Rail Travel/Train Services
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Rail Forum - Thursday 10 April 2014
A Rail Forum on the theme of ‘Resilience’ was hosted by Devon County Council on Thursday 10 April. Presentations were made by Network Rail, First Great Western, Devon County Council, Avocet Line Rail User Group, Torbay Line Rail User Group and the Tarka Rail Association.
The presentations explained the challenges faced during the first few months of 2014 and also explained the longer term issues facing the rail network around Devon, including the particular issues raised by the Rail User Groups. Each group of presentations was followed by a question and answer session involving the speakers.
A copy of the presentations can be downloaded here (5.04MB - pdf help) - please note this is a large file over 4MB. A transcript of the presentation by the Torbay Line Rail Users Group can also be viewed here (77KB - pdf help).
Devon County Council thanks all those who participated.
Devon County Council works closely with train operators and Network Rail to promote and develop the rail network in the County. It presently funds additional journeys between Exeter and Barnstaple, summer Sunday trains to Okehampton and an additional unit to increase capacity in the Exeter area.
The Council are one of the funding partners of the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, which works to promote and develop community rail lines in the two Counties. To find out more visit the DCRP website. Devon County Council is also part of the Exe Rail partnership of local authorities, which works to promote rail lines around Exeter.
There are also a number of significant rail developments, which Devon County Council is either leading on, or a partner. Many of the proposed improvements form part of the “Devon Metro (228KB - pdf help)” proposals, which include:
- Cranbook - on the Exeter - Waterloo line, between Whimple and Pinhoe, serving the new Cranbrook community to the east of Exeter
- Newcourt - on the Avocet line, between Topsham and Digby & Sowton, serving the developments on the former Royal Naval stores site
- Marsh Barton - on the Exeter - Paignton line, between Starcross and Exeter St Thomas, serving Marsh Barton industrial estate
- Edginswell - on the Newton Abbot - Paignton line, between Newton abbot and Torre, in Torbay, close to the Torbay ring road
Devon County Council has promoted many improvements to stations in the County. Current projects include improvements to the forecourt at Exeter Central and to Exmouth and Newton Abbot stations.
Devon County Council is working with the Exmouth Transport Partnership to improve access to Exmouth Rail station; this forms the first phase of future improvements to create a better public transport interchange at Exmouth. During a period of stakeholder engagement we received a number of comments and questions on the previous proposals; these are summarised here (84KB - pdf help). The revised design incorporates suggested changes wherever possible whilst also aiming to achieve improved sustainable transport access to the station. The updated draft drawing is available to view here (853KB - pdf help).
- As part of the new Great Western franchise, Devon County Council is seeking options for enhanced service levels. These include increasing the Exeter - Paignton stopping service to half-hourly, as well as enhancements to Exeter - Barnstaple and Exmouth services
- We are also undertaking a study to determine options for increasing the frequency from Exeter to Honiton/Axminster to two trains per hour
- A successful Interreg bid, submitted by the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership will provide enhanced services between Newton Abbot and Paignton
- We will also continue to press for additional capacity to accommodate the significant growth in passenger numbers and to allow for continuing future growth
- Devon County Council is actively working with neighbouring councils in the SW peninsula on common aims to improve rail services serving the peninsula. Further details can be found in the South West Spine report (2.06MB - pdf help)
- As part of the new Great Western franchise Devon County Council is seeking costs to operate a daily Exeter – Okehampton service
- It is also proposed to reinstate passenger trains between Bere Alston and Tavistock, with the majority of infrastructure costs being met from housing developments in Tavistock
Updated August 2014