Find out more about the vision for a new light North Devon railway plus local heritage railways and model layouts at the Railway Exhibition in Ilfracombe on Saturday September 9

How the route of the proposed TawLink service could look. Picture: FirethoughtHow the route of the proposed TawLink service could look. Picture: Firethought

Find out more about the vision for a light rail link between Barnstaple and Braunton at a public Railway Exhibition in Ilfracombe on Saturday.

Combe Rail is hosting the event at The Landmark Theatre from 10am-4pm, which will feature a display stand for the proposed TawLink light railway from Barnstaple to Braunton.

Combe Rail trustees will be on hand to chat about the proposal and to answer any questions people might have.

There will also be model railway layouts and information stands from local heritage railways such as the Lynton and Barnstaple plus West Somerset railways.

Combe Rail trustees Barry Hodgson, David Luggar and John Burch with plans for the proposed Tarka Trail route. Picture: Tony GussinCombe Rail trustees Barry Hodgson, David Luggar and John Burch with plans for the proposed Tarka Trail route. Picture: Tony Gussin

The TawLink idea would see a rail link from The Strand in Barnstaple to Caen Street in Braunton using light, electronic modern trams.

Combe Rail says it would reduce the unsustainable road congestion between Barnstaple and Braunton by providing a clean, green transport option for local traffic.

The light battery-operated trains would be able to run on the road or modified sections of the Tarka Trail and the vision is to get something in place by 2030.

Richard Heacock at Combe Rail said: "We've had encouraging discussions with officers of North Devon Council, Devon County Council and the South West Local Enterprise Partnership - all of whom are keen to see the project progress.

"The next step is a 'pre-feasibility' study, which will provide a professional and independent assessment of the project's business case and technical challenges.

"We've received proposals and quotes for this study from several leading railway consultants, and have discussed these proposals with NDC. NDC is currently considering adopting TawLink as an official infrastructure aspiration."

Tarka Rail Association chairman Mike Day has added his support to the project: "We see this as an important step for sustainable public transport; we believe it will bring social, economic and environmental benefits to those who live, work and visit Northern Devon.

"I hope it will also provide a critical link from RMB Chivenor to the wider world, as much as Lympstone Commando Station does on the Avocet line."

You can find out more about the project at Saturday's exhibition in Ilfracombe, or visit www.taw-link.org.uk