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The former GWR station at Dartmouth, Devon

Local History

Dartmouth Train Station – The Station with No Trains

Dartmouth Station has never been served by trains, and despite multiple plans during the 1850s to build a track to Dartmouth – nothing ever came to fruition.

This was until the Dartmouth and Torbay Railway Company was formed such that a line could be built from Newton Abbot to Torre (near Torquay) and onward to Dartmouth.

The Railway Company ran out of funds and the railway cross the river was difficult and expensive. The station at Kingswear which lies on the east bank of the River Dart became a terminus for the railway, and passengers would alight to get a chain ferry across to Dartmouth.

The two chain-hauled vessels of the Lower Vehicle Ferry are crossing the Dart Estuary whilst a passenger ferry is just tying up at the Kingswear pontoon, seen against a backdrop of multi pastel houses clambering up the steep hillside.  -Richard Szwejkowski
The two chain-hauled vessels of the Lower Vehicle Ferry are crossing the Dart Estuary whilst a passenger ferry is just tying up at the Kingswear pontoon, seen against a backdrop of multi pastel houses clambering up the steep hillside.  –Richard Szwejkowski

In Dartmouth, a Station was built where booking for the chain ferry and train were taken. It is this station we see today.

The station is today in use as a cafe/restaurant.

The railway company opened to Paignton in 1859 and Kingswear 5 years later.

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Kingswear Station, Modern Day - Rob Phillips
Kingswear Station, Modern Day – Rob Phillips

In 1872 the Dartmouth and Torbay Railway Company was absorbed by the South Devon Railway, and later in 1882 itself and the lined from Newton Abbot to Kingswear became part of GWR.

In the below video take a trip on The Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway, Gresley A4 No. 60007 ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ with the ‘English Riviera Express’, & the English Riviera Airshow (or part of it). Special thanks to Steam to the West.

You can read more about the history of the line, its role in WW2 and how it became a heritage railway on Disused Stations, as well as the Dartmouth Steam Railway website.

Cover image of The former GWR station at Dartmouth, Devon 2018 – R~P~M

Written By

Andy is the Editor of iNostalgia and is a regular contributor the exploring history & nostalgia category, with a love for community nostalgia.

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