Sunday, 26 February 2017

Exeter to Exmouth branch

(Pics sourced from internet and acknowledged at end of article)

The Exmouth branch (now branded the Avocet Line) connects Exeter to Exmouth in Devon. It offers a very useful commuter service to the city. The line follows the edge of the Exe Estuary from just south of Topsham right into Exmouth, the keen eyed traveller can spot the main Great Western route through Starcross and on to Dawlish across the estuary along the opposite bank.

The line opened in 1861. The route included a branch to Topsham Quay (freight only), a 700 yard long route which closed in 1957. Another line connected to a dock was constructed at Exmouth, just 40 chains long, freight only. The line to the dock closed in 1967.

The line has a good number of stations for a short line - Polsloe Bridge, Digby and Sowton, Newcourt, Topsham, Exton, Lympstone Commando, Lympstone Village and Exmouth. Exmouth is currently the fifth busiest station in Devon. Three of these stations have opened since 1976, the latest (Newcourt) in 2015. The line is an excellent example of a branch line expanding in step with increases in traffic.

There is a group which supports the development of this line -
Trip along the line (video)

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