UPDATE: Engineers ‘hopeful’ for Tarka Line reopening

17:05 04 January 2013

Network Rail is still to investigate possible flood damge to bridges near Umberleigh station.

Network Rail is still to investigate possible flood damge to bridges near Umberleigh station.

Archant

Rail service could resume on Monday morning pending successful bridge inspection.

Network Rail is still to investigate possible flood damge to bridges near Umberleigh station.Network Rail is still to investigate possible flood damge to bridges near Umberleigh station.

THE Tarka railway line could re-open on Monday morning pending further investigation work taking place on the track this weekend.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said engineers had inspected two of four bridges on the line between Barnstaple and Exeter and hoped that the remaining two would be examined by divers once the river flow rate drops.

Spokesperson Chris Denham said the Umberleigh River Viaduct and the Black Viaduct at Great Fisherton Farm needed to be checked for possible scour damage to the foundations of bridge piers and for debris washed up by recent high waters.

He said: “We hoped to be able to check all of the bridges yesterday and tried again today but river flow levels were still too high for the divers to enter safely.

Network Rail is still to investigate possible flood damge to bridges near Umberleigh station.Network Rail is still to investigate possible flood damge to bridges near Umberleigh station.

“The water was flowing at four knots and it needs to be flowing at less than two knots to be safe enough for the divers.

“They are pretty hopeful of being able to get in the water at first light tomorrow (Saturday) as long as we don’t get any more significant rain overnight.

“If we can check the bridges and they are safe we will then run an engineering train called a ‘tamper’ along the length of the track to check it is in good shape. It will help to settle the ballast and make sure the track is well supported.

“We are hoping to get this done over the weekend and have already managed to deal with the landslip and flooding problems.

“All being well, we could still be on course to resume services on Monday but we would urge travellers to check with First Great Western and National Rail Enquires before attempting to travel.

“We appreciate that people want to be able to take trains again and are working as hard as we can to re-open the service.

“But it has to be safe enough for divers to investigate the bridges and it has to be safe enough to be able to run trains on the track.”

Related articles

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 14:58
David Cameron visiting Barnstaple this morning. Picture © Guy Harrop

Catch up with the latest General Election goings on and ministerial visits in pictures

Read more
Yesterday, 10:03
The new Ilfracombe launch and recovery vehicle being put through its paces on Instow beach.

£1million launch and recovery vehicle begins training exercises in North Devon

Read more
Yesterday, 09:37

Tractor severely damaged after accidentally catching fire near Lynton yesterday (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 09:08
Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Mayor of London Boris Johnson with 3 year old Stephanie during a General Election campaign visit to Advantage Children's Day Nursery in Surbiton, Surrey. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

David Cameron is launching the Conservatives’ first English manifesto, with a promise of changes to ensure that English MPs have the final say on income tax rates in England.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:05

The 34-year-old will appear at Exeter Crown Court for sentencing on 30 charges of fraud next month.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
What are you doing to celebrate VE Day in North Devon?

Are you doing anything to celebrate 70 years since World War two formally ended? Tell us about your VE Day celebrations.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00
Frankie Moore serves his gran (lt) and Mike and Mel Braddick some salad at the Westward Ho! Big Lunch last year.

Tickets to the free community Big Lunch are expected to be in high demand, according to organisers.

Read more
Thu, 12:10

Latest crime figures show a 5.2 per cent drop in crime across Devon and Cornwall against last year.

Read more
Thu, 11:17
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has a selfie taken as he meets Labour supporters in Ipswich yesterday. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Labour is accusing the Conservatives of planning the biggest spending cuts in any of the world’s advanced economies as the parties again prepare to trade blows on the economy.

Read more
Thu, 10:47
Are you celebrating Saint George's Day? Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Tell us about your plans to honour England’s patron saint.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder