The Western Gazette Friday March 20th 1891
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.
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on 1 October 1911 by a new facility further west, which survived in commercial use despite the passenger service being withdrawn on 2nd March 1959, a casualty of the Beeching Act.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.