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Sidmouth Junction

Sidmouth Junction

The exterior of Sidmouth Junction Station on 8th September 1965.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

 
Originally opened on 18th July 1860 and situated 'in the middle of nowhere', the L&SWR had a job to find it a suitable name. On opening it was Feniton but it was renamed as Ottery and Sidmouth Road less than a year later, on 1st July 1861. Then in February 1868 it was changed to Feniton for Ottery St Mary and finally, when the branch to Tipton St Johns and Sidmouth was opened on 6th July 1874, the name was changed yet again to Sidmouth Junction, which name it kept until the station closed on 6th March 1967. The opening of the line to Sidmouth was a mixed blessing for Sidmouth Junction as most of the traffic that had been using the station was now transferred away to Ottery St Mary, though on the other hand the station gained a new purpose as the inter-change for the branch. On 1st May 1897 a branch was opened from Tipton St Johns to Budleigh Salterton, producing more traffic for Sidmouth Junction, with a further increase on 1st June 1903 when the Budleigh Salterton line was extended to Exmouth.

Unlike nearby Seaton Junction, Sidmouth Junction had just two through roads, with a bay platform to accommodate the branchline traffic. The usual goods handling facilities were provided with sidings on both sides of the main line and a goods shed adjacent to the bay platform road. In the vee of the junction was a turntable, though this was removed long before the station closed. There was a level crossing at the country end of the station, which was worked from an adjacent small crossing 'box as the main Signalbox was situated too far away outside the other end of the station.

The goods yard was closed on 6th September 1965 though goods traffic was still worked down the branch. Local stopping trains on the main line were withdrawn in 1966 and the branchline closed to passenger traffic from 6th March 1967, and for all traffic on 8th May 1967. The main Signalbox was closed from 21st May 1967 but the level crossing 'box was retained for a while. All the tracks through the station except the down line were taken out of use in May and June 1967 when the line was singled, and when lifting barriers replaced the crossing gates in 1974 the crossing 'box was also closed.

A successful local campaign led to the station being re-opened on 5th May 1971 as Feniton once more, albeit with just the single line through the station.

 
Sidmouth Junction The main station buildings from the platform side.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

 
Another view of the main buildings, which were situated on the down platform.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

Sidmouth Junction
 
Sidmouth Junction A view of the station buildings from the footbridge.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

 
Looking down the down platform towards the level crossing over Ottery Road. The bay platform for the Sidmouth line is on the left.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

Sidmouth Junction
 
Sidmouth Junction The very tall down starting signal that also protected the level crossing. The height was necessary for sighting purposes by fast trains not booked to stop at the station. The lower co-acting arm was for the benefit of drivers whose engines had to stop at the signal, and for the station staff.

The pent roof building on the far side of the level crossing was the crossing 'box.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

 
The building on the up side, reached from the main building by the covered footbridge.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

Sidmouth Junction
 
Sidmouth Junction A view of the station looking through the platforms in the up direction. The goods shed is the further building on the right.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

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This page was created 30 May 2010

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