Stenlake Publishing - The Newton Abbot to Kingswear Railway

The Newton Abbot to Kingswear Railway

Author : C. R. Potts
ISBN : 9780853617334
Cover : paperback
Price : £19.95

The railway to Kingswear was extremely busy during the summer months as it served (and continues to serve) both Torquay and Paignton, and tens of thousands of railborne travellers descended on Torbay for their holidays. The station at Kingswear also gave rail passengers access to Dartmouth via a ferry and Churston station was the junction for Brixham. After rationalisation during the 1960s and 70s the railway beyond Paignton passed to preservationists and happily continues to operate in the hands of the Dartmouth Steam Railway.

On the main line railway ‘A multi-million pound investment’ was announced for South Devon railway stations in 2013 – Torre, Torquay and Paignton would share over £3.5 million for refurbishment. Since the first edition of this title was published there has been privatisation of the national railway network, a steady improvement in train services and a new steam railway station at Paignton. In December 2019 the weekday main line service was increased by six trains each way thanks to funding by the EU Interreg Citizens’ Rail scheme. This gives a broadly half-hourly service between 9 am and 7.30 pm.

As well as much additional historical information uncovered since the first edition, the Great Western Locomotive Department water files have been unearthed. These reveal much fascinating information about severe problems at Kingswear ensuring that there was enough water for the engines working from there. Another fascinating source of information was the letter book of a relief signalman based at Newton Abbott in the 1880s and 1890s. Although containing only handwritten copies of his replies to ‘authority’ demanding explanations for delays or incidents, they reveal much detail of how the railway worked in a period when little was available to the public. A file of train accidents in the Second World War was found which includes details of bombing and runaway barrage balloons as well as the customary derailments etc. Details of the less than transparent figures used to justify closure of the line between Paignton and Kingswear are taken from the closure files, also found since the first edition. There are additional memories from the staff and many new photographs are included.

A5 format, 352 pages, more than 300 illustrations.

The Newton Abbot to Kingswear Railway

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