The Branch Line Society


Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, Woody Bay
Saturday 25th October 2014

Few if any members of the Society were born long enough ago to have been able to travel on the 2ft gauge 19½ mile latterly Southern Railway branch from Barnstaple Town to Lynton & Lynmouth, since it closed to all traffic from 30 September 1935 (having opened in 1898). However a short section has been resurrected in recent years and now runs about a mile from Woody Bay to Killington Lane, on the way to Barnstaple, 15 miles away. The 29 participants were able to ride in a train of rather splendid original but restored L&B coaches hauled by two steam locomotives, 0-6-0T Axe and 0-4-2T Isaac, which covered most of the available track. Diesel haulage, with a brake van, was then employed for the remaining sidings, the road/rail transhipment line and into the locomotive shed at the superbly restored Woody Bay station. Unfortunately towards the end of our visit rain started to fall and it began to get dark. The party then enjoyed complimentary cake and hot drinks. Some intrepid members managed to ride on the 7¼" gauge Woody Bay Miniature Railway extended north (since our November 2013 visit) to its final length. This required people power as no locomotive was available, although it is intended to build a shed so one can be kept on site. We are grateful to the very helpful railway staff and to our local member Robert Green for the excellent arrangements.