Welcome to the web site of the Railway Reinstatement Association


Initially a group of friends pontificating over a pint or three in the pub (as you do) about alternatives to the austerity cuts to local transport subsidies especially hard hitting in Devon & Cornwall. We hit upon the idea of reopening closed branch lines, of which there are a miriad in Devon & Cornwall, the West Midlands and many other places, using cost efficient, low emmission, lightweight and ultra modern hybrid trains.


Here we will try and relate our aims to resore railway lines where possible running Hybrid or low carbon trains, and the current position as far as our plans for individual defunct lines we have looked at are concerned.




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In 2015 one of the RRA's sponsors, Ecorail Ltd, along with the part owners of refurbished 139999, Lightweight Community Transport Ltd, had discussions with Network Rail Officials regarding the possibility of running a light rail demonstration service on a line in Devon, that at just under 4 miles long and single track, is similar in length to the original Brentford line, which had recently been mothballed after a three year contract of just one train a week due to the contract having been moved to larger facilities at Exeter.


Naively, Ecorail and its proposed partners were somewhat taken aback by the NR officials stating unequivicably that any changes to the lines status from freight to mixed traffic, change to speed limits, reopening of stations would all require a substatial fee, just for NR to consider the proposals (No guarentees of success). If undertaken seperately, it would be in the region of £30,000 per issue.


It was also made clear that there are considerable differences in legistative requirement on track standards between freight and passenger railway. And that any upgrade costs would fall on the proposed operators!


The situation was left that the partners needed to raise circa £100,00 for a feasibility study, that would almost certainly have come up with a figure between £5 and £10 million, were a service to be even allowed. In view of this Ecorail pulled out of the consortium as it felt that this level of investment on a line that they could only lease in short contracts likely to be between 7 and 15 years would not allow time for the costs to be successfully amortised.


Later, a supporter of the remaining partners managed to get the Deputy Chief Inspector of Railways, Mr David Key to walk the line and give an opinnion. This was that he could not sanction light rail running on the line as the track, in its current state, has places where it is so twisted that it would very probably derail light rail vehicles.


So it would seem Ecorail's fear of necessary massive upgrades proved correct. No pleaseure was taken from being right on this occassion.


New members and donations are welcome and we will soon have souvenier and promotional goods for sale, for you to wear and promote the railways you want opened to the wider public


Updated 20/11/2016