The Info List - Tamar Valley Line

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The Tamar Valley Line
Tamar Valley Line
is a railway line from Plymouth, Devon, to Gunnislake, Cornwall, in England, also known as the Gunnislake
branch line. The line follows the River Tamar
River Tamar
for much of its route. Like all railway lines in Devon
and Cornwall, it is unelectrified and all trains are diesel powered. The entire line is single track past St. Budeaux Junction.


1 History

1.1 Motive power

2 Route 3 Passenger volume 4 Community rail 5 References 6 External links

History[edit] The line from St Budeaux
St Budeaux
to Bere Alston
Bere Alston
was opened for passenger traffic on 2 June 1890 by the Plymouth, Devonport and South Western Junction Railway (PDSWJ) as part of their line from Lydford to Devonport, which in effect was an extension of the London and South Western Railway's main line from London Waterloo station
London Waterloo station
to Lydford, enabling the LSWR to reach Plymouth
independently of the Great Western Railway.[1] The branch to Gunnislake
was opened by the PDSWJ on 2 March 1908.[2] The line was listed for closure in the Reshaping of British Railways Report but was kept open (apart from the section between Gunnislake and Callington – closed in November 1966) because the roads in the areas served were poor. Motive power[edit] The line used former LSWR O2 Class
LSWR O2 Class
tank engines as the main form of motive power for many years but in the 1950s newer LMS Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T engines took over. By 1964 steam had been ousted from the line and DMUs had taken over, working as two-car sets. Today services are operated by Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
using Class 150 or Class 153 diesel multiple units.



v t e

] Tamar Valley Line


miles from Plymouth

Exeter to Plymouth

0⅕ Plymouth


Millbay Docks

Pennycomequick Viaduct

Loop Junction

Devonport Junction

Wingfield Villas Halt

former LSWR route

Devonport (Kings Road)

Stonehouse Pool Docks

1¼ Devonport

Albert Road Halt

Devonport Tunnel

1½ Dockyard

Keyham Viaduct

Ford (LSWR)

Ford Platform

2¼ Keyham

Devonport Dockyard

Camels Head Halt

Weston Mill Viaduct

Bullpoint Siding

Weston Mill Halt

St Budeaux
St Budeaux
Ferry Road

St Budeaux
St Budeaux
Victoria Road

Royal Albert Bridge

over River Tamar

Cornish Main Line

to Penzance

Ernesettle Siding

Tamerton Foliot

Tavy Bridge

over River Tavy

7½ Bere Ferrers

9½ Bere Alston

Tavistock North

ex-LSWR route

to Exeter


over River Tamar

Quayvia incline

11¼ Calstock

14⅕ Gunnislake

to Callington

Passing under the Royal Albert and Tamar bridges at St Budeaux

Communities served: Plymouth
(including the suburbs of Devonport and St Budeaux) – Bere Ferrers
Bere Ferrers
Bere Alston
Bere Alston
– Gunnislake Trains heading towards Gunnislake
must collect the branch train staff from a secure cabinet on the platform at St Budeaux
St Budeaux
Victoria Road before proceeding as the line is operated on the one train working system with only a single unit allowed on the branch at a time. Conversely the staff has to be returned to the cabinet by the driver on the return journey before the unit can leave the branch and return to Plymouth.[3] This operation was shown in an episode of the Channel 5 documentary series "The Railway - First Great Western" in October 2013. There is a small railway museum adjacent to Bere Ferrers
Bere Ferrers
railway station which includes a number of converted rail coaches available for holiday let. The station sign on the signal box uses the older spelling of 'Beer Ferrers'. The section between Bere Ferrers
Bere Ferrers
and Calstock
Viaduct is on the Bere peninsula, between river Tavy (crossed by the Tavy Bridge) and the river Tamar. The driver changes ends of the train at the old junction station of Bere Alston. The most southerly road bridge across the Tamar is the A390 road
A390 road
at Gunnislake
which means the railway is the quickest way of getting into the city of Plymouth
to the south. Passenger volume[edit] The overall number of passengers travelling on the Tamar Valley line declined in recent years, although numbers travelling to or from the two Cornish stations increased. More recently, passenger numbers have risen overall (from 157,743 in 2002–03 to 195,344 in 2011–12) but the traffic levels from Calstock
(in particular) and Gunnislake
have stabilised.[4]

Station usage

Station name 2002–03 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17

Devonport 18,795 16,202 18,573 19,655 17,450 21,652 21,674 27,006 27,756 29,878 31,866 33,368 39,742 41,404

Dockyard 4,070 5,088 4,895 5,335 4,924 5,280 5,524 5,406 7,716 7,400 6,970 6,300 4,160 4,727

Keyham 8,957 6,374 7,594 7,976 5,050 5,648 5,016 6,330 7,708 6,540 7,100 6,936 7,338 9,122

St Budeaux
St Budeaux
Victoria Road 5,451 5,818 6,146 5,264 5,193 5,678 7,026 6,942 7,780 7,918 8,606 10,332 10,376 8,034

Bere Ferrers 17,808 12,862 11,459 10,824 10,824 11,580 12,606 14,374 15,020 15,724 17,472 16,858 16,982 16,000

Bere Alston 37,944 29,552 27,263 26,866 28,936 32,454 36,272 41,666 44,792 42,128 38,762 37,082 39,570 40,978

Calstock 25,739 24,024 21,123 23,476 26,825 31,168 33,368 33,198 32,456 30,346 35,190 33,704 33,794 35,346

Gunnislake 39,009 37,190 43,885 43,676 48,747 49,070 51,424 50,218 52,116 52,108 54,864 54,356 53,728 54,510

Total 157,743 137,110 140,938 143,072 147,949 162,530 172,910 185,140 195,344 192,042 195,430 198,936 205,690 210,121

The annual passenger usage is based on sales of tickets in stated financial years from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. The statistics are for passengers arriving and departing from each station and cover twelve month periods that start in April. Please note that methodology may vary year on year.

Community rail[edit] The Tamar Valley Line
Tamar Valley Line
is one of the railway lines supported by the Devon
and Cornwall
Rail Partnership, an organisation formed in 1991 to promote railway services in the area. The line is promoted by many means such as regular timetable and scenic line guides, as well as leaflets highlighting leisure opportunities such as walking or visiting country pubs. The Tamar Valley rail ale trail was launched in 2004 to encourage rail travellers to visit pubs near the line. Five are in Plymouth
city centre and a further three in the suburbs of Devonport and St Budeaux. There are single pubs to visit at Bere Ferrers
Bere Ferrers
and Bere Alston, two in Calstock
and six in Gunnislake. 6, 10 or 18 stamps collected in the Rail Ale Trail leaflet entitle the participant to claim special Tamar Valley Line Rail Trail souvenir merchandise.[5] Wessex Trains
Wessex Trains
covered Class 150 2-car DMU number 150240 in coloured pictures promoting the line and named The Tamar Kingfisher. It is now in service with Arriva Trains Wales and works throughout its network. The line was designated as a community rail line in September 2005, being one of seven pilots for the Department for Transport's Community Rail Development Strategy. This aims to establish the true costs and revenues for the line with an aim of improving them. It is also looking at simplifiying the reversal of trains, considering the costs and benefits should the line be "microfranchised" separately from the Great Western Franchise, and the potential for extending the line from Bere Alston
Bere Alston
to Tavistock.[6] On 18 March 2008 Devon
County Council backed a proposal by developers Kilbride Community Rail to construct 750 houses in Tavistock that includes reopening the 5.5 miles (9 km) line from Bere Alston
Bere Alston
to a new Tavistock railway station at a cost of £18.5million.[7] References[edit]

^ Cheesman, AJ (1967). The Plymouth, Devonport and South Wesetern Junction Railway. Blandford Forum: Oakwood Press.  ^ Crombleholme, Roger; Gibson, Bryan; Stickey, Douglas; Whetmath, CFD (1967). Callington Railways. Bracknell: Forge Books.  ^ Fenton, Mike (5 May 2017). "Branch line Focus: Rails to Gunnislake". The Railway Magazine. Mortons Media Group Ltd. Retrieved 17 August 2017.  ^ "Station Usage". Rail Statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Retrieved 8 June 2009.  ^ Devon
and Cornwall
Rail Partnership (2006), Tamar Valley Line
Tamar Valley Line
Rail Ale Trail ^ Department for Transport
Department for Transport
Rail Group (2005), Route prospectus for the … Looe Valley Line
Looe Valley Line
and … Tamar Valley Line ^ Harris, Nigel (2008). "Taking trains back to Tavistock". Rail. Bauer (590): 40–45. 

External links[edit]

Great Scenic Railways in Devon
and Cornwall. Calstock
Online Parish Clerk – Railway pages

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tamar Valley Line.

v t e

Railway lines in the South West


Cross Country Route

Bristol Cheltenham

Great Western main line

Bristol Bath Spa Chippenham Swindon

(fast services principal stations only)


To London

South Western main line
South Western main line
(from Weymouth) Reading–Taunton line
Reading–Taunton line
(from Taunton) West of England line
West of England line
(from Exeter)


Atlantic Coast Line Avocet Line Bristol–Exeter line Cornish Main Line Cotswold Line Exeter– Plymouth
line Gloucester–Newport line Golden Valley line Heart of Wessex Line Henbury Loop Looe
Valley Line Lostwithiel
to Fowey Maritime Line Portishead branch Riviera Line St Ives Bay Line Severn Beach line Tamar Valley Line Tarka Line Wessex Main Line


Avon Valley Railway Bristol Harbour Railway Bodmin
and Wenford Railway East Somerset Railway Dartmoor Railway Dartmouth Steam Railway Dean Forest Railway Helston
Railway Plym Valley Railway South Devon
Railway Swanage Railway Swindon & Cricklade Railway West Somerset Railway

v t e

Ceremonial county of Cornwall


Unitary authorities

Council Council of the Isles of Scilly

Major settlements

Bodmin Bude Callington Camborne Camelford Falmouth Fowey Hayle Helston Launceston Liskeard Looe Lostwithiel Marazion Newlyn Newquay Padstow Par Penryn Penzance Porthleven Redruth Saltash St Austell St Blazey St Columb Major St Ives St Just in Penwith St Mawes Stratton Torpoint Truro Wadebridge See also: List of civil parishes in Cornwall


Allen Camel Carnon Cober De Lank Fal Fowey Gannel Gover Hayle Helford Inny Kensey Lerryn Looe Lynher Menalhyl Ottery Par Pont Pill Port Navas Red Seaton St Austell Tamar Tiddy Truro Valency full list...


History Status debate Flag Culture Economy Places Population of major settlements Demography Notable people The Duchy Diocese Politics Schools Hundreds/shires Places of interest Outline of Cornwall Index of Cornwal