The Okehampton Line Reinstatement
Client: Network Rail
Duration: March – December 2021
Location: The Dartmoor Line
The Tavistock Okehampton Reopening Scheme (TORS) is promoting a fully electrified line that will improve transport connectivity across the Dartmoor Line.
Since the closure to passenger trains in 1972 and freight trains in 2008, the condition of the track has deteriorated. Upgrade works will ensure the line can safely open to passengers. The Dartmoor Line will extend the reach, and social and economic benefits of the railway, supporting the surrounding communities while encouraging commuters to use the railway, reducing congestion, and promoting sustainable, greener journeys.
The Dartmoor Line reopening will be the first line to be reinstated under the Department for Transport ‘Restoring your Railway’ initiative, restoring passenger rail services to Okehampton by the end of 2021.
From day one, TXM Plant has worked closely with Network Rail, completing detailed investigations to understand the infrastructure and signalling improvements needed to bring the Dartmoor Line up to modern standards to enable GWR passenger trains to operate safely.
TXM’s Personnel Carrier was used to carry out a full-scale delap of the worksite, with all safety hazards noted and access points captured, with added postcodes making life easier for TXM’s POS representatives to navigate staff to site. Structural examinations were completed using TXM’s MEWP Skyrailer to carry out essential inspection works including, several bridges, such as the Iron Cross Bridge (pictured), level crossings, and drainage; ecological and environmental surveys were also undertaken.
Drainage works were completed in February 2021; since, a number of materials have been delivered along the railway including, 36,288 metres of rail, 24,500 sleepers, and 900 tonnes of ballast, as well as welfare facilities.
With upgrade works moving swiftly, 11 miles of track have been laid, with a number of upgrades to level crossings and the installation of GSM-R masts, allowing train drivers to communicate securely.
With works progressing swiftly, teams are working around the clock, with The Dartmoor line set to re-open for daily passenger services to Exeter, in late 2021.
Well done to all the teams involved, who have worked incredibly hard to achieve project goals. TXM Plant looks forward to continuing works into the future with safety and reliability at the forefront.
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