Whitstone & Bridgerule

 

London & South Western Railway

Southern Railway

BR Southern Region

BR Western Region

Line Closed

 

Whitstone & Bridgerule

 

Opened in 1898 when the line was extended from Holsworthy to the new terminus of the line at Bude sitting inconveniently between the settlements of Bridgerule in Devon and Whitstone in Cornwall.

 

The line was single track, however a signal box with a passing loop was located here with sidings, a goods shed. The station had a ticket office and waiting room with a simple shelter on the second platform.

 

The station remained unaltered from the day it was built until its closure in 1964, even still having its LSWR enamel nameplate at the end.

 

Passenger services were never very frequent. On 1 January 1963 the line was handed over to the Western Region of British Railways from when services became more local and the through-coaches to Waterloo were discontinued. From then Bude had a local shuttle service to and from Okehampton for the final months of its existence.

 

Accident

On 7 September 1950 a tractor and trailer were struck at 5.29pm by a passenger train at the Hopworthy Farm level crossing between Holsworthy and Whitstone and Bridgerule, resulting in three dead from the trailer and the tractor driver thrown over a hedge and suffering only minor injuries. The dead were the mother, father, and sister of the driver. The driver mistakenly believed that this train had already gone past and the inquiry advised that the crossing be closed. No one on the train was injured.

 

1960 OS map showing that the station was situated awkwardly between and some distance form the two rural comminities and accessed via narrow lanes off rhe main road

Modern OS style map showing the area remains rural and remote even today, The track alignment is still largely visilble as well

The station building was bought and renovated as a private residence. Photographed here some years ago still retaining the platform canopy even if the track between the platforms having been filled in

Picture wikipedia commons

Late 1060's looking throught the derelict station towards the road bridge from where the picture left was taken

 

 

HOLSWORTHY

The road bridge between the first viaduct and station. The station access road can be seen to the right all still extant in 2013.

Second viaduct heading west towards Bude. Unfortunately this was a flying visit and there is nowhere convenient to park a car safely so could not get a picture from on the viaduct its self.

 

BUDE

 

Having reached Bude, a terminus, the LSWR actively encouraged growth of holiday passenger traffic, marketing it hard as a resort destination. Sadly the journey times from London and the Midlands was long. Although Bude developed, it never managed to challenge the South Devon seaside towns.

 

Also a long siding branch ran to the Wharf at the tidal harbour. Originally a 4-feet gauge plateway on the wharf, from 1823 through 1923, being relaid as 2-feet gauge, operated with horses from 1924 through 1942. Finally closing in September 1964. Used for rolling stock storage in the final years.