Seen at the railway


An informal diary of recent interesting news and activity at the railway:


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Sleeper train at Okehampton


After a distinct lack of activity for the last twelve months, the visit of a trainload of sleepers to Okehampton attracted a lot of attention, and we have been pleasantly inundated with pictures. A selection is shown below, with grateful thanks to all the photographers.

The train, topped and tailed by 70809 and 70815, originated at Westbury, and comprised 15 bogie 'Salmon' wagons with a total of 2,520 concrete sleepers,

It was the first time a class 70 diesel had been seen at Okehampton. Clearly a capable machine, just lacking input from Dugald Drummond with the styling.


Photographer: Alan Peters
Date taken: 14/01/2021


En route, at Crediton
Photographer: Alan Peters
Date taken: 13/01/2021


Photographer: Alan Peters
Date taken: 14/01/2021


Photographer: Alan Peters
Date taken: 14/01/2021


DRSA team prepares to meet the intruder
Photographer: Tom Baxter
Date taken: 14/01/2021


Nose end detail
Photographer: Tom Baxter
Date taken: 14/01/2021


Photographer: Sue Baxter
Date taken: 14/01/2021


Loaded wagon - 8 stacks of 21 slprs = 168 per wagon
Photographer: Tom Baxter
Date taken: 14/01/2021


Signs of spring at Okehampton
Photographer: Tom Baxter
Date taken: 14/01/2021


Photographer: Dave Ellis
Date taken: 14/01/2021


Photographer: Dave Ellis
Date taken: 14/01/2021


Photographer: Dave Ellis
Date taken: 14/01/2021


Photographer: Dave Ellis
Date taken: 14/01/2021



Unloading:

Photographer: Alan Peters
Date taken: 14/01/2021


Unlashing the last wagon
Photographer: Tom Baxter
Date taken: 14/01/2021


2 roadrailers grab 14 sleepers each to move from train to stack in the car park
Photographer: Sue Baxter
Date taken: 14/01/2021


The crane retracted
Photographer: Sue Baxter
Date taken: 09/01/2021


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Network Rail Track Testing Train


On Tuesday Jan 12th the 0950 special from Derby to Exeter Riverside transit move of a NR Track Testing Train worked by Colas locos 37099 and 37254 is seen passing through Highbridge station. This train was scheduled to do two track testing and recording runs, in connection with the Okehampton reinstatement, from Exeter to Okehampton and back very early on the morning of Wednesday Jan 13th, before returning to Derby.

Photographer: Chris Redwood
Date taken: 12/01/2021



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Working Platforms


Two almost new road rail MEWPs (Mobile Elevated Working Platforms) have recently arrived at Okehampton Station for use on inspections of bridges and structures between Coleford and Meldon.
Photographer: Tony Hill
Date taken: 19/12/2020



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Update 30/11/20


Some recent developments at the railway:

Specialist engineers have been much in evidence, surveying the track alignment, drainage, and bridge structures, to identify the remedial work which is required to bring the railway up to scratch.

They get around the railway on a Quattro road rail vehicle. It has six road wheels with balloon tyres, and four rail wheels. A flat bed trailer is attached at one end, and a six seat trailer at the other. Unlike many of its Wickham ancestors, it doesn’t have any weather protection for the passengers. Those old gangers were wimps.

A representative of the Dartmoor National Park Authority has visited and is keen to improve the information display in the platform 2 carpark, and for the platform 3 booking office and/or shop to provide Moor visitors with travel advice for the Granite Way and north Moor.

With the assistance of the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership’s Richard Burningham, plans are being made for comprehensive new signage for the station and its environs, including appropriate replica heritage material for platform 2.

Officials have surveyed the station site’s accessibility for bus services, checking the layout and turning area.

It has emerged that the signal box is likely to be considered an integral part of the station estate, possibly creating further opportunities for DRSA.

Quattro road rail vehicle and passenger trailer.
Photographer: Sue Baxter
Date taken: 26/11/2020



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Rail delivery Nov 25th/26th


A ghostly 70813 departing Bow station at the back of an empty rail delivery train in the early morning of 26 November. Only the second known Class 70 to visit the line, 70805 having worked a similar delivery four days earlier.
Photographer: Dick Henrywood
Date taken: 26/11/2020



Rail delivery Nov 21st


The railway was visited by the 1724 Westbury to Okehampton LWR (long welded rail) train on the evening of November 21st. The train, hauled by Colas class 70 70805, with 66850 dead on the rear, unloaded 32 rails between Coleford and Bow. (Each rail is 216 m or 702 ft long, making a trainload just over 2 miles). Tony Hill saw it creeping along under the overbridge near Horwell Barton at 2245. The following morning the empty train departed Crediton for Westbury at 0900. We are grateful to Alan Peters and Guy Vincent for the photos below of the returning train.


66850 'David Maidment' with the returning LWR train at Crediton CN3 signal.
Photographer: Alan Peters
Date taken: 22/11/2020



70805 with the returning LWR train passing Berkley Marsh near Frome.
Photographer: Guy Vincent
Date taken: 22/11/2020


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Fallen tree


A couple of months ago, a tree fell, fouling the bay siding on the Meldon side of the Klondyke Road underbridge no. 610. At the time, it wasn't clear whose responsibility it was, but that seems to have been resolved, and recently it was cleared. Dave Ellis's photos (below) show the aftermath. Clearly there was some damage to the bridge guardrail.

As an aside, Dave's pictures provide an interesting view of the railway which will be unfamiliar to most folks except members of the Station Maintenance Team. GUV (General Utility Van) E86443 was the subject of a decent paintjob by the SMT in 2012. Now the BR Maroon is turning back to SR Green of its own accord. It was in use as the SMT workshop and store for many years, but this year all DRSA equipment has been removed from it, in preparation for its removal by the lucky purchaser. The last picture shows E86443 in better times, for comparison.

Photographer: Dave Ellis
Date taken: 21/11/2020



Photographer: Dave Ellis
Date taken: 21/11/2020



Photographer: Dave Ellis
Date taken: 21/11/2020



Photographer: Dave Ellis
Date taken: 21/11/2020



The freshly painted and lettered GUV in the bay platform at Okehampton
Photographer: John Caesar
Date taken: 24/03/2012


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Roadrailer


Photographer: Tom Baxter
Date taken: 11/11/2020



Photographer: Tom Baxter
Date taken: 11/11/2020



Above, the Quattro Roadrailer departed on a lowloader on November 11th. The observant will notice that the Christmas train is still here.

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Bridge work



Bridge No. 584 at 187m 42c, near Bow Station over the Bow to Spreyton road, having vegetation removed by a Groundforce Team from Paignton, prior to inspection of its condition by Network Rail.
Photographer: Tony Hill
Date taken: 28/10/2020




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Vegetation clearance on and around bridges between Coleford and Okehampton continues, prior to a full structural survey, with recent work at Bridge No.596 Fullaford 192 miles 35 chains (i.e. from Waterloo) and at Bridge No. 595 Greenslade 191m 55c:

Greenslade
Photographer: Tony Hill
Date taken: 21/10/2020



Fullaford
Photographer: Tony Hill
Date taken: 21/10/2020



Fullaford
Photographer: Tony Hill
Date taken: 21/10/2020




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At Okehampton Station


Roadrailer in the car park
Photographer: Sue Baxter
Date taken: 16/10/2020



Last of the first load of sleepers loaded
Photographer: Sue Baxter
Date taken: 13/10/2020



Delivery of sleepers in the car park.
Photographer: Dave Ellis
Date taken: 11/10/2020