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Barnstaple Junction

This station was the first and is now the last to survive in the town. It opened as plain Barnstaple on 12th July 1854 when the broad gauge North Devon Railway from Crediton opened with a special train from Exeter to Barnstaple. Public services began on 1st August that year. The line was amalgamated with the London & South Western Railway in 1865 and converted to standard gauge in 1877 after fourteen years of mixed gauge operation. The line to Ilfracombe opened in 1874 and Barnstaple station was extended and became Barnstaple Junction station. It was constructed of local stone to a standard North Devon Railway design, but was relatively unusual in that it boasted a footbridge, all other stations in the area required passengers to walk across the track. On 5th October 1970 the line to Ilfracombe was closed and the station reverted to being plain Barnstaple once again. In subsequent years the track layout was much pruned and the remaining Signalbox closed in 1987. Today (2008) the station is served by some twelve trains in each direction, nine from and to Exmouth with the remaining three operating from and to Exeter Central.
 
Barnstaple Junction 700 Class Nº30317 on the mid-afternoon freight from Barnstaple, eventually to Nine Elms, in March 1961. The 700s hauled this train into the 1960s but several of the last survivors were taken out of "normal service" and fitted with snow ploughs in the autumn of 1963 (a classic case of responding after the event!) and were finally withdrawn with snow ploughs still attached.

photograph by John Bradbeer

 
The 'A' Signalbox photographed circa 1961. The frame from here is now in use on the Mid-Hants Railway in the Signalbox at Ropley.

photograph by John Bradbeer

'A' Signalbox
 
Station building The station building, as seen from the road side.

photograph by Chris Osment

 
Looking towards Exeter from the road bridge over the former line to Torrington.

photograph by Chris Osment

Looking towards Exeter
 
Station building The station building, as seen from behind the former Down platform.

photograph by Chris Osment

 
Looking towards the station from the Exeter end.  The former line to Torrington went under the bridge straight ahead, and the line to Ilfracombe departed through the arch to the right.

photograph by Chris Osment

Barnstaple Junction

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This page was last updated 28 August 2008

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