John Speller's Web Pages -- L&SWR
Bideford Extension Railway LSWR Horizontal Menu Untitled
The Bideford Extension Railway was authorized by an Act of 4 August 1853 to convert the the Barnstaple to Fremington line of the Taw Vale Railway to broad gauge extend it to Bideford. Like the North Devon Railway the contractor was Thomas Brassey, and he was to lease and operate the line on completion. The line opened on 2 November 1855. Like the North Devon Railway operation was taken over by the London & South Western Railway on 1 August 1862, and the company amalgamated with the L&SWR on 1 January 1865. With the opening of the extension to Torrington on 27 July 1872 a more conveniently sited station was provided in Bideford, albeit still on the wrong side of the River Torridge. In Southern Railway days a section of the Atlantic Coast Express was regularly routed to Bideford. In British Railways days, however, the line was run down and closed to passenger traffic under the Beeching Axe on 2 October 1965, and to goods in 1982.
Map of the Bideford Extension Railway
Arrival of the first train at Bideford, 2 November 1855. Illustration from the Illustrated London News
Postcard view of Instow station in around 1910
Bideford station, July 1996. Image copyright Nick MacNeill and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
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