Saturday, 19 September 2015

Could we reopen the Heathfield branch?

There is a little-known branch line that runs from Newton Abbot to Heathfield (a large village and industrial estate, just outside Bovey Tracey) which once provided passenger services to a number of Dartmoor towns and villages but more recently has been a freight depot for timber. Now this use also has come to an end, and while other freight uses might still be possible it is presently empty.
The photo here is of the former Heathfield station - the platform is still present and usable though access leaves much to be desired.
Our proposal is to operate a demonstration service using our class 139 railcar - an hourly shuttle between Newton Abbot and Heathfield, with a stop midway at Teigngrace. If this is successful, it could pave the way to a more extensive refurbishment of the line with faster and more frequent trips and new stops and line extensions.
We're very keen to make sure that from the outset this service is accountable to and owned by the local residents. Do please contact us if you live in the area and woudld like to find out more about how this could work.