Lympstone Commando railway station is a railway station on the branch line from Exeter to Exmouth in Devon, England.

The station is a rare example of a passenger station not open to the general public; it is exclusively for the use of visitors to the Royal Marine Commando Training Centre at Lympstone, despite being accessible by means of a public footpath. The Ministry of Defence accept that it is the property of Network Rail,[1] and as such they cannot prohibit members of the public from alighting at the station although exit from the station is through a locked gate.


The station was opened on 3 May 1976 by British Rail. This caused some confusion with the older Lympstone railway station, but this has since been renamed "Lympstone Village".[2] It was built using cast platform sections recovered from Weston Milton railway station where the track had been singled and so one platform was no longer needed.

For many years troop trains were a feature of its operation about three times each year. The trains were operated with a locomotive at each end as there is no way to run around a train south of Topsham; the leading locomotive on arrival was dragged back to Exeter Central where it was detached. The trains were considerably longer than the platform and loading the passengers was a slow operation as they had to make their way through the train from the centre coaches. A similar operation today is difficult to arrange as the regular timetabled passenger service is much more intensive than in the 1980s.


The station is situated on the banks of the estuary of the River Exe. It consists of a single platform, which is on the left of trains arriving from Exeter.

On 28 May 2010 a section of the Exe Estuary Trail opened between Lympstone village and Exton.[3] This runs between the platform and the entrance to the camp, both of which are locked and guarded.[4] Despite the station now being accessible to the public, the entrance and exit gate remains locked.


A train to Exeter

About half the trains on the Avocet Line from Exmouth to Exeter St Davids call at Lympstone Commando – it is a request stop, meaning that passengers alighting here must tell the conductor that they wish to do so, and those waiting to join must signal clearly to the driver as the train approaches.

Beyond Exeter St Davids they generally continue to either Paignton or Barnstaple. Connections are available at Exeter Central for Pinhoe and other stations including London Waterloo; passengers for other main line stations change at St Davids.[5]

Officially only people having business at the commando base are allowed to board or alight at this station, although the Ministry of Defence have accepted that it is the property of Network Rail and as such they cannot prohibit members of the public from alighting at the station, although there is no exit as the gate remains locked.[1] Passengers for Lympstone itself must use Lympstone Village railway station, or on the other side of the line, Exton is a ​14 of a mile away from Commando station.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Lympstone Village   Great Western Railway
Avocet Line


  1. ^ a b FOI request sent through Whatdotheyknow
  2. ^ Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (1992). Branch Lines to Exmouth. Midhurst: Middleton Press. ISBN 1-873793-00-6. 
  3. ^ "East of the estuary". latest News from the Estuary. Exe Estuary Management Partnership. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  4. ^ See Geograph photograph
  5. ^ "National Rail Timetable 136" (PDF). [dead link]

External links