Dartmoor Railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Coordinates: 50°43′55″N 3°59′46″W / 50.732°N 3.996°W / 50.732; -3.996

Dartmoor Railway
Okehampton Station 1.jpg
Okehampton railway station, on the Dartmoor Railway
LocaleDevon, England
Commercial operations
NameBritish Rail
Built byLondon and South Western Railway
Original gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Owned byAggregate Industries Ltd
Operated byDartmoor Railway CIC [1]
Length15 12 miles (24.9 km)
Preserved gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Commercial history
Opened1865/1879
Closed1968 (West of Meldon to all traffic) 1972 (to regular passenger services from Okehampton to Exeter)
Preservation history
1997Regular passenger services restarted by Dartmoor Railway
2019Regular passenger services ceased
2020February — Dartmoor Railway Entered Administration
HeadquartersOkehampton
Dartmoor Railway
miles
0¾
Crediton
 
Salmon Pool level crossing
Yeoford
served by Tarka Line trains only
Coleford Junction
Bow
11¾
North Tawton
14½
Sampford Courtenay
18¼
Okehampton
20¼
Meldon Viaduct/
Meldon Quarry
to Padstow and Bude

The Dartmoor Railway is a 15 12-mile (24.9 km) long railway line in Devon, England. From Crediton the line parallels the Tarka Line to the site of the former Coleford Junction. Heading west, it then serves Sampford Courtenay, Okehampton and Meldon Quarry. The section from Crediton to Coleford Junction is owned by Network Rail and from there to Meldon is owned by Aggregate Industries. In the past freight trains served the ballast quarry at Meldon. The line is leased to and maintained by the Dartmoor Railway CIC,[1] who operate some services and facilitate access to the line by other operators.

Great Western Railway run a public service between Exeter and Okehampton on summer Sundays. Ballast and stone trains were formerly operated by one of the national freight operating companies. In 2011 the quarry was mothballed, leading to the suspension of ballast and stone trains. The line is also used occasionally by other operators for training purposes, and is visited from time to time by main line charter services via the connection to the national network at Crediton.

The route was originally part of the London and South Western Railway's West of England Main Line (route from Exeter to Plymouth), which opened between 1865 and 1879. In 1968, British Rail closed the line beyond Meldon as part of the Beeching cuts. The Exeter to Okehampton passenger service was withdrawn by British Rail in 1972.

Between 1972 and 1997 the line was used for railway ballast traffic from Meldon Quarry and occasional freight traffic to the remaining goods yard at Okehampton before its closure. Occasional charter and special trains were operated to Okehampton and Meldon Quarry during the passenger closure period. The railway reopened to regular passenger services in 1997 with the formation of Dartmoor Railway. A summer Sunday passenger service was introduced from Exeter to Okehampton as part of the Dartmoor Rover network.[citation needed]

British American Railway Services Ltd, a company created by Iowa Pacific Holdings of Chicago, became the new owner of the Dartmoor Railway CIC on 4 September 2008. The company announced its intention to develop freight, passenger and tourist services on the railway.[2]

Volunteer support for the railway is provided by the Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association (DRSA). Volunteers assist the railway operation in many of its activities.[3]

A proposal was made in 2009 to restore and reopen the disused down platform at Yeoford and extend Dartmoor Railway services to terminate there. At the time it was not possible to agree arrangements with Network Rail, who own Yeoford Station and the section of line from near the site of the former Coleford Junction towards Yeoford and Crediton.[4] If this proposal were eventually achieved it could allow the extension of Dartmoor Railway passenger services and make interchange with Exeter–Barnstaple "Tarka Line" trains possible.[citation needed]

Train services ceased in December 2019 and in February 2020 it was announced that the railway had gone into administration.[5]

On 19 March 2021, it was announced that Network Rail had taken over the Dartmoor Line and regular passenger services would be introduced by the end of the year.

Passenger volume[edit]

Station usage
Station name 2002–03 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18 2018–19 2019–20
Crediton 21,607 22,478 22,550 24,021 27,422 32,344 36,784 44,074 48,978 43,016 50,342
Sampford Courtenay 0 76 136 150 146
Okehampton 0 3,622 3,526 3,438 3,208
Meldon Quarry
The annual passenger usage is based on sales of tickets in stated financial years from Office of Rail and Road estimates of station usage. The statistics are for passengers arriving and departing from each station and cover twelve month periods that start in April. Methodology may vary year on year. Barking and Blackhorse Road are affected by usage of the ticket gates for the underground and that Gospel Oak connects to the North London Line section of the London Overground and is similarly affected. Barking is further affected by the ticket gates used to access C2C services.

Passenger usage statistics relate only to the limited summer Sunday only National Rail services operated by Great Western Railway. They do not include the Heritage or Polar Express trains operated on the railway.

Heritage activities[edit]

Heritage services run between Meldon Quarry and Okehampton, extended to Sampford Courtenay, Bow or the DR/Network Rail boundary on special event days. The former stations at North Tawton and Bow remain closed to passengers. Both are in private ownership and have no public access.

The heritage services use a variety of rolling stock, including a Class 205 "Thumper" unit restored to its original livery and number. Services are also operated using restored diesel locomotives in push–pull trains and top and tail mode with a variety of coaching and ex-EMU stock. Steam-hauled services have also operated from time to time.

Public train services[edit]

Devon County Council continues to sponsor the Sunday Rover trains between Exeter and Okehampton. These have run since the 1997 reopening, and operated again in 2016 from mid-May to early September.

The service consists of four return trips between St James Park station in Exeter and Okehampton. These trains connect with bus services and heritage railway services at Okehampton, Tarka Line rail services at Crediton and other national rail services at Exeter.

Devon and Cornwall Railways Ltd (a subsidiary of British American Railway Services Ltd) announced its intention to operate through services from Okehampton to Exeter in 2010, having made a track access application to Network Rail on 18 March 2010[6] to operate four return services each weekday between Okehampton and St James Park and a further two (plus one on Sundays) as far as Exeter St David's. This service would have run under an "open access" licence. This was not realised, and the project is currently not being pursued.

Each Christmas from 2012 until 2019 the railway ran the "Polar Express" based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg and the Warner Brothers film of the same name.

Dartmoor Line to reopen[edit]

On 19 March 2021, it was announced that the Dartmoor Line would reopen to regular, year-round services by the end of the year as part of the Government's "Restoring Your Railway" programme.[7] A new website has been set up to give more information about the project.

Rolling stock[edit]

Diesel locomotives[edit]

Number and name Origin Wheel
arrangement
Class Notes Photograph
08937 BR 0-6-0DE Class 08 Operational.[8] -
47828 BR Co-Co Class 47 Operational.[9] -
68086 BR 0-4-0 Wickham trolley Operational.[10] -
4220016 "Flying Falcon" Aggregate Industries 0-4-0 Industrial Shunter Operational
4220016 "Flying Falcon" at Meldon Viaduct (previously Meldon Quarry) in 2003. Flying Falcon is owned by Aggregate Industries and is based on the Dartmoor Railway.

Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU)[edit]

Number and name Origin Class Notes Photograph
59520 BR British Rail Class 117 Operational.[11] -

Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU)[edit]

Origin Number and name Class Notes Photograph
BR 205028 British Rail Class 205 Unrestored.[12] -
BR 205032 British Rail Class 205 Restored, Out Of Service, 60677 not restored.[13] -

Electric Multiple Unit (EMU)[edit]

Origin Number and name Class Notes Photograph
BR Units 61743, 61742 Set No 1589 British Rail Class 411 4-Cep 61743 Operational, 61742 stored.[14] Blue-Grey
BR Unit 70273 Set No 1392 British Rail Class 411 4-Cep Undergoing Restoration.[15] -
BR Unit 76747, 62385, 70508 and 76818 Set No 1399 British Rail Class 421 4-Cig 76818 away at Eastleigh, 70508 a 4-CEP unit.[16] This unit will be scrapped for spares due to storage costs, MBSO 62385 will go to the 4-VOP unit 3905.[17] -
BR Unit 69332 Set No 2203 British Rail Class 421 4-Big Used as catering facility.[18] -
BR Unit 69310 Set No 7040 British Rail Class 421 4-Big Used as catering facility.[19] -
BR Unit 76397, 70904 and 76398 Set No 3905 British Rail Class 423 4-Vop Under Restoration, Will leave railway due to termination of lease.[citation needed] it will gain MBSO 62385 from 4-Cig unit 1399.[17] -
BR Unit 76277 Set No 8005 'The Rocket' British Rail Class 438 4-Tc Operational.[20] -

Carriages[edit]

Origin Number Type Notes Photograph
British Railways S34249 MK.I Brake Corridor Second (Lab 11) Operational.[21]
British Railways 35327 MK.I Brake Corridor Second Operational.[22]
British Railways 13436 MK.II Corridor First Operational.[23]
British Railways 3411 MK.II Open First Stored,
British Railways 3419 MK.II Open First Stored,
British Railways 9501 MK.II Brake Open Second Stored,
British Railways 6181 MK.II Open Second Stored,
British Railways 5920 MK.II Tourist Second Open Stored,
British Railways 3387 MK.II Open First Stored,
British Railways 3353 MK.II Open First Stored,
British Railways 6002 MK.II Tourist Second Open Stored,
British Railways 10595 MK.III Convertible Sleeper Used as overnight sleeper
British Railways 10611 MK.III Convertible Sleeper Used as overnight sleeper
British Railways 10518 MK.III Convertible Sleeper Used as overnight sleeper

Wagons and other rolling stock[edit]

Origin Number Type Notes Photograph
British Railways 924848 4 wheel steel flatbed Operational
British Railways 726277 4 wheel steel open Dace Operational
British Railways 290133 4 wheel steel open Zander Operational
PO 999045 4 wheel Class B Fuel Tank Stored
British Railways 994xxx Bogie 3-plank Open Sturgeon A Operational
British Railways 992929 Dogfish 4w Steel Hopper Operational
British Railways 9983187 Dogfish 4w Steel Hopper Operational
British Railways 889022 Ferry Van Operational.[24]
Southern Railway LDS55625 Pillbox 4w Brake Van Under restoration.[25]
London, Midland and Scottish Railway 731411 4w Brake Van Operational.[26]
British Railways 96212 Mk 1 GUV Operational.[27]
British Railways 87554 Blue Spot Four wheel Fish Van Body only.[28]
British Railways 94691 Four-wheel CCT Stored.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About the railway". Friends of Dartmoor Railway. Archived from the original on 22 March 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2009.
  2. ^ "Heritage Railway", Heritage Railway Magazine. Issue 116, 2 October 2008 – 29 October 2008. P. 18.
  3. ^ "Volunteers". Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association. Retrieved 25 March 2013. Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association website Volunteers page
  4. ^ "News". Dartmoor Railway. Retrieved 2 October 2009. Dartmoor Railway website Newspage
  5. ^ Holden, Michael (8 February 2020). "Dartmoor Railway goes into Administration". RailAdvent. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Dartmoor Railway Applies to Run to Exeter" - Broadbent, S; RAIL Magazine news article, Issue 641, 7–20 April 2010, p.18
  7. ^ "Dartmoor line rail services will be restored for first time in half a century". GOV.UK. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Stocklist - D4167 - Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association, Okehampton, Devon". www.dartmoor-railway-sa.org.
  9. ^ "Stocklist - 47828 - Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association, Okehampton, Devon". www.dartmoor-railway-sa.org.
  10. ^ "Stocklist - 68086 - Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association, Okehampton, Devon". www.dartmoor-railway-sa.org.
  11. ^ "Stocklist - 59520 - Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association, Okehampton, Devon". www.dartmoor-railway-sa.org.
  12. ^ "BR 60146 SR DEMU Class 205 DMBS: built 1960". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
  13. ^ "BR 60677 SR DEMU Class 205 centre trailer built 1961". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
  14. ^ "BR 61742 4-CEP EMU Driving Motor Second built 1961". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
  15. ^ "Stocklist - 70273 - Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association, Okehampton, Devon". www.dartmoor-railway-sa.org.
  16. ^ "Class 421/8 4-CIG Unit 1399". 400series.co.uk. 3 November 2013. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  17. ^ a b "South Central Trains 4-VOP 3905". www.facebook.com.
  18. ^ "BR 69332 Class 422/2 4-BIG EMU Buffet Car built 1970". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
  19. ^ "BR 69310 EMU Buffet Car built 1966". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
  20. ^ "BR 4005 Drivng trailer from (unpowered) 4-TC unit". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
  21. ^ "Stocklist - Lab 11 - Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association, Okehampton, Devon". www.dartmoor-railway-sa.org.
  22. ^ "Stocklist - 80225 - Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association, Okehampton, Devon". www.dartmoor-railway-sa.org.
  23. ^ "Stocklist - FK - Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association, Okehampton, Devon". www.dartmoor-railway-sa.org.
  24. ^ "Stocklist - DB 889022 - Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association, Okehampton, Devon". www.dartmoor-railway-sa.org.
  25. ^ "Stocklist - LDS55625 - Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association, Okehampton, Devon". www.dartmoor-railway-sa.org.
  26. ^ "Stocklist - 731411 - Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association, Okehampton, Devon". www.dartmoor-railway-sa.org.
  27. ^ "Stocklist - E86443 - Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association, Okehampton, Devon". www.dartmoor-railway-sa.org.
  28. ^ "BR 87554 Blue Spot Four wheel Fish Van (body only) built 1954". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.
  29. ^ "BR 94691 Four-wheel CCT (Covered Carriage Truck) built 1961". www.cs.vintagecarriagestrust.org.

External links[edit]