By Robin Jones
The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway is celebrating after Exmoor National Park Authority approved most of its plans to rebuild another four-and-a-half miles of the legendary 2ft gauge line.
At a meeting in Lynton Town Hall on March 6, authority members gave the green light to extend the existing running line from Killington Lane Halt via Parracombe to Blackmoor Gate.
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There, a bridge is planned to take the railway below the A399 and on to Wistlandpound Reservoir.
The scheme is the first of three phases which are designed to see the entire railway rebuilt between the two towns in its name.
This first phase was split into five planning applications, with the first four being approved. The fifth, still to be decided, involves the demolition of a bungalow at Parracombe Halt and its replacement by two semi-detached houses, one for railway staff and the other for affordable accommodation.
An economic impact statement said that the proposals are expected to boost passenger numbers to 70,000 a year and will input £10 million per year into the local economy over the next decade.
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