John Speller's Web Pages Teign Valley Line
John Speller's Web Pages
Teign Valley Line
The Teign Valley Railway, which ran from Heathfield Junction on the Moretonhampstead & South Devon Railway to Christow (originally Teign House Siding), a distance of 7 miles, received its Act in 1863. The 4 ft. 8 in. gauge line did not, however, open until 9 October 1882, and was then for the first ten years of its existence completely isolated from the rest of the British railway system since the Moretonhampstead line was broad gauge. The Teign Valley line was extended to Exeter Canal Junction in 1903, allowing trains to run through from Exeter St Davids to Newton Abbot. The distance from Exeter to Newton via this inland route was less than a mile longer than the main line. The line was a useful diversion for the main line at times when the coast route was closed as a result of storms. The local traffic was never substantial, however, and the line closed to passenger traffic on 9 June 1958. Complete closure came when goods services were withdrawn in 1967. A BBC archive film of the Teign Valley Railway on its last day of operation may be seen here. The line may not be gone forever, however, as the long term need to provide an alternative to the coastal route, which is becoming increasingly fragile as a result of global warming, is becoming urgent. The Teign Valley line would probably prove to be a better alternative than reinstating the heavily graded Southern main line from Okehampton to Plymouth.
Map showing the location of the Teign Valley line, excerpted from the Great Western Railway system map
An early view of Chudleigh station showing a very smartly turned out "517" Class
0-4-2T and a rake of five four-wheelers
An early postcard view od Trusham Station showing the Teign Valley Branch train comprising an Armstrong "517" Class 0-4-2T and four 4-wheel coaches
Heathfield station with the adjoining pottery of Candy & Co., 1906. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
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