(too old to reply)
GWR proposed 1930s route west of Exeter
Jonathan Morton
2005-06-19 08:11:50 UTC
The unaccountably acrimonious "Okehampton" thread left me unwilling to ask
this question there, so I'll start a new thread. What was the (approximate)
route of the new Exeter-Newton Abbot line proposed by the GWR, just before
the war, to avoid Dainton? There's remarkably little in Google on this.

Regards
Neil Sunderland
2005-06-19 09:34:36 UTC
Post by Jonathan Morton
The unaccountably acrimonious "Okehampton" thread left me unwilling to ask
this question there, so I'll start a new thread.
Wuss :o)
Post by Jonathan Morton
What was the (approximate)
route of the new Exeter-Newton Abbot line proposed by the GWR, just before
the war, to avoid Dainton? There's remarkably little in Google on this.
It branched off south of Exeter St Thomas (where Marsh Barton Estate
is now), then passed through stations at (or near!) Ide and Longdown,
then down the Teign valley through Christow, Ashton, Hennock,
Chudleigh, Heathfield (where it met the Bovey Tracey/Moretonhampstead
line) and Teigngrace.
--
Neil Sunderland
Braunton, Devon

Please observe the Reply-To address
Jonathan Morton
2005-06-19 09:51:18 UTC
Post by Neil Sunderland
Post by Jonathan Morton
The unaccountably acrimonious "Okehampton" thread left me unwilling to ask
this question there, so I'll start a new thread.
Wuss :o)
Well, I only did it as a "diversionary" tactic to "avoid" controversy.
Post by Neil Sunderland
Post by Jonathan Morton
What was the (approximate)
route of the new Exeter-Newton Abbot line proposed by the GWR, just before
the war, to avoid Dainton? There's remarkably little in Google on this.
It branched off south of Exeter St Thomas (where Marsh Barton Estate
is now), then passed through stations at (or near!) Ide and Longdown,
then down the Teign valley through Christow, Ashton, Hennock,
Chudleigh, Heathfield (where it met the Bovey Tracey/Moretonhampstead
line) and Teigngrace.
Thanks for the reply.

Regards

Jonathan
Mark Annand
2005-06-19 12:11:09 UTC
Post by Jonathan Morton
Post by Neil Sunderland
It branched off south of Exeter St Thomas (where Marsh Barton Estate
is now), then passed through stations at (or near!) Ide and Longdown,
then down the Teign valley through Christow, Ashton, Hennock,
Chudleigh, Heathfield (where it met the Bovey Tracey/Moretonhampstead
line) and Teigngrace.
Thanks for the reply.
Regards
That sounds like the route once used for diversions, not the proposed
1930's one. Wasn't it going to involve a fast route, similar in nature
to the diversion west of Saltash, just inland of Dawlish, for which the
railway started to buy property and then the war intervened?
g.harman
2005-06-19 12:42:28 UTC
On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 09:51:18 +0000 (UTC), "Jonathan Morton"
Post by Jonathan Morton
Post by Neil Sunderland
Post by Jonathan Morton
The unaccountably acrimonious "Okehampton" thread left me unwilling to
ask
Post by Neil Sunderland
Post by Jonathan Morton
this question there, so I'll start a new thread.
What was the (approximate)
route of the new Exeter-Newton Abbot line proposed by the GWR, just
before
Post by Neil Sunderland
Post by Jonathan Morton
the war, to avoid Dainton? There's remarkably little in Google on this.
It branched off south of Exeter St Thomas (where Marsh Barton Estate
is now), then passed through stations at (or near!) Ide and Longdown,
then down the Teign valley through Christow, Ashton, Hennock,
Chudleigh, Heathfield (where it met the Bovey Tracey/Moretonhampstead
line) and Teigngrace.
Thanks for the reply.
Regards
Jonathan
That surely is the route that could be used to as an avoiding line but
only to a limited extent as it was not ideally engineered as briefly
mentioned in the previous thread.
The Op seems to be asking about the proposed but never built line that
the GWR wanted to construct .ISTR that it got as far as the survey
stage. It was to be part of a series of works over the years to
improve the line.
Further down the line from a point about 1 mile south of Saltash to
St Germans Quay there is section that was constructed a little
further inland eliminating the need to maintain/upgrade a couple of
bridges across inlets of the St Germans River.
The old route is very clear on OS Maps and on the ground itself.
There may have been other bits they managed to do but darned if I can
find the relevant publication at the moment.

G.Harman
Ralph Rawlinson
2005-06-19 14:30:11 UTC
To expand on Mark's reply:

In the mid-1930s three schemes were proposed to speed up services and avoid
the difficult section between Exeter and Newton Abbot.
The 1st scheme would have left the present main line just north of Dawlish
Warren and followed an inland route, initially one mile from the coast,
rejoining the original route at Hackney one mile north of Newton Abbot. This
would have involved four new tunnels, the longest approx 1œ miles long. Bore
holes were sunk at the proposed tunnel sites and at Hackney in 1935 and
April 1936.
Details of the 2nd scheme are unknown other than no work carried out on the
ground.
The 3rd scheme would have left the present main line at Exminster and joined
the 1st route at Aller Farm one mile due west of Dawlish, at the entrance to
the longest tunnel. Most of this scheme had been laid out with concrete
centre-line posts and a 10 ft swathe of woodland was cut down where
necessary. The 3rd scheme obtained Royal Assent on 10 June 1937 but was
formally abandoned on 1 December 1949. Had it been constructed the new line
would have been 12 miles long.
Post by Mark Annand
That sounds like the route once used for diversions, not the proposed
1930's one. Wasn't it going to involve a fast route, similar in nature to
the diversion west of Saltash, just inland of Dawlish, for which the
railway started to buy property and then the war intervened?
--
Ralph
John Ruddy
2005-06-19 16:15:22 UTC
Post by Ralph Rawlinson
In the mid-1930s three schemes were proposed to speed up services and avoid
the difficult section between Exeter and Newton Abbot.
The 1st scheme would have left the present main line just north of Dawlish
Warren and followed an inland route, initially one mile from the coast,
rejoining the original route at Hackney one mile north of Newton Abbot. This
would have involved four new tunnels, the longest approx 1½ miles long. Bore
holes were sunk at the proposed tunnel sites and at Hackney in 1935 and
April 1936.
Details of the 2nd scheme are unknown other than no work carried out on the
ground.
The 3rd scheme would have left the present main line at Exminster and joined
the 1st route at Aller Farm one mile due west of Dawlish, at the entrance to
the longest tunnel. Most of this scheme had been laid out with concrete
centre-line posts and a 10 ft swathe of woodland was cut down where
necessary. The 3rd scheme obtained Royal Assent on 10 June 1937 but was
formally abandoned on 1 December 1949. Had it been constructed the new line
would have been 12 miles long.
Post by Mark Annand
That sounds like the route once used for diversions, not the proposed
1930's one. Wasn't it going to involve a fast route, similar in nature to
the diversion west of Saltash, just inland of Dawlish, for which the
railway started to buy property and then the war intervened?
--
Ralph
Dont forget the proposals for eletrification they made in the thirties,
although they were perhaps made in order to knock down the idea of
electrification,, rather than to support it.
Jonathan Morton
2005-06-19 18:24:51 UTC
Post by g.harman
On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 09:51:18 +0000 (UTC), "Jonathan Morton"
Post by Neil Sunderland
It branched off south of Exeter St Thomas (where Marsh Barton Estate
is now), then passed through stations at (or near!) Ide and Longdown,
then down the Teign valley through Christow, Ashton, Hennock,
Chudleigh, Heathfield (where it met the Bovey Tracey/Moretonhampstead
line) and Teigngrace.
That surely is the route that could be used to as an avoiding line but
only to a limited extent as it was not ideally engineered as briefly
mentioned in the previous thread.
The Op seems to be asking about the proposed but never built line that
the GWR wanted to construct .ISTR that it got as far as the survey
stage.
That was indeed what the OP was asking. I didn't have Jowett to hand
earlier, but it's clear that Neil's original answer related to an actual
line, rather than the proposed one.

I'm interested to note that all of the schemes discussed were entirely east
of Newton Abbot. I can't find my original reference but I *thought* I
remembered reading something about a route as far as Rattery - hence my
"cutting out Dainton" in the OP. BICBW of course.

Jowett *does* however include one GWR "might have been" - a line from just
south of Bridgnorth eastwards to near Wombourne near Wolverhampton. Part of
this scheme - if he is to be believed - involved a north-south line from
Penn Halt to Pensnett Halt which would have duplicated the line between
these points which was itself constructed by the GWR after 1922. This seems
odd. Not to mention that the cost of bridging the Severn at that point would
have swallowed loads of money.

Regards

Jonathan
Neil Sunderland
2005-06-19 22:41:05 UTC
Post by Mark Annand
That sounds like the route once used for diversions, not the proposed
1930's one.
Oops, sorry. Memo to self: read the post before replying. Twice...
Post by Mark Annand
Wasn't it going to involve a fast route, similar in nature
to the diversion west of Saltash, just inland of Dawlish, for which the
railway started to buy property and then the war intervened?
Sorry, I don't know. There was an LSWR plan in the 1930s to build a
line from Exeter Central (was it still Queen St then?) to Okehampton
and Barnstaple bypassing St Davids: that was dropped because of the
war, too.
--
Neil Sunderland
Braunton, Devon

Please observe the Reply-To address
Tony Polson
2005-06-20 00:07:46 UTC
Post by Neil Sunderland
Post by Jonathan Morton
The unaccountably acrimonious "Okehampton" thread left me unwilling to ask
this question there, so I'll start a new thread.
Wuss :o)
Post by Jonathan Morton
What was the (approximate)
route of the new Exeter-Newton Abbot line proposed by the GWR, just before
the war, to avoid Dainton? There's remarkably little in Google on this.
It branched off south of Exeter St Thomas (where Marsh Barton Estate
is now), then passed through stations at (or near!) Ide and Longdown,
then down the Teign valley through Christow, Ashton, Hennock,
Chudleigh, Heathfield (where it met the Bovey Tracey/Moretonhampstead
line) and Teigngrace.
How would that have bypassed Dainton?
Andy Kirkham
2005-06-20 09:04:08 UTC
Post by g.harman
On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 09:51:18 +0000 (UTC), "Jonathan Morton"
Post by Jonathan Morton
Post by Neil Sunderland
Post by Jonathan Morton
The unaccountably acrimonious "Okehampton" thread left me unwilling to
ask
Post by Neil Sunderland
Post by Jonathan Morton
this question there, so I'll start a new thread.
What was the (approximate)
route of the new Exeter-Newton Abbot line proposed by the GWR, just
before
Post by Neil Sunderland
Post by Jonathan Morton
the war, to avoid Dainton? There's remarkably little in Google on this.
It branched off south of Exeter St Thomas (where Marsh Barton Estate
is now), then passed through stations at (or near!) Ide and Longdown,
then down the Teign valley through Christow, Ashton, Hennock,
Chudleigh, Heathfield (where it met the Bovey Tracey/Moretonhampstead
line) and Teigngrace.
Thanks for the reply.
Regards
Jonathan
That surely is the route that could be used to as an avoiding line but
only to a limited extent as it was not ideally engineered as briefly
mentioned in the previous thread.
The Op seems to be asking about the proposed but never built line that
the GWR wanted to construct .ISTR that it got as far as the survey
stage. It was to be part of a series of works over the years to
improve the line.
Further down the line from a point about 1 mile south of Saltash to
St Germans Quay there is section that was constructed a little
further inland eliminating the need to maintain/upgrade a couple of
bridges across inlets of the St Germans River.
The old route is very clear on OS Maps and on the ground itself.
There may have been other bits they managed to do but darned if I can
find the relevant publication at the moment.
G.Harman
And the GWR also started work on a new branch to Looe from St Germans.
I have seen it stated that some earthworks for this can be discerned
today. Is this true?

Andy Kirkham
Neil Sunderland
2005-06-20 09:34:12 UTC
Post by Tony Polson
Post by Neil Sunderland
Post by Jonathan Morton
What was the (approximate)
route of the new Exeter-Newton Abbot line proposed by the GWR, just before
the war, to avoid Dainton? There's remarkably little in Google on this.
It branched off south of Exeter St Thomas (where Marsh Barton Estate
is now), then passed through stations at (or near!) Ide and Longdown,
then down the Teign valley through Christow, Ashton, Hennock,
Chudleigh, Heathfield (where it met the Bovey Tracey/Moretonhampstead
line) and Teigngrace.
How would that have bypassed Dainton?
Given that, before replying to Jonathan, the only words that I paid
any attention to in his original post were 'What', 'was', 'the',
'route', 'Exeter', and 'Newton Abbot', I was hardly going to go to the
trouble of looking at a map and discovering that Dainton was actually
south of Newton Abbot, was I? :oÞ
--
Neil Sunderland
Braunton, Devon

Please observe the Reply-To address
Tony Polson
2005-06-20 12:10:33 UTC
Post by Neil Sunderland
Post by Tony Polson
How would that have bypassed Dainton?
Given that, before replying to Jonathan, the only words that I paid
any attention to in his original post were 'What', 'was', 'the',
'route', 'Exeter', and 'Newton Abbot', I was hardly going to go to the
trouble of looking at a map and discovering that Dainton was actually
south of Newton Abbot, was I? :oÞ
For the avoidance of doubt, the original question was:

"What was the (approximate) route of the new Exeter-Newton Abbot line
proposed by the GWR, just before the war, to avoid Dainton?"

You answered with a route that did not avoid Dainton.

Why didn't you read the question before replying?
Neil Sunderland
2005-06-20 13:49:25 UTC
Post by Tony Polson
"What was the (approximate) route of the new Exeter-Newton Abbot line
proposed by the GWR, just before the war, to avoid Dainton?"
You answered with a route that did not avoid Dainton.
The only Dainton I can find is a few miles south of Newton Abbot, just
to the east of Ipplepen: therefore my route didn't so much "not avoid"
it, as "not go anywhere near it".

There may be another Dainton between Exeter and Newton Abbot which I
didn't avoid, but since it's not shown on any of the maps I have to
hand then it's not really my fault for not avoiding something that I
didn't know was there.
Post by Tony Polson
Why didn't you read the question before replying?
I did read it, but somewhere on the journey between eyes and fingers
via brain some of it got diverted, or lost.
--
Neil Sunderland
Braunton, Devon

Please observe the Reply-To address
g.harman
2005-06-20 21:08:17 UTC
On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 23:41:02 +0100, Neil Sunderland
Post by Neil Sunderland
Sorry, I don't know. There was an LSWR plan in the 1930s to build a
line from Exeter Central (was it still Queen St then?) to Okehampton
and Barnstaple bypassing St Davids: that was dropped because of the
war, too
The plan ISTR whether it was an LSWR one the Southern inherited or
developed by themselves was to get separation from the GWR lines from
the foot of the incline from central and have LSWR/SR controlled lines
to the Junction at Cowley Bridge. The GWR if I recall correctly had
the right to insist that any LSWR/SR service had to stop at St Davids
from the time its rival first started to use its tracks.
This was somewhat academic as trains usually had to take on Bankers
anyway for the climb to Queen Street/Central but also led to a lot of
conflicting moves,plus the usual accusations of the owning company
giving its own traffic preference excessively.
I doubt if the SR would have bypassed St Davids completely as it was
too important an Interchange ,a station or platforms adjacent would
have been required. In the back of my mind I have an idea that one
proposal was to actually have High level platforms at St Davids.
with the junction to the foot of the incline being bridged and the
trains having risen to that height on the run in from Cowley bridge.
That's how it was described to me some 40 + plus years ago by a
school friends Uncle who was a station master on the withered arm.

Was not St Davids not rebuilt in The 1930's or was it just the Station
building.? It would be interesting if any allowance for St Davids high
level was incorporated into the design.

G.Harman
Neil Sunderland
2005-06-21 00:39:57 UTC
Post by g.harman
Was not St Davids not rebuilt in The 1930's or was it just the Station
building.? It would be interesting if any allowance for St Davids high
level was incorporated into the design.
From the Oxford Companion to British Railway History:
"...the original St David's station was rebuilt in 1864...St Davids
was again rebuilt in 1911-14, and Queen Street in 1933 when it was
renamed Central. In 1905 the GWR thwarted an LSWR attempt to build a
line bypassing St David's, but a revived plan in 1935 gained
parliamentary approval, only for preliminary work to cease when WWII
intervened."
--
Neil Sunderland
Braunton, Devon

Please observe the Reply-To address
Ralph Rawlinson
2005-06-21 05:36:14 UTC
Post by Andy Kirkham
And the GWR also started work on a new branch to Looe from St Germans.
I have seen it stated that some earthworks for this can be discerned
today. Is this true?
Andy Kirkham
The new line at seven miles was exactly half the distance via Liskeard. Work
began on the coastal section in 1937 but, once again, was curtailed in 1939
by the war and how much work was accomplished during those two years is not
clear.

The branch would have started from a new junction at Therule Foot (usually
seen these days as one word: Trerulefoot) two miles west of St Germans and
headed SW to join the Seaton Valley just north of Hessenford on the A387.
The river would then have been followed south for two miles to Seaton. The
remaining three miles followed the coast westwards, involving the
construction of some expensive engineering works. Viaducts were planned at
Keveral and Millendreath, tunnels at Seaton (1 mile 528 yds) and Loo (700
yds) whilst stations would have been built at Hessenford, Seaton Bridge and
Looe.

In 1978 members of the Cornwall Railway Society followed, as best they
could, the proposed route in a minibus. All that they found, where would
have been the east end of the Millendreath Viaduct, was a small excavation
into the steep hillside presumably the start of the cutting leading into
Seaton tunnel.

--
Ralph
Andy Kirkham
2005-06-21 08:41:00 UTC
Post by Ralph Rawlinson
Post by Andy Kirkham
And the GWR also started work on a new branch to Looe from St Germans.
I have seen it stated that some earthworks for this can be discerned
today. Is this true?
Andy Kirkham
The new line at seven miles was exactly half the distance via Liskeard. Work
began on the coastal section in 1937 but, once again, was curtailed in 1939
by the war and how much work was accomplished during those two years is not
clear.
The branch would have started from a new junction at Therule Foot (usually
seen these days as one word: Trerulefoot) two miles west of St Germans and
headed SW to join the Seaton Valley just north of Hessenford on the A387.
The river would then have been followed south for two miles to Seaton. The
remaining three miles followed the coast westwards, involving the
construction of some expensive engineering works. Viaducts were planned at
Keveral and Millendreath, tunnels at Seaton (1 mile 528 yds) and Loo (700
yds) whilst stations would have been built at Hessenford, Seaton Bridge and
Looe.
In 1978 members of the Cornwall Railway Society followed, as best they
could, the proposed route in a minibus. All that they found, where would
have been the east end of the Millendreath Viaduct, was a small excavation
into the steep hillside presumably the start of the cutting leading into
Seaton tunnel.
--
Ralph
Thanks - very interesting. How extraordinary it now seems that they
would have undertaken all that trouble and expense, just to reach a
seaside village.

Andy