The South Devon Railway and Ivybridge Train Station

The South Devon Railway and Ivybridge Train Station

Fatal Collision

The Western Gazette Friday March 20th 1891

 

On Thursday night, while a number of men were clearing the line at Ivybridge, Devon, and were getting a disabled engine in position for hoisting on to the metals, a relief train from Plymouth came up at a rate of 25 miles an hour and crashed through a stationary carriage in to the disabled engine. Several men were injured and for some time buried in the snow. A Plymouth man was taken out dead and the lives of others are despaired of. Mr Storey (Superintendent Engineer Locomotives) was badly injured and had to be removed to the South Devon Hospital at Plymouth.

City of Truro Steam Locomotive

 

Apart from the normal passenger trains a number of more unusual trains passed through Ivybridge. On the morning of 9th May 1904 the ‘City of Truro’ became the first steam locomotive to exceed 100 mph

The South Devon Railway was first proposed in 1837 but was not authorised by an Act of Parliament until 1844. The broad gauge line and viaduct at Ivybridge was opened on 5th May 1848 as part of the Totnes to Laira (Plymouth) line. This line consisted of the last extension of the Great Western Railway from Bristol to Plymouth. The station at Ivybridge was not completed until six weeks later, on 15th June.The building was situated on the north side of the track, immediately to the west of Ivybridge Viaduct.

 

Early trains were hauled by contractors’ locomotives belonging to Green’s of Newton Abbott.

Built as a broad gauge railway, the line was converted for standard use in 1892 following a merger between South Devon Railway and Great Western Railway on 1st February 1876. The line originally had just a single track but was doubled to the west on 11 June 1893 and from the far side of the viaduct to the east on 13 August 1893.

 

At random intervals Ivybridge was visited by trains known as ‘farm specials’ – effectively farms on the move – with livestock, fodder, machinery, working horses, the farmer and his family and the farm hands all moving from one part of the country to another, following the farm sales. Regular stops for milking, feeding, watering and mucking out were all planned. Other special trains called at Ivybridge to pick up supplies of the specialist paper produced at Stowford Mill.

Shareholder’s Perks

 

A perk of being a shareholder in the Great Western railway was that you could request the train to stop at your local station. The owners of the mill were in this position and often travelled on The Cornish Riviera from London and alighted at Ivybridge Station, an unscheduled stop.
Ivybridge Signal Box

The goods shed at the station was replaced on 1 October 1911 by a new facility further west, which survived in commercial use despite the passenger service being withdrawn on 2nd March 1959, a casualty of the Beeching Act. A signal box was situated on the south side of the line between the station and the goods yard from 1895 until 1973.

 

The railway was handed over to British Railways (Western Region) at midnight on New Year’s Eve 1947. The goods station finally closed on 29th November 1965.

 

A replacement station was opened a mile away on the east side of the viaduct on 15 July 1994.

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RAIL LINKS

The British Pathe film follows the delivery of a postcard to a family living at Pound Farm in Ivybridge. In 1947 Pound Farm was let to Percy Lawrence Ford on a yearly Michaelmas tenancy from Highlands Estate. 
The children in the film appear to be twins called Dorothy and Donald Ford. Their mother was a Miss Yeoman before she married Percy Ford and William Yeoman was at the farm in 1930. The twins were born at the end of  1932. 
Richard Wingett had the farm in 1902 and Mrs Ann Wills in 1897.
A Shoemaker in Fore Street was called Ford in 1902.

THE SOUTH DEVON RAILWAY & IVYBRIDGE TRAIN STATION

The South Devon Railway was first proposed in 1837 but was not authorised by an Act of Parliament until 1844. The broad gauge line and viaduct at Ivybridge was opened on 5th May 1848 as part of the Totnes to Laira (Plymouth) line. This line consisted of the last extension of the Great Western Railway from Bristol to Plymouth. The station at Ivybridge was not completed until six weeks later, on 15th June.The building was situated on the north side of the track, immediately to the west of Ivybridge Viaduct.
Early trains were hauled by contractors’ locomotives belonging to Green’s of Newton Abbott.
Built as a broad gauge railway, the line was converted for standard use in 1892 following a merger between South Devon Railway and Great Western Railway on 1st February 1876. The line originally had just a single track but was doubled to the west on 11 June 1893 and from the far side of the viaduct to the east on 13 August 1893.
Apart from the normal passenger trains a number of more unusual trains passed through Ivybridge. On the morning of 9th May 1904 the ‘City of Truro’ became the first steam locomotive to exceed 100 mph. At random intervals Ivybridge was also visited by trains known as ‘farm specials’ – effectively farms on the move – with livestock, fodder, machinery, working horses, the farmer and his family and the farm hands all moving from one part of the country to another, following the farm sales. Regular stops for milking, feeding, watering and mucking out were all planned. Other special trains called at Ivybridge to pick up supplies of the specialist paper produced at Stowford Mill.
The goods shed at the station was replaced on 1 October 1911 by a new facility further west, which survived in commercial use despite the passenger service being withdrawn on 2nd March 1959, a casualty of the Beeching Act. A signal box was situated on the south side of the line between the station and the goods yard from 1895 until 1973.
The railway was handed over to British Railways (Western Region) at midnight on New Year’s Eve 1947. The goods station finally closed on 29th November 1965.
A replacement station was opened a mile away on the east side of the viaduct on 15 July 1994.