35 Torbay

The scout takes in the sight of a major holiday resort in glorious sunshine, boarded up for the summer.

Rusty Rails and Red Signals. In common with all the fun railways, Dartmouth Steam Railway, which operates the section of the former Kingswear Branch beyond Paignton, was found closed because of plague. The gate at the top of the steps at Goodrington was shut and the rails alongside the Down platform, which would normally be polished, were dull and brown.

While other tourist attractions have the prospect of being able to open in some form by summer, the railways, naturally depending as they do upon people being in confined spaces, look set to lose the season in its entirety. And if they do not, the manner of operation will be so restricted that being open will produce only small receipts.

As is often the case when the scout visits, a day or so later there is mention of the place in the papers. Here, it was in connection with a bid by two M.Ps. to have the national network extended to Goodrington and Churston.


Hennapyn Bridge. A short detour off the coast road between Torquay and Paignton gives this glimpse of a sumptuous villa and Tor Bay beyond. But what looks like a cared-for public space in the foreground is actually a railway bridge, built to “accommodate” access to land severed by the railway, when there had been no development of the genteel resort.

Today it carries a short public footpath between Torbay Road and Hennapyn Road, from where a tour of the abundant villas of Chelston may be commenced.

Hennapyn Bridge. Looking Up line over the scarcely visible parapet, the line is seen sweeping beneath Seaway Lane towards Torquay.

Chudleigh Bypass. On his return from Torbay, the scout took a breather on his 50-mile ride and thought that he ought to take the railway’s utilicon further afield while the A38 dual-carriageway was still quiet.

The garish sign tells of the approach to what is now “Chudleigh Station” road junction. Usefully, the sign marks the exact position of the branch railway that was destroyed to make this road in 1973.

Unlike the incursion made by the A30 dual carriageway at Alphington, the difficulty here could easily be overcome. Between Chudleigh and the other side of Little Bovey Bridge, there is sufficient space for the line to be rebuilt never far from its original course.

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The E. & T.V.R. scout, having on occasion sent a few photographs to the esteemed elders of the Cornwall Railway Society, in time rather got into the habit after his outings of submitting a short story, often under the general heading of “Route Learning” or “Route Refresher.”

Keith Jenkin, who must be the Duchy’s most senior webmaster, became accustomed to receiving these scouting season dispatches and eventually bestowed upon the E. & T.V.R. the honour of its own section, now complete with index, on the huge C.R.S. web station.

This outlet for the stories and discoveries that find no place on the railway’s more formal web pages, and some of the many library photos that would never otherwise be seen, has made the case for an appendix to teignrail dot com, one that can be edited by the junior clerk.

Though he is too kind a man ever to admit it,  Keith will be relieved not to be burdened with sudden loads of photographs accompanied by long-winded captions, references and links. However, his adherents, if they are interested, will be able to continue following the Teign Valley’s forays into the field.

If any reader wishes to see what went before and gave rise to this appendix, the C.R.S. Teign Valley section can be found here. Many more contributions were made but these will be lost in the monthly archives, though these are well worth exploring, as are all the other sections on this splendid resource.

The Teign Valley must extend its gratitude to the C.R.S. for setting this previously unimagined course; in particular, Keith must be thanked for his endless patience, often under trying conditions.

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