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Weardale, Dartmoor and RMS for sale

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by sycamore, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. DcB

    DcB Member

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    New track has now been laid so looking good for the next step of restoring a GWR service with crew training.
    https://www.railadvent.co.uk/2021/0...-dartmoor-extension-as-milestone-reached.html
    Does not say what happens to the old track or if the supporters association can run their heritage train between Okehampton and Meldon?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
  2. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:“… Restoring the connections between our communities, and building new ones, is key to levelling up across the UK.”

    I wonder what "new ones" the Minister had in mind. HS2 presumably doesn't count as that is only intended to improve existing connections, albeit on new alignments.

    Who owned the Dartmoor line before the companies went bust? Was it leased from NR and hence has simply reverted to their ownership?
     
  3. DcB

    DcB Member

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    Does seem a bit confusing, Aggregate Industries must have brought the line from BR, and allowed the Dartmoor railway to use the line and it's now unused diesel shunter.
    The station buildings were leased from the council.
    Network rail have probably taken ownership of the line from Aggregate Industries, but not the Meldon section or the currently locked up Meldon railway workshops?.
     
  4. Dead Sheep

    Dead Sheep New Member

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    I may be wrong but I thought the lined was leased by Network Rail, who remained the freeholder. They decided to terminate the lease due to the condition of the line.
     
  5. Swan Age

    Swan Age New Member

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    The old track is being taken away by truck, it was cut up into small sections by a machine with hydraulic Jaws.
    AFAIK nothing had been decided yet regarding the Heritage operation up to the quarry. There may not be any stock left to run such an operation as a lot has been sold, including the operational Thumper unit.
    https://rmslocotec.com/for-sale
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
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  6. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody New Member

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    Does anyone know who it has been sold to?
    Hopefully not the scrapman!
     
  7. Swan Age

    Swan Age New Member

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    The line was sold by BR in about 1994 to the then ECC quarries, now Aggregate industries so that Meldon quarry rail traffic could continue, which it did up until closure of the quarry in 2010.
    They then leased the railway in more recent years to British American Railway Services (Bars) the UK arm of Iowa Pacific holdings, who went into liquidation in early 2020.
    The line itself was advertised way back in 2014 for sale by Aggregate industries on their website, however it was never knowingly sold. Nothing has been confirmed but it has been reported that Network Rail have now purchased the line back into their property portfolio.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
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  8. Swan Age

    Swan Age New Member

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    Agreed. I would like to think the operational Thumper will go to a good home. The derelict one will probably be broken up, however their is a small issue of asbestos I believe that could complicate things.
     
  9. unitdriver

    unitdriver New Member

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    I understand the whole of the route from the boundary at Coleford Jcn right through to Meldon is now in Network Rail ownership.
    The section beyond the platform at Okehampton to Meldon is outside the scope of the reopening project. but it will be maintained in its current form by NR.
    The Quarry site (and it's sidings) are not part of the NR remit.

    GWR staff training for the resumption of regular services will be happening as soon as NR finish the installation of GSM-R radio masts and crossing upgrades.
    It should be noted that although there are many GWR drivers and guards who sign Okehampton and have worked the summer Sunday service (I am one, I've worked them for the last 15 years on and off). There are however many more who will need to learn the route from scratch in order to to run the daily service.
    All of the rest of us who technically sign it will have to be briefed on the revised linespeeds and intended methods of work for the new service.

    Expect to see a route learning train running daily over the summer.
     
  10. DcB

    DcB Member

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    Unitdriver thanks for the update on test trains.
    (My family had past connections with trains in Devon so looking forward to revisiting soon).
    From their website the supporters association have 2 coaches and access to the shunter, which could allow a limited heritage service to Meldon.
    They may have bid on some stock?.
    Also notice in the news section

    "Okehampton Station opening

    20/05/2021

    DRA volunteers are planning to open platform 2 (only) to the public between Saturday 29th May to Sunday 6th June, from 1100 to 1600 each day. The new track can be seen. The Arthur Westlake Museum, and the railway bookshop, will be open. We will be serving light refreshments."
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
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  11. Jamie Glover

    Jamie Glover Member

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    "Okehampton Station opening
    20/05/2021

    DRA volunteers are planning to open platform 2 (only) to the public between Saturday 29th May to Sunday 6th June, from 1100 to 1600 each day. The new track can be seen. The Arthur Westlake Museum, and the railway bookshop, will be open. We will be serving light refreshments."[/QUOTE]

    An Important Question.

    What is the current situation concerning the much loved former Okehampton Station cat? He was sadly made redundant from his job at the time when the station initially closed following BARS move into insolvency .

    Is the beloved moggie still alive? Is he below the statutory age for a railway employee?

    If the station is to be re opened ? Will GWR re employ him to his former post of chief passenger greeter and mouser?

    I think we should be told!

    Jamie Glover.

     
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  12. DcB

    DcB Member

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    With a bit of googling found he has a new home and still has a FB page! He has more followers than the railway!!
    https://www.facebook.com/Percy-Okehampton-station-cat-1787757494837243/
    I expect the increase of station mice will have sorted before the buildings reopen and the DRA serve refreshments?
    Guess by the time trains run again it will be Great British railways rather than GWR so it's unclear what the station cats post policy will be?
    Did however when searching on FB find a photo of the DRSA owned heritage train that might run again sometime?, which now also has a Mk2 coach available.
    [​IMG]
    Anyone with any news of the "Thumper units"?
     
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  13. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

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    I see two of the MK 3a sleeping coaches 10595 and 10611 and the MK2e Brake open second 9501 have been sold and taken away as scrap.
     
  14. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody New Member

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    Just found info elsewhere, Both 205032 and 205028 are going to/Have gone to the Caledonian Railway at Brechin in Scotland.
    1132 has been purchased by a group of members and 1128 has been privately purchased.
    It appears that they will be used for Bio fuel experiments using Battery or fuel cell power. So at least they are not going to the scrappie.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
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  15. Kingscross

    Kingscross Member

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    Macthump thump.png
     
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  16. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Honestly never my favourite MUs in service, due to the high density (3+2) seating, identical to the EPB units once omnipresent across BR(S) suburban lines, I do recognise the historic significance of these workhorses, as well as how reliable they were. I'm extremely glad some examples have been preserved and the news concerning use in propulsion experiments is a welcome development (although the use of bio-diesel doesn't stack up from any number of standpoints ..... but that's a whole separate argument!).
     
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  17. goldfish

    goldfish Resident of Nat Pres

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    They might need a new name if that’s the case, as hard to imagine ‘thumper’ will still be appropriate…

    Simon
     
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  18. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody New Member

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    Living in Romsey, I was brought up if not seeing them everyday, I could hear them from home. And then as a guard based at Eastleigh I worked them on a regular basis between 1974 and 1993 when they were transferred to the Central side. Very pleased that both units have found a new home.
    Also nice to see the Hand brake applied indicator showing in the second mans side window!
     
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  19. DcB

    DcB Member

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  20. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Is Meldon Quarry currently in use at all? If Aggregate Industries haven't been running their own trains on the line for more than a decade, they are presumably happy to get rid of a liability. If and when they do wish to send stone out by rail again, having the line owned and maintained by Network Rail could suit them better than being responsible for it themselves.
     
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