John Speller's Web Pages Torbay & Brixham Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge

Torbay & Brixham Railway
The Torbay & Brixham Railway was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1864 and was built at a cost of 24,000 by Richard Walter Woolston, Esq. Mr. Woolston was a Brixham solicitor and iron-ore mine owner, in which capacity he promoted the "Torbay Red" paint that was widely used by the GWR and other railways. Mr. Woolston later sold half of the shares to the Torbay & Brixham Railway Company, of which Charles Ashford of Exeter was Secretary. The broad gauge line, from Churston on the Newton Abbot to Kingswear line to Brixham, was just over two miles long, and opened in 1868. The South Devon Railway behaved in a very scurrilous manner in its financial dealings with the Torbay & Brixham, with the result that the little railway lost vast sums of money and Mr. Woolston came personally near to financial ruin in spite of the line having an enormous volume of fish traffic, more than 2,000 tons in 1877 alone. The line remained independent even after the South Devon Railway was taken over by the Great Western in 1876 and was not absorbed by the GWR until 1 January 1883. It was converted to narrow gauge in May 1892.
The Torbay & Brixham Railway's first, and for most of the company's existence only, locomotive, the "Queen," built by E. B. Wilson & Co. and delivered to the Portland Breakwater Railway in December 1853. Sold to the T & B R in 1868
0-6-0ST "Taurus," built at Newton Abbot with parts mostly obtained from the Avonside Engine Co. in 1869. The canvas cab was to provide protection from the wind while working the Brixham branch. Photograph by W. M. Spriggs
Outline diagram of the "Queen" locomotive as running on the T & B R. The seam on the chimney was a repair that was necessary when the engine fell into the sea at Portland and had to be rescued
0-4-0ST "Raven," built for the SDR November 1874, sold to the T&BR January 1877, returned to the GWR when it took over the T&BR January 1883, converted to narrow gauge August 1892, sold to the Wantage Tramway, cut up after a collision 1919
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