John Speller's Web Pages Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - Other Railways
Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway Untitled Untitled
A well-known novel by the Rev. Charles Kingsley led to the name of Westward Ho!, a Victorian seaside resort in North Devon, and gave Britain its only railway with an exclamation mark in its title -- the 4 ft. 8 in. gauge Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway. After a couple of false starts the Bideford, Westward Ho! & Appledore Railway was incorporated on 21 May 1896, and opened as far as Northam on 24 April 1901, but it was not completed to Appledore until 1 January 1908. The Hunslet Engine Company of Leeds supplied three 2-4-2 tank engines, which since part of the route was over the public highway were provided like tramway engines with cowcatchers and protective skirts. The six passenger coaches were supplied by the Bristol Carriage and Wagon Works and were built in the American style with end balconies and steps. The line was the opposite side of the River Torridge from the London & South Western Railway at Bideford, and there was therefore no connection with the main line and thus with the rest of the British rail network. This was the line's undoing during World War I since, serving no strategic purpose, it was requisitioned by the War Department in 1917 and dismantled for scrap. It never reopened.
Map of the Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway, making use of the 1919 Ordnance Survey map. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Two locomotives and a train on the B, W H & A R, circa 1905. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Westward Ho! train, circa 1905. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Westward Ho! station in around 1910
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