Is Devon’s inland route really credible?

At the tenth anniversary of the sea wall collapse at Dawlish, ANDY RODEN investigates how the case for an inland route linking Devon and Plymouth could be stronger than ever

Tavistock reconnected?‘N’2-6-0 No 31846 departs from Tavistock North with the Plymouth portion of the‘Atlantic Coast Express’on 4August 1960. Plans exist for anew station on the edge of the town, but the original site would serve Tavistock much better. /Hugh Ballantyne

If you’d asked me on 3February 2014 whether I thought reopening the former London &South Western Railway main line between Exeter and Plymouth was even a remote possibility, I’d have raised my eyebrows more than somewhat. I’d have pointed out the lack of population on that alignment between Exeter and Plymouth bar at Okehampton and Tavistock, noted that there was (just) sufficient capacity on the coastal main line, and that investment in electrification would surely represent better value for money.

It's amazing what a difference a day makes.

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