The Lynton and Barnstaple Railway

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright November 2019, Roger Cornfoot; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
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The Lynton and Barnstaple Railway


This scenic narrow-gauge railway opened throughout in 1898, mainly to facilitate tourist traffic. Purchased in 1923 by the Southern Railway, it only survived a further 12 years before closure in 1935. The line was entirely dismantled, though some of the station buildings were subsequently converted to dwellings.



A group of enthusiasts raised plans for the partial revival of the line in the late 1970's. After several 'false-starts', in 1995 planning approval and funding was obtained to purchase Woody Bay station, though it took until 2006 before trains were able to make the short run to a new temporary station at Killington Lane.

In recent years, much (successful) effort has gone into seeking planning and funding to extend the railway as far as Blackmore Gate and Wistlandpound reservoir. Work has now begun on clearing the trackbed and reinstating bridges. No doubt this part of the project will take many years, but the long-term 'dream' remains as the re-opening of the line all the way to Barnstaple (at least as far as Pilton).

Lynton to Parracombe


The northern terminus at Lynton is situated high above the town, out of sight. In its heyday, passengers and goods were usually conveyed to and fro by horse and cart. This inconvenient location no doubt contributed to the line's closure. However, in their long-term plans, restorers are considering the possibility of siting a new station, beyond the original, further down the hill, closer to the centre.

SS7148

Lynton railway station:

This well-preserved building has been converted as a dwelling.

SS7148 : Lynton & Lynmouth Station (converted) by Ben Brooksbank SS7148 : Former Lynton & Lynmouth terminus of Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, 1991 by Ben Brooksbank SS7148 : Lynton & Lynmouth railway station (site), Devon by Nigel Thompson

Leaving Lynton, the line followed the West Lynn valley as far as the hamlet of Barbrook before turning sharply west above the Barbrook valley.

SS7147

SS7147 : Lynton and Barnstaple Railway  Site of Bridge 79 by Barrie Cann SS7147 : Lynton and Barnstaple Railway - Disused trackbed at Dean Steep by Barrie Cann

SS7047

SS7047 : Lynton and Barnstaple Railway - Disused Railway Cutting by Barrie Cann SS7047 : Lynton and Barnstaple Railway - Disused Railway Cutting by Barrie Cann SS7047 : Lynton and Barnstaple Railway - Disused Railway Cutting by Barrie Cann SS7047 : Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Bridge 78 by Barrie Cann SS7047 : Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Bridge 78 by Barrie Cann SS7047 : Lynton and Barnstaple Railway - Bridge 77 by Barrie Cann

Caffyns Halt:

A small halt was built here to service what was once a golf club.

SS7047 : Former Lynton and Barnstaple railway bridge, on New Mill Farm by Roger Cornfoot SS7047 : Caffyns Halt by Sam

SS7047 : Trackbed of Lynton and Barnstaple Railway by Guy Wareham

The railway now continued across open moorland towards Martinhoe Cross, where a newly aligned A39 now cuts the original rail track. (Originally, the road bridged the line here and a new bridge will be necessary to complete the route).

SS6947

SS6946

SS6946 : Dismantled railway bridge,  Lower Ranscombe by Roger Cornfoot SS6946 : Abandoned trackbed, Lynton and Barnstaple Railway by Roger Cornfoot

SS6846

SS6846 : The A39 at Martinhoe Cross in sleet by nick macneill

We now reach the only (current) operational section of the line at Woody Bay.

Woody Bay Loco Shed:

SS6846 : The engine shed at Woody Bay by Roger Cornfoot SS6846 : Lynton & Barnstaple Railway by Gareth James

Woody Bay Railway Station:

SS6846 : Mid-morning arrival at Woody Bay by Roger Cornfoot SS6846 : Preparing for departure, Woody Bay by Roger Cornfoot SS6846 : Lynton & Barnstaple Railway by Gareth James SS6846 : Lynton and Barnstaple Railway by Martin Bodman SS6846 : Woody Bay Railway Station by Ian Rob
SS6846 : A train arriving at Woody Bay Station by Steve Daniels SS6846 : Poster for Woody Bay station by Eirian Evans SS6846 : Woody Bay Station by Peter Walker



From here the line runs west for 0ne and a half miles towards Killington Halt, affording fine views towards the coast.

SS6846 : Lynton and Barnstaple Railway by Guy Wareham SS6846 : Train nearing Woody Bay Station by Martin Bodman SS6846 : Lynton & Barnstaple Railway by Gareth James SS6846 : Axe on the Lynton &  Barnstaple Railway by Guy Wareham SS6846 : Lynton & Barnstaple Railway by Gareth James
SS6846 : The Lynton & Barnstaple Light Railway by Roger A Smith SS6846 : Morthoe: Lynton & Barnstaple Railway by Martin Bodman

SS6746

SS6746 : Lynton & Barnstaple Railway by Gareth James SS6746 : Bridge 67 by Guy Wareham SS6746 : Approaching Woody Bay Station by Martin Tester SS6746 : On the 1-in-50 to Woody Bay Station by Martin Bodman SS6746 : Lynton and Barnstaple train approaches Woody Bay by Roger Cornfoot

SS6745

Killington Halt:

A temporary terminus was constructed here to provide 'run-round' facilities for locomotives. However, the station is in an isolated, uninteresting location and will be bypassed and closed, following the route extension to Blackmoor Gate.

SS6745 : Lynton and Barnstaple Railway: leaving Killington Lane by Martin Bodman SS6745 : Killington Lane railway station, Devon by Nigel Thompson SS6745 : Killington Lane station, Lynton and Barnstaple Railway by Roger Cornfoot

The line continues south towards Parracombe.


SS6745 : Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Bridge 63 by Barrie Cann SS6745 : Lynton & Barnstaple Railway: course by Martin Bodman SS6745 : Lynton & Barnstaple Railway: former course by Martin Bodman SS6745 : Lynton & Barnstaple Railway: embankment by Martin Bodman SS6745 : Trackbed of abandoned Lynton and Barnstaple Railway by Roger Cornfoot SS6745 : Parracombe: course of Lynton & Barnstaple Railway by Martin Bodman

SS6744

Parracombe Halt:

A bungalow was built over the trackbed here, but this has been purchased and will be demolished to make way for the new track and station.

SS6744 : Site of former railway halt at Parracombe by Roger Cornfoot SS6744 : Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Bridge 61 by Barrie Cann SS6744 : Parracombe: lane by bridge over railway by Martin Bodman SS6744 : Parracombe: course of the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway by Martin Bodman SS6744 : Lynton & Barnstaple Railway: Parracombe halt by Martin Bodman
SS6744 : Converted railway trackbed, Churchtown by Roger Cornfoot

KML

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