Bristol and Exeter Railway


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


01/10/1835Bristol and Exeter Railway
Prospectus issued.
19/05/1836Bristol and Exeter Railway
Act passed.
  /  /1838Bristol and Exeter Railway
Weston-super-Mare branch authorised.
05/03/1839Bristol and Exeter Railway
Broad gauge decided upon.
25/03/1841Bristol and Exeter Railway
New Bridgwater Docks opened.
14/06/1841Bristol and Exeter Railway
Bristol (Harbour Bridge Junction) to Bridgwater, and Weston Junction to Weston-super-Mare opened. Stations on these sections at: Nailsea, Clevedon Road, Banwell, Weston Junction, (possibly Oldmixon), Highbridge, and Bridgwater, and on the original Weston branch Weston-Super-Mare [1st].
01/07/1842Bristol and Exeter Railway
Bridgwater to Taunton opened. Stations on this section at: Durston, Creech and Taunton.
  /  /1843Bristol and Exeter Railway
Somerset Bridge, similar to Maidenhead Bridge, over the tidal Parrett is replaced by a timber viaduct when it fails.
01/05/1843Bristol 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.
01/05/1844Bristol and Exeter Railway
Beambridge to Exeter opened. Stations on this section at: Burlescombe, Sampford Peverell, Tiverton Junction, Cullompton, Hele and Bradninch, Silverton, Stoke Canon and Exeter St Davids.
  /  /1845Bristol 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.
07/11/1845Bristol and Exeter RailwayGreat Western Railway
Great Western's take over offer refused by the smaller company.
  /  /1847Bristol and Exeter Railway
Clevedon Road renamed Yatton.
30/04/1849Bristol and Exeter RailwayGreat Western Railway
Great Westerns lease expires
01/04/1851Bristol and Exeter Railway
Horse traction abandoned on the Weston-super-Mare [1st] branch
  /  /1852Bristol and Exeter Railway
Accident at Creech - locomotive de-rails, no passenger injuries
  /  /1852Bristol and Exeter Railway
Ashton [B&E] opened.
  /08/1855Bristol and Exeter Railway
Electric telegraph installed and operated by the Electric Telegraph Company.
  /  /1856Bristol and Exeter Railway
Ashton [B&E] closed.
  /  /1859Bristol and Exeter Railway
Company takes over operation of electric telegraph.
  /  /1860Bristol and Exeter Railway
Bourton opened.
  /  /1863Chard Branch (Bristol and Exeter Railway)
Powers for a line to Chard transferred to the Bristol and Exeter Railway.
  /  /1868Bristol and Exeter Railway
Taunton station expanded.
  /  /1869Bristol and Exeter Railway
Banwell renamed Worle [1st].
03/08/1869Cheddar Valley and Yatton Railway (Bristol and Exeter Railway)
Yatton to Cheddar opened.
  /  /1870Bristol and Exeter Railway
Bedminster opened
05/04/1870Cheddar Valley and Yatton Railway (Bristol and Exeter Railway)
Cheddar to Wells opened
  /  /1871Bristol and Exeter Railway
Uphill opened.
  /  /1872Bristol and Exeter Railway
Uphill renamed Bleadon & Uphill.
  /  /1873Bristol and Exeter Railway
Dunball opened.
16/07/1874Minehead Railway
Opened, operated by the Bristol and Exeter Railway.
  /  /1875Bristol and Exeter Railway
Westleigh Quarry tramway opened. It ran for 1 mile from Burlescombe.
  /  /1875Cheddar Valley and Yatton Railway (Bristol and Exeter Railway)
Converted to mixed gauge.
  /  /1875Exe Valley Railway
Bristol and Exeter Railway
Authorisation powers transferred to the Bristol and Exeter line.
  /  /1875Bristol and Exeter Railway
Brent Knoll opened.
30/05/1875Bristol and Exeter Railway
First standard gauge train runs from Bristol Temple Meads to Taunton and Weston-super-Mare [1st] .
01/01/1876Bristol and Exeter RailwayGreat Western Railway
Great Western leases line
  /03/1876Bristol and Exeter Railway
First standard gauge goods reaches Exeter.
24/05/1876Bristol and Exeter Railway
Leading coach of train de-rails at Silverton.
29/05/1876Culm Valley Light Railway
Opened. Operated by the Bristol and Exeter Railway.
27/07/1876Bristol 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.
01/08/1876Bristol and Exeter RailwayGreat Western Railway
Great Western absorbs the Bristol and Exeter.
  /  /1884Bristol and Exeter Railway
Worle [1st] renamed Puxton.
  /  /1884Bristol and Exeter Railway
Weston Junction closed.
01/03/1884Bristol and Exeter Railway
Weston-super-Mare [1st] branch closed and re-opened as a standard gauge loop line via Weston-super-Mare.
  /  /1888Bristol and Exeter Railway
Bourton renamed Flax Bourton [1st].
11/11/1890Bristol and Exeter Railway
10 passengers killed in crash at Norton Fitzwarren.
  /  /1892Bristol and Exeter Railway
Converted to standard gauge only.
  /  /1893Bristol and Exeter Railway
Flax Bourton [2nd] opened, Flax Bourton [1st] closed.
  /  /1894Bristol and Exeter Railway
Stoke Canon re-built to the west of the junction with the Exe Valley Railway.
  /  /1898Bristol and Exeter Railway
Westerleigh Tramway opened from Burlescombe to nearby quarry using old broad gauge rails.
  /  /1905Bristol and Exeter Railway
Nailsea renamed Nailsea & Blackwell.
  /  /1922Bristol and Exeter Railway
Puxton renamed Puxton & Worle.
  /  /1926Bristol and Exeter Railway
Long Ashton Platform opened.
  /  /1927Bristol and Exeter Railway
Parson Street opened.
  /  /1929Bristol and Exeter Railway
Brean Road Halt opened.
  /  /1940Bristol and Exeter Railway
Branch opened from Hunstpill to Puriton to serve the Ordnance Factory. The factory has an internal narrow gauge railway.
04/11/1940Bristol and Exeter Railway
27 passengers killed at Norton Fitzwarren due to a signal passed at danger.
  /  /1941Bristol and Exeter Railway
Long Ashton Platform closed.
  /  /1949Bristol and Exeter Railway
Bridgewater renamed Bridgewater General.
  /  /1950Bristol and Exeter Railway
Westerleigh Tramway closed, but not lifted, and quarry's internal tramway.
  /  /1950Bristol and Exeter Railway
Highbridge renamed Highbridge West.
29/10/1951East Somerset Railway
Cheddar Valley and Yatton Railway (Bristol and Exeter Railway)
Wells Tucker Street re-opens on closure of Priory Road
  /  /1952Bristol and Exeter Railway
Highbridge West renamed Highbridge & Burnham.
  /  /1952Bristol and Exeter Railway
Bridgewater General renamed Bridgewater.
  /  /1955Bristol and Exeter Railway
Brean Road Halt closed.
  /  /1961Bristol and Exeter Railway
Dunball renamed Dunball Halt.
  /  /1963Bristol and Exeter Railway
Flax Bourton [2nd] closed.
  /  /1964Bristol and Exeter Railway
Locking Road, the excursion station in Weston-super-Mare, closed
  /  /1964Cheddar Valley and Yatton Railway (Bristol and Exeter Railway)
05/10/1964Bristol and Exeter Railway
All stations between Exeter and Taunton, except Tiverton Junction, closed. Puxton & Worle, Bleadon & Uphill & Dunball Halt.
  /04/1967Bristol and Exeter Railway
Bridgwater dock line closed
  /  /1971Bristol and Exeter Railway
Brent Knoll closed.
  /  /1972Bristol and Exeter Railway
Weston-super-Mare loop singled except at station
  /  /1974Bristol and Exeter Railway
Nailsea & Blackwell renamed Nailsea.
  /  /1974Bristol and Exeter Railway
Highbridge & Burnham renamed Highbridge.
06/07/1978Bristol and Exeter Railway
12 passengers killed in a fire on a Penzance to London Paddington sleeper train.
  /  /1984Bristol and Exeter Railway
Track of Westerleigh Tramway lifted by the Great Western Society.
11/05/1986Bristol and Exeter Railway
Tiverton Junction station closed.
12/05/1986Bristol and Exeter Railway
Tiverton Parkway opened on the site of Samford Peverell.
  /  /1990Bristol and Exeter Railway
Worle opened.

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

GWR 166217 on the approach to the Temple Meads, 1203 hours on 24th May 2023. It had worked a passenger service the short distance to Filton Abbey Wood ...
Peter Todd 24/05/2023
150219 waiting to depart from Bristol Temple Meads for Cardiff Central, on the evening of Saturday, 4th July 2015. ...
David Bosher 04/07/2015
GWR HST 125 43042 'Tregenna Castle' passing through Temple Meads with an Exeter to Cardiff Central express on 24th May 2023. One of the few retained ...
Peter Todd 24/05/2023
Return UK Railtours' excursion from Weston-Super-Mare, behind 67003, arriving at Bristol Temple Meads to pick up further passengers on 4th July 2015. ...
David Bosher 04/07/2015
4 of 101 images. more

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
EWS 66079 James Nightall GC takes a loaded coal train through Parson Street station in the Bristol suburbs on 30 January heading in the ...
Peter Todd 30/01/2009
4 of 6 images. more

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
4 of 4 images.

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
2 of 2 images.

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
4 of 4 images.

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
1 of 1 images.

This is a two platform station.

More details

Looking East over the well-kept footbridge at Bridgwater. ...
Ken Strachan 30/05/2021
A bit of all white - the attractive station at Bridgwater, seen from the adjacent road, in May 2021. ...
Ken Strachan 30/05/2021
2 of 2 images.

37669 and 37694, working the Cliffe Vale to St Blazey empty clay wagons, pass Cogload Junction north of Taunton on 15th March 1999. ...
Roger Geach 15/03/1999
Cogload signal box taken from a passing train in 1969. A long way from any station and situated north of Taunton. This was the junction where the ...
Doug Nicholls /03/1969
2 of 2 images.

BR Class 45 Peak 45121 southbound out of Taunton at 1212hrs on 6th July 1985, I assume for Exeter and points south.
Peter Todd 06/07/1985
BR Class 50s 50009 'Conqueror' and 50023 'Howe' in Taunton station at 1145hrs on 6th July 1985. Although a number of 50s have survived in ...
Peter Todd 06/07/1985
Hitachi unit 802108 waits for time (19.45) to head for London via Bridgwater on 20th November 2021. ...
Ken Strachan 20/11/2021
This seating and waiting area at Taunton is new to me. The interior looks warm and cosy; but the wet wooden seats outside look a bit third class. ...
Ken Strachan 20/11/2021
4 of 10 images. more

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. ...
John McIntyre //1981
2 of 2 images.

Close up view of Whiteball signal box in April 1974. ...
Doug Nicholls /04/1974
A view inside the signal box at Whiteball in April 1974. ...
Doug Nicholls /04/1974
Inside the signal box at Whiteball, not the best of pictures lots of refection. ...
Doug Nicholls /04/1974
Whiteball siding signal box, on the down side, in April 1974. Note the catch points sign, unfitted freights still ran in those days. ...
Doug Nicholls /04/1974
4 of 4 images.

Peak Class 45 (D)11, working 1E21 1025 Penzance to Leeds, at Burlescombe in April 1974. It later became 45122 and was withdrawn in 1987. ...
Doug Nicholls /04/1974
1 of 1 images.

Tiverton Parkway, seen from passing UK Railtours' excursion from Paddington to Barnstaple for the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, on 17th April 2016. On ...
David Bosher 17/04/2016
153333 heard that Tiverton Parkway was only for big trains, so it brought a friend for company as it headed east in April 2017. ...
Ken Strachan 09/04/2017
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
4 of 7 images. more

The fine signal box at Tiverton Junction, which was on the up platform. This station was closed in May 1986 and replaced by Tiverton Parkway, built ...
Doug Nicholls /03/1969
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
4 of 4 images.

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
Mike Hayman, the signalman at Cowley Bridge Junction, takes the token from a passing train in the summer of 1985. ...
Ian Dinmore //1985
50025 Invincible passing Cowley Bridge Junction with a Paddington - Plymouth service in July 1987. ...
Ian Dinmore /07/1987
4 of 7 images. more

This is clearly a grab shot at Exeter, but it looks like an interesting survivor. The shed appears to be practically disused, but the size of those ...
Ken Strachan 18/02/2023
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
Going to the end of the line - and not a Travelling Wilbury in sight. 43189 'Launceston Castle' leads 43092 'Cromwell's Castle' out of Exeter on the ...
Ken Strachan 18/02/2023
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
4 of 55 images. more