Apart from historic photographs, unless otherwise stated, all photos on this site were taken by members of my family.
Please don't republish them without my permission. Thanks.
© 2008 Mark Collins
The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway ~ July 2003 & August 2004
I first explored the route of this narrow gauge railway on a visit to Devon in 2003. The route was closed long before I was born. I was surprised to find much evidence of the railway and to my joy a real steam train working on part of the route! I revisited the railway in August 2004, hoping to plug the gaps in my album. Despite getting stung by nettles, prickled by brambles and getting two wet feet, I largely succeeded!
The line was opened in 1898 and closed in 1935. The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Company was formed in 1993 by members of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Association, now a Trust, with the aim of reconstructing as much of the original line as possible. I wish them well!
Despite the many intervening years since closure, remarkably little development has occurred on the route of the railway. During the war the army blew up some of the bridges and viaducts as exercises and more recently road improvements have resulted in bridge demolitions, for example at Blackmoor. In addition a small section of the old track bed is now submerged in a reservoir and the route through the outskirts of Barnstaple to the Town station is almost obliterated. However with the tenacity and determination shown to date, I am sure the future is bright for large parts of the line to be restored.
Click on the stations on the route map below, or use the menu at the side, to access pictures and descriptions of what I found.
If you are looking to explore the railway then Highcliffe House in Lynton has great sea views.
More information on this line can be found on the site of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Company.
When exploring the route, it is important to avoid trespassing on or damaging private property as this will not assist the Company in future negotiations.
A separate company has been formed which has the objective of securing the complete track bed of the former railway, Exmoor Associates Ltd. Take at their website and see if you can help!
As a footnote, I discovered this Southern Railways platform seat in a wooded part of the track bed during my exploration of the line - let's hope that one day it will grace the platform of a station on the reopened line!