Major £16million plans for a four mile extension of the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway have been submitted to council planners. The charitable trust which operates the narrow gauge heritage railway from Woody Bay Station hopes to restore it to an echo of its former glory by extending the line to Wistlandpound Reservoir. As well as repairs to bridges and the reinstatement of the Parracombe Bank, washed away in the 1952 flood, it is also proposed to improve the Blackmoor Gate area with railway buildings and amenities plus create two houses at Parracombe. It is proposed to turn the Old Station Inn back to a station and railway visitor centre as well as pub and restaurant. The plans have been lodged with North Devon Council and Exmoor National Park. At a public consultation last year the trust said the plans would bring 78 new jobs, 20 on the railway and another 50-plus locally. It is hoping for a verdict within six months and then it can begin trying to attract funding for the scheme. Trust spokesman Tony Nicholson said the significance was huge for the area. At the moment we have one mile of track and this will extend it for another four-and-a-half miles, so it will bring lots of jobs and will be good for the local economy. Building it would take about three years but we have to add the time to raise the money. We are taking it out to Blackmoor Gate, which is on the edge of the national park, so people can park there and travel through the park without having to drive on to it. The original railway closed in 1935, but a short stretch of heritage railway was reopened in 2004.