Meldon

NORTH DEVON RAILWAY

LONDON & SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY

SOUTHERN REGION

.

MELDON QUARRY HALT

MELDON VIADUCT

 

First constructed circa 1920 as Meldon Quarry Halt having no public access. It functioned only as a staff halt for quarry workers, their families and other railway staff working at Meldon Quarry which was owned by the London and South Western Railway. The quarry originally had no metalled road access and some quarry workers and their families lived in cottages situated nearby.

 

It is reported to be where every stone of ballast for the entire LSWR network was taken.

 

The halt was not shown in the public railway timetable and local passenger services would only call by special arrangement. A workmens' service from Okehampton also operated using a passenger coach attached to one of the ballast trains. The platforms of the halt were constructed using standard components manufactured at the Railway's own Concrete Works at Exmouth Junction. The platforms were just a carriage length and narrow and were situated at the immediate east end of Meldon Viaduct, between the viaduct and Meldon Quarry signal box.

 

Some time after services between Okehampton and Bere Alston ceased, both platforms were demolished during modifications to the rail layout and access at the western end of Meldon Quarry. After which freight traffic continued thanks to the activities of the by then British Rail owned ballast quarry at Meldon. At the time having an output of 300,000 tons per year.

 

The quarry and railway are now owned by Aggregate Industries. The quarry is currently out of use and 'mothballed' and the line leased up until 2019 to the Okehampton heritage railway, whose activities in the form of its 'Polar Express' franchise Christmas Charters, appear to be impeding Devon County Council's ambition to reinstate passenger services into Exeter from Okehampton, and even reopen the line the otherway right through to Bere Alston as an alternative to the south coast main line that is prone to washing out in storms.

 

A new station at Meldon Quarry was opened during 2000 by Dartmoor Railway to act as the terminus of a passenger service from Okehampton. It has a single platform adjacent to the former up line but situated slightly nearer to Okehampton than the former Staff Halt. It is an entirely new construction unrelated to the previous Halt. The station was further improved in 2002 with the installation of concrete platform walling and a wooden platform shelter in BR Southern Region style and colour scheme. In 2015 the station was renamed Meldon Viaduct. It is the current western terminus of Dartmoor Railway heritage passenger services to Okehampton and Sampford Courtenay. The station has no motor vehicle access but does have excellent pedestrian and cycle access via the "Granite Way" Cycleway (no. 27 route). It also has links to Dartmoor via the local footpath network. There was a buffet situated near the station in a former SR electric multiple unit buffet car. The car overlooks Meldon Viaduct and the surrounding valleys.