I don't see why vast crowds of sightseers would be expected to turn up, other than those actually travelling on it.

Why not?

AIUI The event sold out; GWR HST can hold over 500 people, so if be rather surprised if 500 people hadn't turned up!
 

tbtc

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Hmm, I'll click on this thread and see whether people are discussing a new fast alignment from Exeter to Newton Abbot, which could provide a much faster service (currently around twenty five minutes to do a distance that's around seventeen minutes as the crow flies)...

...or will people be discussing through services from Waterloo to Okehampton like they had back in the Good Old Days...

...I wonder :lol:

Which is why I think that there should be an exercise done to see if running Waterloo to Plymouth via Okehampton would likely attract more passengers. As although, in theory, journey times from some places could be longer

"in theory"?

Journey times from Waterloo/ Exeter to Plymouth would be longer via Okehampton than via Dawlish.

Looking at the times...

Current Exeter - Plymouth services take fifty-something minutes for fifty-something rail miles (about forty five miles by road) . Not exactly "fast" for that distance, but let's call it 55 minutes as a benchmark.

Exeter St Davids to Okehampton is about 45 minutes (looking at proposed timings for the recent HST charter plus the Summer Sunday service).

Bere Alston to Plymouth is about 25 minutes.

So even if you build "HS4" through the undulating Devon landscape and get from Okehampton to Bere Alston in the blink of an eye, you're going to be taking well over an hour from Exeter to Plymouth via the "scenic" route.

Realistically, you're probably talking closer to an hour and a half that way (given that it'll probably take over twenty minutes to cover twenty something miles).

Any time saving from somewhere in the South East to Exeter will be cancelled out by the longer journey via Okehampton.

there are a lot of places (including some quite large places like Southampton and Portsmouth) where journey times would be faster

It'd still be faster to change at Exeter (for a current InterCity service via Dawlish).

If there's a market from Portsmouth/ Southampton to Devon then that should stand/fall on its own feet though - I'm not against that (I just don't agree that it adds anything to your Okehampton idea).

We used to have such services (in the Wessex Trains days) IIRC.

Even from parts of London it would be quicker to use the SWT route (the fastest journeys from Clapham to Exeter are within a couple of minutes depending on which route you go

It'd still be slower going via Okehampton though

It would also mean that travel between other local stations would be easy and so it could attract more people who want to travel between say Honiton and Okehampton or Tavistock and Cranbrook

What demand is there to get from Honiton to Okehampton or from Tavistock to Cranbook? Look at the local commercial bus services (or lack of).

I still say that hypothetical through services to/from the Waterloo line are a total red herring. First they do nothing to help maintain services to Torbay. Secondly, a modern DMU or IEP operated service can reverse direction at Exeter St Davids in little more than the duration of a long station stop, so that rules out any operational NEED to run through the station and then via Central.

Nostalgia and history seem to be steering the proposals as usual, while doing nothing whatsoever to fix the issues of the seawall...

Agreed

The idea that we can give up on maintaining a resilient service to Torbay... but that we need to spend tens of millions of pounds to avoid the need for hypothetical Waterloo - Plymouth services to need to reverse at Exeter... :lol:

The WoE main line from Waterloo passes through a number of reasonably large centres in its own right. Running through to Plymouth would improve journey opportunities from these areas to the West of England.

I've no problem with direct services from Plymouth to places like Yeovil/ Basingstoke.

There's no reason why you need a new line through Okehampton to justify reintroducing SWT services to Exeter though.

Some people seem to think that a reopened line through Okehampton would be some sort of an existential threat to the existing route through Newton Abbot

Who are you quoting?

The population of Newton Abbot and Torbay justify a reliable service to the nearest cities. A fast new alignment from Exeter to Newton Abbot provides that (and a much faster service plus more capacity). Patching up Dawlish provides that. A route through Okehampton doesn't solve that.
 

yorksrob

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There's no reason why you need a new line through Okehampton to justify reintroducing SWT services to Exeter though.

This is true, however I feel that it would be a better outcome to combine that service improvement with a service for Okehampton, Tavistock and West Devon.

Who are you quoting?

I'm not quoting anyone in particular, however someone did try to start a thread entitled "not a good advert for replacing Dawlish" in relation to the misshap yesterday, which illustrates the thought process. Flawed because the route through Okehampton wouldn't replace Dawlish.

The population of Newton Abbot and Torbay justify a reliable service to the nearest cities. A fast new alignment from Exeter to Newton Abbot provides that (and a much faster service plus more capacity). Patching up Dawlish provides that. A route through Okehampton doesn't solve that.

I would suggest that that would be more likely to be an existential threat to the Dawlish line than the route through Okehampton would ever be.

It would provide more capacity, however it wouldn't do as much for Okehampton and Tavistock which would be at the end of impractical branch lines, rather than woven into the inter-regional network.
 

Busaholic

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Let's think big - that Maglev project to link Liverpool and Hull sounds like a real goer, so why stop at Hull? Hull to London is the obvious next step, then you could add some space to the Crossrail 2 tunnelling and have it hurtling out through Hampshire to Exeter, a tunnel under Dartmoor to Okehampton and into Cornwall. Hyperloop One is the name of the company (no intended irony there) and, surprise! surprise!, it's California-based and is trying to raise millions from mugs (sorry, investors). There are plenty of people in the USA who have Cornish ancestry and might back a scheme that reached their ancestral homelands.
 

HSTEd

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If a ten kilometre Dawlish diversion gives a terrible BCR, what chance have any of these giant schemes got?

Probably your best bet is to build a breakwater off the coast that protects the most vulnerable sections.
 
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