Tiverton Branch Line
Great Western Railway
BR Western Region
A POTTED HISTORY
A large new station was built on the through line, with a junction for the original line to Tiverton Junction line once the new route arrived due to the original station not being adequate.
The station was busy right up to the end, but the passenger services on the line from Tiverton Junction closed in 1964, the Exe Valley line having closed a year earlier. Traffic having suffered from competition with the roads. with goods facilities closing in 1967. The station was later demolished and much of the rail route around the town has disappeared under the A396 relief road system.
In view of the recent council decision to ratify the TIVERTON EASTERN URBAN EXTENSION plan for the next ten-twenty years that incorporates the plan to build a new town on the green field site in the V east of the town and south of Silverton. Coupled with the local populouses objections on the grounds of the increased road traffic. It would seem only logical to include the old railway route, currently cycle path which runs from Tiverton near the Tescos Store to a bridge where the plans clearly show the new town will be built up to, in a joined up logistical plan for developement. But is seems to have passed the council by thus far.
Once this has been done it then seems to the RRA that the next logical step would be to take this on to the old Tiverton Junction Station at Willand and connect the area again to the rail network. Especially in view of the current trend for people to be baulking from park and ride schemes when regular, reliable and direct transport routes are available.
Opened in 1848 as the terminus station of a broad gauge branch line from Tiverton Junction, actually in the village of Willand, on the Bristol and Exeter Railway four miles away. Originally called Tiverton Road being renamed when the branch opened.
In 1884 and 1885, with the Bristol and Exeter Railway having been taken over by the Great Western Railway in 1876, Tiverton was reached by two other railways which then linked up to form a through route. From the north, the Tiverton and North Devon Railway was a branch line from the Devon and Somerset Railway between Taunton and Barnstaple, at Morebath Junction, to the south, the Exe Valley Railway, provided services through to Exeter, with a junction with the Bristol and Exeter main line at Stoke Canon opening in 1885. See our Exe Valley Railway Page.
The arrival of this new route meant that the original station was not adequate and a large new station was built on the through line, with a junction for the original line to Tiverton Junction.
The station was busy but traffic but the rest of the Exe Valley line suffered greatly once it had cheap competition from the roads, right up to the time of its closure in 1963, pre Beeching, Extracts of timetables have indicated there were a train each way every three hours, a frequency that passengers were never going to tollerate once there was a better frequency of buses and cars became affordable to more and more people. Passenger services from Tiverton Junction were withdrawn just a year later, with goods facilities closing in 1967. The station was later demolished and much of the rail route around the town has disappeared under the A396 relief road system.
Tiverton railway station opened in 1848 as the terminus station of a broad gauge branch line from the Bristol and Exeter Railway main line: to the main line junction station four miles away had originally been called Tiverton Road but was renamed as Tiverton Junction when the branch opened.
In 1884 and 1885, with the Bristol and Exeter Railway having been taken over by the Great Western Railway, Tiverton was reached by two other railways which then linked up to form a through route. From the north, the Tiverton and North Devon Railway was a branch line from the Devon and Somerset Railway at Morebath Junction and brought through services from Dulverton; to the south of Tiverton, the Exe Valley Railway, which opened in 1885, provided services through to Exeter, with a junction with the Bristol and Exeter main line at Stoke Canon.
This was the only intermediate station on the line and was situated directly under the road bridge somw way to the west of the village its self, it was never more than a hlat with one platform and a tin shelter.
Originally named Tiverton Road, it was opened with the railway to Exeter on 1 May 1844, although it was actually located at Willand, which was the nearest that the railway came to Tiverton. It was renamed "Tiverton Junction" on 12 June 1848, when Tiverton railway station, at the end of a branch from the Junction station, opened. A second branch, the Culm Valley Light Railway, opened on 29 May 1876.
The station was widened to four tracks in 1932; two new platforms being built facing the new loop lines but the centre tracks were only used for non-stopping trains. Goods traffic was withdrawn on 8 May 1967, the Tiverton branch closed for passengers in 1964 and for freight in June 1967. The Culm Valley line had closed to passengers on 7 September 1963, although the line remained in use for goods trains until 31 October 1975.
The Junction station continued to be served by a couple of trains each day for about twenty years but was then closed on 11 May 1986 to be replaced by the better sited Tiverton Parkway. The location is now known as "Tiverton Loops" and platforms can still be seen alongside the now extended loops; engineers use the remaining sidings on the down side.