The Anonymous Widower

No Trains Out Of Cornwall Until The Weekend After Lorry Hits Plymouth Bridge

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

A few points from the article.

  • It was a Tesco truck.
  • It took twenty-four hours to extract.
  • The accident happened on Ashford Hill in Plymouth.

I found the bridge on Google Maps.


  1. The railway and the bridge are at the top of the map.
  2. My eyesight isn’t good, but I can see the warning signs on the bridge.
  3. There is a TescoExpress in the bottom right corner of the map.

It can’t be a lot more than a hundred metres between the bridge and the TescoExpress.

To make matters worse for the train operators, the accident site is to the East of Plymouth station, which means trains can’t run to Plymouth.

Will GWR Use Okehampton?

Network Rail have already re-laid the track to Okehampton, prior to opening an hourly service between Exeter and Okehampton later this year.

Okehampton station is close to the A30 and I suspect that GWR would have little difficulty running a five-car Hitachi train to Okehampton from London with a reverse at Exeter. At Okehampton, they could use coaches to serve Cornwall by running to Bodmin Parkway.

If I was the CEO of GWR, I’d see if it could be arranged, as what good publicity they’d get for the new Okehampton service.

August 31, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , ,


  1. The Blackwall road tunnel has metal bars hanging above the road ahead of the tunnels entrances to try to prevent over height lorries from entering the tunnels.

    Perhaps it’s time Network Rail implement a similar policy of erecting a form of overhead barrier either side of bridges to try and stop incidents like this ?

    Comment by Melvyn | August 31, 2021 | Reply

  2. From Google maps, the bridge height is 10ft 9ins / 3.3m.

    The road is on a slope, 1 in 10 ish, riding away from the Tesco Express, so the restriction is at the end away from the Tesco Express.

    Having driven around all parts of Plymouth a lot, I have no idea why you would take a Tesco lorry, or other large lorry (2 axles or more, 12.5t or more) into the area beyond the bridge – narrow by roads, hills and slopes, 90 degrees bends round terrace houses, parking on both sides of the roads (where possible), etc.

    Comment by chilterntrev | September 1, 2021 | Reply

  3. Nice thoughts, but the line and its support systems are far from complete. Not sure what the benefit is to support the alternative transport option via Okehampton other than being close to the A30. Services to Plymouth can be terminated at Exeter St David’s, Newton Abbott or Totnes as these are also not too far from the other trunk road, the A38.

    Comment by Andrew Bruton | September 2, 2021 | Reply

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