New track to be laid at Colyford in January

The winter period on the Seaton Tramway may not be seeing trams running (after the Christmas and New Year operating period anyway) but that doesn’t mean its not going to be a hive of activity in this small corner of Devon. As part of their ongoing maintenance programme the track across the A3052 in Colyford will be replaced leading to the road itself being closed to all traffic for 9 days.

The track across the A3052 was originally laid in 1975 when the tramway’s gradual extension to Colyton continued but not 45 years later it is time for them to be replaced and the safest and most efficient way for this to happen is to close the road to traffic and Devon County Council have now agreed this closure.

The road will be closed between 4th and 12th January 2021 which will allow the old track to be removed and it replaced with new rails and foundations under and across the carriageway.

The new rails are due to be laid at a new angle to better suit the points at Colyford and new track laid just north of Colyford Crossing. A new overhead system will also be installed once the work is completed.

A spokesperson from Seaton Tramway said: “We are pleased that a road closure order has been granted to allow us to undertake these essential works. We will be working closely with our main contractors to remove the existing 45 year old track and replace with newly sourced rails and more substantial footings. Of course, in doing this the carriageway must be closed off to road traffic for the whole duration of the works as we are governed by the curing time of the foundations. All versions of a road closure have been explored but we want to ensure the works are done right and survive the next 40 plus years without further disrupting the A3052. We apologise for any disruption or inconvenience this causes during these essential works.”

The winter period will not only see the replacement of this track but planning permission is also in place for the new Seaton Wetlands halt to be constructed at Swan’s Nest loop which, along with the new stop at Riverside, will see two extra stops for the trams along the route. Both had been due to be completed for 2020 but have been delayed by the events of 2020.

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