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One of the earliest task to be carried out as part of Devon County Council’s requirements has been to cut back the overgrown vegetation at the entrances to improve visibility on approach.
In addition more clearance work has been carried out on the trail itself where it needs to be widened and tarmaced on one side.
It is anticipated that the initial action plan will take two years. By this time short passenger trips should be available. As finances improve, it is anticipated, subject to planning agreements, to progress the relaying towards Bideford. There may be a “halt” created in areas near Weare Gifford, where the main road and the rail / cycleway runs alongside each other.
Several larger projects occur once Torrington is left behind. Three small river bridges, Landcross tunnel and the main river viaduct between the tunnel and Bideford all create bottlenecks. Landcross tunnel and the viaduct over the Torridge present problems but theses can be overcome. We have consulted the office of Rail Regulation, and solutions are possible. The long term aim is to run trains once again from Torrington to Bideford.
The most expensive part of the development is at the start, with the yard and maintenance facilities at Torrington.
Although the project will be volunteer led, many heritage railways have created full and part time paid employment. Most of the income raised is recycled within the local community, bringing financial benefits to the area.