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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Old Kent Biker, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Pilton is Barnstaple town centre to all intents and purposes; with crossings I suspect I could walk to Town faster than the train.

    As for traffic potential, I'm not sure, though their are a number of hotels in & around that serve the coach party market. However, as the roads from Blackmoor Gate to Barnstaple are extremely attractive, if a green tunnel can be avoided, I can definitely see potential. Whether that's sufficient????
     
  2. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Oh my days - do you live in Bishops Waltham!?
     
  3. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Guest

    I can confirm that Pilton is nowadays no longer on the outskirts of Barnstaple but pretty much central to the current extent of the town. An easy stroll to the NR station. Also, the plan for Lynton would have a new station site just a little way from the cliff railway. It should also be noted that the L&B Trust and Exmoor Associates own quite a lot of the trackbed along the Phase III route (running towards Pilton).
    The carriages situation was mentioned. The current 're-builds' are all in L&B livery and as per original design pretty much. New build carriages will be in Southern livery and, as has been mentioned, the provision of toilets and corridor connections will clearly be high on the agenda. My guess is they will look like originals that have been improved by the Southern railway (assuming that they hadn't closed the line, of course!). However, nothing has been finally decided . Finally, locos: the L&B Trust is dedicated to recreating the line close to how it was (or might have been). Thus the 4 MWs will join Lyn in due course. Whether there's any need for more locos after that remains to be seen - maybe some big beggars might visit for Galas, of course!

    BTW, I'm sure there's nothing negative about Paul's pants - just his comments! ;)
     
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  4. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Paul may be an enthusiasm sapping pessimist, but I think his insights are incredibly helpful in finding the thin line between aspiration and viability.

    On the point about Park and Ride - to me this is a really vital part of the railway experience. When visiting Totnes we always park at Buckfastleigh and get the South Devon Railway there. Similarly we're planning a trip to Seaton and we will try and park at Colyton and get the Seaton Tramway into town. We always park at Norden when visiting either Corfe or Swanage. For a lot of people where the railway isn't the destination (like my wife), their potential as an informal transport corridor is vital. So I do look forward to one day parking at Blackmoor Gate and riding the L&B to Lynton (I just hope the terminus is slightly closer to the cliff railway).
     
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  5. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    Realist rather than pessimist I trust.

    PH
     
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  6. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    I've suggested before that a nice (!) thing to do would be to try to imagine what coaches Maunsell might have designed for the line, if the SR had decided to re-equip the line and focus on tourist traffic (as the GWR did with the Vale of Rheidol) rather than close it. Fortunately, Maunsell vehicles had a fairly plain outline (especially the flat-sided versions for the Hastings line) so such a design ought to be both practical and functional as well as in keeping with the heritage ambience. And you could have a Devon Belle-style Pullman observation car on the end of each rake!

    Similarly, if the L&B ever decides that it needs a new-build diesel locomotive (which I can imagine they might well), the bodyshell could be modelled on Bulleid's early electric locomotives (which again, had a plain, functional outline).
     
  7. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Guest

    Nice idea about the Maunsell coaches.
    I wonder if modern battery technology would allow a battery-powered Bulleid electric loco to go the 20 odd miles along a revived L&B?
     
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  8. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Well-Known Member

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    As there are a few posts on loco and rolling stock...

    Here in Qld a 2ft guage system serves the sugar industry. I think I heard years ago it was the 'largest narrow guage system' in the world at one stage. Looks like it has been broken up a bit.

    From the net:

    "In 2014 there were 19 sugar cane systems (18 of which use 2 ft or 610 mm gauge) with a combined trackage of 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi) hauling approximately 36M tonnes of sugar cane each season. The average distance cane is hauled is 35 km, with the longest line being 119 km."

    Now, I just looked at the L&B site an they say they have a 1' 11 1/2" guage. Does 1/2 an inch less matter? (Did I just say that?!!)

    Anyway, my point is that there must be quite a few 2ft diesel locos kicking around QLD that could do with a new home. Not to mention that the whole system used to be steam driven too...
     
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  9. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    It's great to see the reconstructed heritage kit (and of course, it's entirely up to folks how they spend their own time and money), but IMO, for the future success of the revived L&B, new stock needs to be designed with present day operations in mind, rather than attempting to ape a bygone (might have been) era. We already have the superb "County Gate" 009 model to do that job!
    The technology to do this has been around a while now. Over in Ireland, Dr Drumm's fast-charge battery trains (no... not locos... bona-fide 2 car trains) operated regular services between Dublin and Bray (14.5miles) between 1932 and 1949. Charging was accomplished via a short stretch of overhead (short meaning 'would fit under a footbridge'), and was rated to be done at 1min/mile run. These trains (the term 'units' wasn't used in Ireland) featured regenerative braking.

    The downsides were (a) weight of batteries (b) battery life was reckoned at 10 years (c) there was a noticeable jolt when regenerative braking kicked in, though this problem is now solved (d) overall availabilty obviously limited them to routes where not-overly-cheap charging stations existed.

    It's worth noting that Dr.Drumm's invention was the precursor of today's phone and computer batteries. For the record, the ex-BR 'BEMU' now resident at the Royal Deeside Railway, but running as hauled stock due to lack of batteries, utilises conventional lead-acid technology.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
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  10. Small Prairie

    Small Prairie New Member

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    Yes. About as central as possible, only a 20 second walk into Barnstaple high Street
     
  11. John Stewart

    John Stewart Well-Known Member

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    Not a downsized Leader then?:)
     
  12. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    Yes and the heritage vehicles are usually empty on the WHR as people want comfortable seats, toilets and refreshments for the two and a half hour journey.
     
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  13. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

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    I always try to sit in "heritage" carriages (let's say pre-Mk1) where available. Unfortunately on our last FfR trip we had to sit in a Superbarn, on a cold and wet day, which means my wife now knows that my previous claim that "all the carriages are cold and bumpy" isn't entirely true.
     
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  14. weltrol

    weltrol Member Friend

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    To quote from the posters that used to adorn many FR stations...."Be sure your sins will find you out.."
     
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  15. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Methinks we enthusiastic types can often be wilfully blind to what we don't want to see.

    Michael's observation was equally true back in the early '70s on the FR. During several few extremely well loaded trips to Dduallt, the oldest stock at the head of the train tended to be the last to be occupied.

    My late father wouldn't countenance getting into my favourite "Bug Box", so on that occasion, we swealtered our way up the line with everyone else in then-new (and none too effectively ventilated) coach 116.

    Looking back to my solo "Bug Box" trips, I must've habitually clambered over the knifeboard seat backs at "Port", as I always enjoyed the view across the valley. I'm pretty sure that for the majority of FR customers these days, this wouldn't be considered a "plus"!

    The revived L&B will be pretty long in heritage terms. The whole operation (stock included) will need to reflect the expectations of those on whose hard earned cash it will rely for success, not the rose-tinted hankerings of die-hard purists.
     
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  16. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Guest

    Wot's wrong with victorian chamberpots under each seat :D
     
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  17. John Stewart

    John Stewart Well-Known Member

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    You're taking the p***.;)
     
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  18. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Are you saying that's not what the flaps under the seats on the "Bug Boxes" are for? :Wideyed:
     
  19. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    I reckon railways have a choice. Keep it short and reasonably authentic. Alternatively provide modern equipment if you need (more truthfully want) to extend the journey time.

    Incidentally, it is worth remembering that, increasingly, the general public find it difficult to cope with slam locks and strap operated droplights. A well trained platform staff of adequate size is needed to assist them. It is no good to have, as I have encountered, loudspeaker announcements requiring late passengers to shut the doors behind them. In an era of push buttons and sliding doors, quite a few people have no idea what to do.

    PH
     
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  20. JMJR1000

    JMJR1000 Member

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    You must be joking... People seriously need help in understanding how to operate a DOOR?! I'm sorry but I do find it rediculous how so many aspects in our society have been so simplified now, that people seem to have lost the natural ability of commonsense, to such a point that we need so many signs and staff just to explain these simplest of concepts to the general public.

    Apologies for the rant, I just hate how certain things seem to have gone, especially that of all the hand holding and pandering to ignorance we have these days... Lord help the future of the human race...
     
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