Bristol and Exeter Railway

Introduction

This railway extended the Great Western Railway west from Bristol Temple Meads to Exeter St Davids.






Dates

01/10/1835[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Prospectus issued.
19/05/1836[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Act passed.
  /  /1838[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Weston-super-Mare branch authorised.
05/03/1839[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Broad gauge decided upon.
25/03/1841[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
New Bridgwater docks opened.
14/06/1841[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Bristol (Harbour Bridge Junction) to Bridgwater, and Weston Junction to Weston-super-Mare opened. Stations on these sections at: Redminster, Parson Street, Long Ashton, Flax Bourton, Nailsea & Backwell, Yatton, Puxton & Worle, Bleadon & Uphill, Brean Road Halt, Brent Knoll, Highbridge, Dunball, Bridgwater, Weston Milton Halt and Weston-Super-Mare.
01/07/1842[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Bridgwater to Taunton opened. Stations on this section at: Durston, Creech and Taunton.
  /  /1843[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Somerset bridge, similar to Maidenhead bridge, over the tidal Parrett is replaced by a timber viaduct when it fails.
01/05/1843[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Taunton to Beambridge opened. Stations on this section at: Norton Fitzwarren, Wellington (Somerset) and a temporary terminus at Beambridge while a tunnel was completed.
01/05/1844[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Beambridge to Exeter opened. Stations on this section at: Burlescombe, Sampford Peverell, Tiverton Junction, Cullompton, Hele & Bradninch, Silverton, Stoke Canon and Exeter (St Davids).
  /  /1845[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Great Western considers buying the Bristol and Exeter which would be threatened by their planned direct London to Exeter line.
07/11/1845[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Great Westerns offer refused
28/07/1847[Clevedon Branch] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Line opened as broad gauge. Station opened at Clevedon.
12/06/1848#Tiverton Branch# ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Opened.
30/04/1849[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Great Westerns lease expires
01/04/1851[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Horse traction abandoned on the Weston-super-Mare branch
  /  /1852[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Accident at Creech - locomotive de-rails, no passenger injuries
  /  /1853[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Yeovil Branch opened
  /08/1855[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Electric telegraph installed and operated by the Electric Telegraph Company
  /  /1859[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Company takes over operation of electric telegraph
  /  /1863[Chard Branch BER] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Powers for a line to Chard transferred to the Bristol and Exeter.
11/09/1866[Chard Branch BER] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Line opened to joint station at Chard on a section of joint line.
  /  /1868[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Taunton station expanded
03/08/1869[Cheddar Valley and Yatton Railway] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Yatton to Cheddar opened
05/04/1870[Cheddar Valley and Yatton Railway] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Cheddar to Wells opened
  /  /1875[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Westleigh Quarry tramway opened. It ran for 1 mile from Burlescombe
  /  /1875[Cheddar Valley and Yatton Railway] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Converted to standard gauge
  /  /1875[Exe Valley Railway]
[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Authorisation powers transferred to the Bristol and Exeter line.
30/05/1875[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
First standard gauge train runs from Bristol to Taunton and Weston-super-Mare
01/01/1876[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Great Western leases line
  /03/1876[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
First standard gauge goods reaches Exeter
24/05/1876[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Leading coach of train de-rails at Silverton
27/07/1876[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Engine of the up Dutchman de-rails. The track was not well maintained by the Bristol and Exeter in its last day of independence. The Great Western re-lays the line.
01/08/1876[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
[Great Western Railway]
Great Western absorbs the Bristol and Exeter
01/01/1878[East Somerset Railway]
[Cheddar Valley and Yatton Railway] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
[Great Western Railway]
The Great Western starts to run passenger trains from the Cheddar line through the [Somerset and Dorset Railway]s Wells station to Witham.
  /  /1879[Clevedon Branch] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Converted to standard gauge
01/03/1884[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Weston-super-Mare branch closed and re-opened as a standard gauge loop line.
  /06/1884#Tiverton Branch# ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Converted from broad gauge to standard gauge.
11/11/1890[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
10 passengers killed in crash at Norton Fitzwarren
19/07/1891[Chard Branch BER] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Line converted to standard gauge.
  /  /1894[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Stoke Canon re-built to the west of the junction with the [Exe Valley Railway]
  /  /1898[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Westerleigh Tramway opened from Burlescombe to nearby quarry using old broad gauge rails.
  /  /1940[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Branch opened from Hunstpill to Puriton to serve the Ordinance Factory. The Factory has an internal narrow gauge railway.
04/11/1940[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
27 passengers killed at Norton Fitzwarren due to a signal passed at danger.
  /  /1950[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Westerleigh Tramway closed, but not lifted, and quarrys internal tramway.
03/01/1951[Chard Branch BER] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Line closed during fuel crisis.
07/05/1951[Chard Branch BER] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Line re-opened.
29/10/1951[East Somerset Railway]
[Cheddar Valley and Yatton Railway] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Wells Tucker Street re-opens on closure of Priory Road
  /  /1964[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Locking Road, the excursion station in Weston-super-Mare, closed
  /  /1964[Cheddar Valley and Yatton Railway] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Closed
06/07/1964[Chard Branch BER] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Closed.
05/10/1964[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
All stations between Exeter and Taunton, except Tiverton Junction, closed
05/10/1964#Tiverton Branch# ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Closed to passengers
03/10/1966[Clevedon Branch] ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Line closed
  /04/1967[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Bridgwater dock line closed
05/06/1967#Tiverton Branch# ([Bristol and Exeter Railway])
Closed to freight
  /  /1972[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Weston-super-Mare loop singled except at station
06/07/1978[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
12 passengers killed in a fire on a Penzance to Paddington sleeper train
  /  /1984[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Track of Westerleigh Tramway lifted by the Great Western Society.
11/05/1986[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Tiverton Junction station closed
12/05/1986[Bristol and Exeter Railway]
Tiverton Parkway opened on the site of Samford Peverell

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.


West Coast Railways 47245 is tail end Charlie to Black 5 44871 at Bristol Temple Meads on 20th June 2019.
...
Peter Todd 20/06/2019
X-Country 220020 arriving at Bristol Temple Meads on 20th June 2019. ...
Peter Todd 20/06/2019
43086 is southbound at Temple Meads in the dying days of the GWR HSTs, 20th June 2019. ...
Peter Todd 20/06/2019
GWR 800311 arriving at Bristol Temple Meads on 20th June 2019.
...
Peter Todd 20/06/2019




Rebuilt Bulleid West Country Pacific no 34046 Braunton heading south-west out of Bristol on 18 August 2013. The recently restored locomotive is ...
Peter Todd 18/08/2013
Consolation photograph of a Voyager Cross Country service passing through Parson Street station, Bristol on 4 May 2008. (The expected star of the ...
Peter Todd 04/05/2008
A CrossCountry Voyager southbound through Parson Street station, Bristol, on 5 December 2008. ...
Peter Todd 05/12/2008
Freightliner 66507 takes loaded coal wagons from Portbury docks through Parson Street station, Bristol, towards Temple Meads on 26 November, probable ...
Peter Todd 26/11/2008








Looking north through Yatton station from the downside platform in May 2015, showing the barrel roofed canopy that previously served both the main ...
David Pesterfield 09/05/2015
A long barrel roofed full width canopy stands to the south of the main upside building at Yatton station, as seen in this view from the opposite ...
David Pesterfield 09/05/2015
The now roofless footbridge at the north end of Yatton Station seen from the upside approach road on 10 May 2015. Note the half landings incorporated ...
David Pesterfield 10/05/2015
The up side building at Yatton Station, between Bristol Temple Meads and Bridgwater, looking approx. south west on a Sunday afternoon in May. A near ...
David Pesterfield 10/05/2015



An unidentified 'Western' locomotive approaching Worle Junction from the Bristol direction in 1962. The train is signalled for the main line rather ...
John Thorn //1962
Worle Junction is at the Bristol end of the Weston-super-Mare loop. Looking west in 1960, the Taunton line bears left and the Weston loop right. At ...
John Thorn //1960


FGW 43020 speeds past Uphill Junction leading a Sunday Paddington to Plymouth HST service on 18th May 2014. The Weston-super-Mare loop line can be ...
Mark Bartlett 18/05/2014
Loooking west at Uphill Junction, towards Brunel's magnificent bridge spanning the cutting on 18 May, as 43304 leads a CrossCountry HST on a Newquay ...
Mark Bartlett 18/05/2014
A Taunton to Bristol local service swings left onto the Weston-super-Mare loop at Uphill Junction. 150121 is one of two three-car sets operated by ...
Mark Bartlett 18/05/2014
The Bristol and Exeter Railway cuts through the end of the Mendips in a deep cutting crossed by a brick arch known locally as Devil's Bridge. A Hymek ...
John Thorn /09/1962

This was a two platform station south of Weston-Super-Mare.
...

More details
Ex-GWR 4985 Allesley Hall heads a Bristol-bound train through Bleadon and Uphill in 1960. ...
John Thorn //1960



This is a two platform station.
...

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The former goods yard at Taunton has been significantly redeveloped lately. I remember a large shed latterly used for storing road vehicle parts and a ...
Ken Strachan 13/05/2017
Resignalling work underway at Taunton in April 1986. ...
Ian Dinmore /04/1986
An HST leaving Taunton in the summer of 1985. ...
Ian Dinmore /07/1985
During severe flooding blocking the line at Cowley Bridge Junction north of Exeter a CrossCountry HST from York lays over on the right in Taunton's ...
David Pesterfield 28/11/2012


A Peak with a westbound service between Taunton and Norton Fitzwarren at Easter time in 1981. The train is about to pass over Silk Mill level ...
John McIntyre //1981
A class 47 about to take a Paddington bound train over Silk Mill level crossing just east of Norton Fitzwarren station at Easter time in 1981. [With ...
John McIntyre //1981





FGW HST power car 43128 is on the rear of a service that has just departed from Tiverton Parkway heading to the next call at Exeter St Davids on 28 ...
John McIntyre 28/06/2008
A northbound Cross Country Voyager arrives at Tiverton Parkway station on 28 June 2008.
...
John McIntyre 28/06/2008
Looking north along the Up platform at Tiverton Parkway on 28 June as an Edinburgh bound Cross Country Voyager, with 435 miles still to go, sets off ...
John McIntyre 28/06/2008
First Great Western HSTs destined for Paddington (left) and Plymouth meet at Tiverton Parkway on 28 June 2008. ...
John McIntyre 28/06/2008

The waiting room and booking office at Tiverton Junction in April 1986, a month before closure [see image 35390]. ...
Ian Dinmore /04/1986
An unusual view of the now demolished station at Tiverton Junction showing the old bay platform for the Exe Valley branch. Scene in April 1986, a ...
Ian Dinmore /04/1986
Last days at Tiverton Junction in April 1986. The station, opened by the Bristol and Exeter Railway in 1844, finally closed to passengers the ...
Ian Dinmore /04/1986






This junction is north of Exeter St Davids. Here the Bristol and Exeter Railway is met by the Exeter and Crediton Railway. ...

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133 Peak on a stone train at Cowley Bridge Junction. ...
Ian Dinmore 22/09/2016
Signalman Mike Hayman at work in Cowley Bridge Junction signal box in June 1985 [see image 44796]. ...
Ian Dinmore /06/1985
50025 Invincible passing Cowley Bridge Junction with a Paddington - Plymouth service in July 1987. ...
Ian Dinmore /07/1987
Mike Hayman, the signalman at Cowley Bridge Junction, takes the token from a passing train in the summer of 1985. ...
Ian Dinmore //1985

This is a six platform station to the north west of the city. It is the principal station in the town being served by trains from London Paddington (by the former Great Western Railway) and London Waterloo (by the former London and South Western Railway). The main line continues west to Plymouth and Penzance. There are branches to Barnstaple and Exmouth. ...

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A pair of 153s forming a train for Exmouth boarding at Exeter St Davids on 4 June 2002. Both units are sporting the promotional 'Heart of ...
Ian Dinmore 04/06/2002
A Virgin CrossCountry service bound for Bristol, recently arrived at Exeter St Davids platform 5 on 4 June 2002. Locomotive in charge is 47741 ...
Ian Dinmore 04/06/2002
The Virgin CrossCountry 0941 Plymouth - Edinburgh calls at Exeter St Davids on 31 May 2002 behind 47847. ...
Ian Dinmore 31/05/2002
Platform view at Exeter St Davids on a sunny May morning in 2002. South West Trains 159011 is running into platform 1 ready to start its journey to ...
Ian Dinmore 09/02/2019