UPDATE: Tarka Line re-opens following floods

Barnstaple to Exeter branch line up and running after bridge inspections.

THE Tarka railway line has re-opened for the first time in two weeks after being closed due to flooding.

The service between Barnstaple and Exeter resumed this morning (Monday) following successful bridge inspections by Network Rail engineers at the weekend.

Speed restrictions are in place for half-a-mile of the line near Chapleton, adding an estimated four minutes to journey times.

Divers were able to get into the water to inspect the Umberleigh River Viaduct but were unable to carry out similar checks at the Black Viaduct at Chapleton due to the high river flow rate.

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Network Rail spokesperson Chris Denham said a visual inspection at the viaduct had found it was safe enough to run trains at 20mph.

He said: “Both bridges were found to be in good condition. Divers hope to be able to carry out a submersible inspection at Black Bridge today.”

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The bridges needed to be looked at for possible scour damage to the foundations of bridge piers and for debris washed up by recent high waters.

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