Tag Archives: Tavistock

Some Early Lines – The Plym Valley Railway

Some Early Lines

The Plym Valley Railway

Train Pic B.MillsPhoto: B.Mills

The Plym Valley Railway is a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) heritage railway based on what was once a part of the now-closed South Devon and Tavistock Railway, a branch line of the Great Western Railway in Devon, England.

The line was originally part of the South Devon and Tavistock Railway, a 7 ft 1⁄4 in (2,140 mm) broad-gauge railway linking Plymouth with Tavistock in Devon, England. This opened in 1859, was converted to 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) in 1892 and closed in 1962.GabionsPlymouth: Plym Valley Railway

Making gabions and erecting permanent fencing south west of the new terminus of the ‘heritage’ railway at Plym Bridge. The embankment will be built up against the gabions to allow construction of a siding or loop line. The railway is on the formation of the Great Western’s Plymouth-Tavistock branch which closed in the 1960s. The present society was formed in 1980 and in 2008 ran three-quarters of a mile to Lee Moor Crossing from its base near Marsh Mills. Opening to Plym Bridge will extend the route length to 1.5 miles  © Copyright Martin Bodman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Local enthusiasts set up a group in 1982 to restore part of the line as the Plym Valley Railway. The first section re-opened in May 2008 when trains could operate over 0.75 miles (1.2 km) of track as far as Lee Moor crossing, the site where the 4 ft 6 in (1,372 mm) gauge Lee Moor Tramway (now the West Devon Way cycle path) used to cross the line on the level. A new station was constructed just north of the site of the original Marsh Mills railway station as that site is occupied by a line that serves the Marsh Mills china clay plant. The new station was provided with a shop, buffet and small museum.PlatformPlymouth: Plym Valley Railway

New platform and northern terminus of the railway by Plym Bridge car park. On the formation of the Great Western branch line from Plymouth to Tavistock (and Launceston)  © Copyright Martin Bodman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 The preserved line was extended to Plym Bridge on 30 December 2012, bringing it to 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in length.

The 0-4-0ST steam locomotive “Albert” returned to service in December 2007 after receiving major repairs to its boiler. Albert has operated on all passenger trains and diesel No. 13002 has been used regularly on engineering trains. In 2009 preparation work commenced on returning 0-6-0ST “Byfield” to steam, seeing the locomotive stripped down to its main components for assessment.

 The Plym Valley Railway is based at Marsh Mills which is close to the A38 road near Plymouth. It operates trains as far as Plym Bridge._Plym_Bridge_1600_ex_Marsh_B.Mills_30-12-12_[1]Photo: B.Mills1402052_468576886588178_251619902_oFree buses will be running on all of the December running days:2013.12.01 Timetable (Portrait)-1For further details – http://www.plymrail.co.uk/

 

Some Early Lines – Culm Valley Light Railway

Some Early Lines –

Culm Valley Light Railway

From Tavistock Junction to Hemyock.

Map – Nick Catford, Roy Lambeth http://www.disused-stations.org.uk

The Culm Valley Light Railway was a railway that operated in Devon, England. Opened in 1876, it was built by local enterprise. The line was purchased by the Great Western Railway, which had operated it from the start, in 1880. The line closed to passengers in 1963 but served the milk depot at Hemyock until 1975.Planning and Construction

Receiving Royal Assent t in 1873, construction started the next year. There were delays but the line opened on 29 May 1876. Typically low budget it followed existing boundaries and the Culm Valley and avoided the need for any major engineering works. After early plans for eastward expansion faded, the line settled down to serve the local area, and eked out a quiet existence carrying sparse local passengers, agricultural produce and the output of a large dairy plant at Hemyock.Operation

Operated by the Great Western from its inception, it was transferred to the Western Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948. Services worked to Tiverton Junction on the Bristol o Exeter line, and some through workings to and from Tiverton on the Exe Valley Railway. The Tiverton Junction train had the nickname “The Tivvy Bumper”, a nickname that one of the preserved 1400 class locos, 1442, carries to this day.Motive power and rolling stock

Motive power was provided largely by the Charles Collett designed GWR 1400 Class 0-4-2T steam locomotive. Freight stock was a mixed bag of trucks and carriage stock was limited to a few old four wheel carriages by the sharp curves which were a legacy of the line’s original economic construction. Even after nationalisation, British Railways were obliged to use two ex- Barry Railway gas lit four wheel coaches on the line. This was necessary as the speed limit on the line was too low for the dynamos on most coaches to power electric lighting.

Decline and closure

The service was always slow and vulnerable to increasing road transport and car ownership. Passenger use declined and so the railway closed to passengers on 9 September 1963, and to general freight on the 6 September 1965. However, the line continued to serve the dairy at Hemyock until 31 October 1975. During this time it received visits from the occasional railtour.The line today

Today the line forms some popular riverside walks at various points along the valley. The reopening of the line has been raised but this is unlikely as the M5 motorway has been built over the track with no bridge. The station sites have been redeveloped.