THE RAILWAY REINSTATEMENT ASSOCIATION
The RRA set up this group with the intention of promoting and lobbying for the reopening of former railway branch lines with modern eco-friendly Hybrid Rail technology and for it to get the same kind of breaks that other low carbon transport technologies were given by the Government, such as an easing of restrictions to allow it to be less costly to build new train lines, subsidies and tax breaks for renewable energy and Hybrid cars not being liable for road tax. The main thrust of our campaign is that it is about time the government did this for any group who wanted to reopen closed lines. Or indeed start a new one from scratch! Not only would this benefit many reinstatement groups throughout the country, but the rural resident that are currently cut off from the rail network.
Secondly we found ourselves creating studies of the lines today and outline business plans from our research regarding the current state of the remnants of these lines.
A Hybrid Light Railcar massively reduces greenhouse emmissions by running on, flywheels, capacitors or battery energy storage devices, recharged with brake energy harvesting and recycling. A flywheel example of which has already passed for use on the Stourbridge branch line.
Traditional British Conservitism has, as usual put us at least a decade behind the rest of the world. America and Canada are turning many of their commuter lines over to Hybrid Light Rail whilst our government prevaricates over licencing because it does not fit the expected mould built around trains , which have existed virtually unchanged for over a century and a half.
The trains we promote the use of were invented by John Parry MBE run with a Flywheel recharged with Brake Energy Recycling System augmented with a 2.3 litre car engine running on Propane generating electicity for on board systems. So are up to one seventh the cost to run in terms of running costs, although as they carry 60, (or 120 people model still under developmentusing using 2 3.5l deisel engines and two flywheels to meet Network Rails requirement of a train being able to rescue its self if a drive fails, and to be servicable in standard rail workshops.
With these trains running at a quarter of the cost or better compared to the current Diesel Multiple Units used by the Train Operating Companies, population increases in all areas since the Beeching axe fell and the growing trend for people to use rail connections where available it seems to us to be a no brainer.
PLANS THWARTED FOR CONSORTIUM PROPOSING PASSENGER SERVICES ON THE TEIGNBRIDGE BRANCH LINE
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 to the wider public railways you want reopened