Work begins on Network Rail level crossings on Dartmoor Line

By Sue Read   |   Senior Reporter   |
Wednesday 18th August 2021 5:44 am
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Left to right, Richard Pedley route level crossings manager, two ladies from Bow, Chris Marsh level crossings manager, Steve Melanophy Network Rail project lead for route crime. SR 2009 ()

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LEVEL crossings on a railway line that has not seen a passenger train for 50 years are being renewed between Penstone and Okehampton in preparation for the Dartmoor Line re-opening before the end of this year.

Four of the crossings are on farms - Landsend near Landsend Lane, Common Moor, Buttisland and Corscombe. The other two are at Penstone from The Glade up to the road and Colebrooke Two Moors Way footpath crossing by Waterford Plantation.

Another aspect of the Dartmoor Line reopening is also progressing, with planning permission now received for the new GSM-R masts (the railway’s mobile communications system), with work to install the masts expected to begin this month.

Two events were held by Network Rail to inform people of what is being done. One was at Bow in the Village Hall, the other was a virtual event.

Throughout August between 8.30am and 4.30pm, there will be work to renew the six level crossings with a miniature stop light system installed at each for the safety of the public and for those working on the railway line.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We would like to thank everyone who attended our recent level crossing upgrade information event. It was great to be able to outline the improvements we are making to improve the safety of the level crossings and what this will mean for users of the crossings.

“Our work to reopen the Dartmoor Line is continuing to progress well and it is pleasing to see the ongoing interest and support of the local community.

“Driver training is due to start on September 6 which will be before we have completed all of the level crossing upgrades so we are asking users of the level crossings to take extra care when crossing the railway.”

The new crossings will have a non-slip surface with a red light with a fail-safe system. For all of the crossings the train speed would be 75mph except Penstone which would be 40mph. At Penstone the light would be activated 13 seconds before a train got there, at the others it would be 40 seconds.

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