|Relics and Remains
from West Country railways
## This Page is Under Construction ##
Although the railway network in the West Country is now just a shadow of its former glory, many interesting structures still remain in situ and various relics are housed in different collections (both public and private). This page is just a random selection of some items that have come to our attention - more entries will be added later.
Barnstaple Town - the station was converted to a restaurant and the signal-box was used as a railway museum for many years, but is now in use for educational purposes.
Bere Ferrers - this station now hosts a small railway preservation site and also offers accomodation in refurbished railway sleeping carriages. On the platform is the former Pinhoe signal-box, complete with lever-frame and instruments. Link.
Bideford - the former Down side station building remains as the North Devon Coast & Countryside Management Offices. The Bideford & Instow Railway Group operate the site as a railway heritage centre. The signal-box has been rebuilt and track relaid to both platforms and 250 yards southwards, with various items of rolling-stock on site.
Brentor - this station survives in private ownership and has been carefully restored.
Bridestowe - this station survives in private ownership and has been carefully restored as a private house; it is not open to the public.
Burnham - although this former S&DJR station has been obliterated completely, its signal-box structure survives at the Washford museum of the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust.
Cadeleigh - this station on the former Exe Valley line, after many years as a Council depot, has been opened as the Devon Railway Centre and is being restored.
Calstock Viaduct - this magnificant structure - the first of its kind to be built entirely from concrete blocks pre-cast on site at the beginning of the 20th Century - is still in use carrying trains high above the Tamar on the branch from Plymouth to Gunnislake.
Chelfham - the station building survives and the site is under restoration by the new Lynton & Barnstaple Railway.
Chelfham Viaduct - this viaduct was the largest on an UK narrow-gauge railway. It is a listed structure and survives as a fitting monument to the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway and may yet see trains again one day. It was restored during 2000.
Corfe Mullen Junction - at the southern end of the "Dorset" section of the former Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway, the former crossing-keeper's house remains. It has been restored and extended as a private house and is not open to the public. The current level-crossing gate is a modern replacement.
Exeter West - this large ex-GWR timber signal-box has been transported to the Railway Age centre at Crewe and restored to full working order. Linked to a computer simulator, visitors can experience the "working" of this busy signal-box in its heyday as one of the main junctions in the West of England. Link.
Exminster - the former station building remains, but adapted for commercial use.
Fremington - very little remains of the original station. CAUTION - the current 'station building' and 'signal box' are actually replicas built by Devon County Council slightly off the trackbed alignment for use as a cafe and local museum for Tarka Trail users.
Instow - the former L&SWR signal-box (a Grade 2 listed building) remains, complete with its lever-frame, and is managed by the Bideford & Instow Railway Group. A short length of track has been relaid and 2 signal posts reinstalled.
Loddiswell - this station survives in private ownership, it is now a private house and not open to the public.
Meldon Viaduct - this structure now forms part of a cycle route west of Okehampton along the former L&SWR main line to Plymouth.
Midsomer Norton (South) - this former S&DJR station survived after closure and was used as an educational centre for many years. It is now leased by the Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust and is undergoing restoration.
Okehampton - this station survived remarkable intact in its original BR(S) colour scheme for many years after closure. It was converted to commercial tourist use in the 1990s and is now open to the public. Freight trains still pass by the platforms occasionally en route to Meldon Quarry and there is a weekends-only passenger train service run by the Dartmoor Railway and linked to bus services around Dartmoor.
Pinhoe - the signal-box from this station has been preserved and re-located to Bere Ferrers station.
Radstock West - this signal box from the former GWR station has been preserved by the Great Western Society and relocated to their Didcot Railway Centre.
Roadwater - the station building from this former West Somerset Mineral Railway location survives in use as a private house, whilst nearby are a set of the original level-crossing gates.
Semley - the station building survives in use as a private house, and the former signal-box has been converted to residential use also.
Shillingstone - the station building remains in reasonable condition on the "Dorset" section of the former Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway, and it is the subject of a preservation project.
Torre - the disused signal box remains in place. The station is still in public use.
Torrington - the station building is now in use as "The Puffing Billy" pub on the Tarka Trail. The site is being redeveloped with a local railway theme, with a brake van and china clay wagon at the former Up platform.
Wellow - the signal-box is the only one from the ex-S&DJR to remain in situ, but it has been converted into a dwelling. The station building also survives in use as a private house.
Williton - the signal-box is the last survivor of a design used by the old Bristol & Exeter Railway and dates from broad-gauge days. It is still in use today to control steam and diesel trains at this station on the well-known West Somerset Railway.
Woody Bay - the station building survived relatively intact despite closure in 1935. The station has been restored by the new Lynton & Barnstaple Railway as the starting point of their plans to re-open that famous narrow-gauge line.
Wrafton - the former station building is now a private house.
Wyke - the former ground-level signal-box from this level-crossing between Sherborne and Yeovil Junction has been re-located, extended and restored to use as 'Pinesway Junction' on the Gartell Light Railway near Templecombe.
.....to be continued ......