Earlier this year, Network Rail donated a kilometre of track and sleepers to Devon-based Plym Valley Railway, alongside other rail equipment which has now been installed by the heritage line.
The equipment, which also included five sets of points and four stop blocks, was no longerin use by Network Rail at Lostwithiel yard in Cornwall and was offered to Plym Valley heritage railway back in February. Since then, the team of volunteers at Plym Valley have worked hard to install the equipment, remodelling the layout of the sidings to provide more space at Marsh Mills yard and enabling the heritage railway to obtain and preserve further historical railway items into the future.
The heritage railway operates on what was previously known as the Launceston branch line, which opened in 1859 and linked Plymouth with Tavistock. While the branch line was closed in the 1960s, a group of local rail enthusiasts set out to restore the line in 1982, withthe first section from Marsh Mills to Lee Moor crossing opening as a heritage railway in 2008 and delighting day trippers ever since.
The newly installed equipment from Network Rail will mean that the line can plan for the future, boosting Plym Valley’s longevity.
Alexander Maltby, Network Rail’s Devon and Cornwall sponsor said: “After having donatedthe track, sleepers and other rail components to Plym Valley earlier this year, I’m so pleased to see that they’ve been able to put it to such good use.
“Remodelling the layout to create extra sidings space is no mean feat and will support the Plym Valley’s longevity now and into the future.
“This partnership shows how the railway can benefit communities outside of the work we do to build and maintain railway infrastructure, with spare materials being donated to worthwhile causes in the local area.”
Graham Mann of the Plym Valley Railway said: “Network Rail’s donation of the Lostwithiel track materials will help to future proof the Plym Valley Railway’s infrastructure for many years to come and we’re really excited to be a part of a partnership with Network Rail.