Stn. Name: BUDLEIGH SALTERTON

[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 15.5.1897
Location: On the west side of Leas Road
Company on opening: Budleigh Salterton Railway
Date closed to passengers: 6.3.1967
Date closed completely: 6.3.1967
Company on closing: British Railways (Western Region)
Present state: Demolished - new housing stands on the site of the station. No evidence remains. Leas Road bridge at the east end of the station is still in use.
County: Devon
OS Grid Ref: SY063825
Date of visit: August 1963, June 1965, August 1969 & 6.10.2005

Notes: The station was opened as Salterton and was a single platform terminus of a line from Tipton St Johns. Goods sidings were provided but there was never a turntable. The name was changed to Budleigh Salterton on 27 April 1898. The single platform became the down platform when a second one was added in 1903 on the extension of the line to Exmouth.

At this time the main station building on the down platform was single-storey and of brick construction with a pitched slate roof and a separate gents' toilet attached to the east end of the building. There was a wide canopy with a deeply fretted valance along the front of the building. The up platform had a timber waiting shelter with a sloping roof. Initially passengers had to cross the line by the barrow crossings at each end of the platform, but by 1905 a lattice footbridge had been provided. By the early 1950s electric lighting had been installed at the station, and in the late 1950s BR Southern Region totem name signs were added. As a result of administrative reorganisation in January 1963 the station was transferred, with the line, from the Southern to the Western Region.

A ground-level signal box was provided at the west end of the down platform. This controlled access to a moderately sized goods yard on the down side beyond the station and comprised a loop siding with one side passing through a brick goods shed. Beyond the loop the siding split into two headshunts. A third siding ran behind the down platform from the loop to serve a
cattle dock and pens. There was also a 2-ton yard crane. The goods yard closed on 27 January 1964.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SIDMOUTH & BUDLEIGH SALTERTON RAILWAYS
The first railway in Sidmouth was narrow gauge, built in connection with an 1836 dock venture. This was short-lived and the dock was never built. The Sidmouth Railway was authorised in 1862 but the company collapsed after some of the line’s earthworks had been built; it was revived in 1871, and the line finally opened on 6 July 1874.

The station was inconveniently sited a mile inland; Sidmouth residents deliberately discouraged the railway from coming to the sea front in an attempt to deter trippers. It preferred to remain a select resort, even into the second half of the twentieth century. Sidmouth had been attracting a limited number of
visitors for 80 years, especially for winter residence, and the coming of the railway made less difference than at any other resort in the West Country. The absence of sand on the beach was also an important consideration as shingle beaches are generally less popular with family holidaymakers and day-trippers.

The line was built and owned by the Sidmouth Railway Company but operated on its behalf by the L&SWR, with traffic running down the Otter valley from Sidmouth Junction to Ottery St Mary and Tipton St Johns and then over the steeply graded section to Sidmouth. Although traffic was never heavy it remained steady and was sufficiently high for the Sidmouth Railway to retain its independence until 1923 when it was absorbed into the Southern Railway. Initially there was a total of seven trains ran daily taking 30 minutes for the journey; this reached a peak of 24 services each way in the 1930s

Unlike Sidmouth, the resort of Budleigh Salterton welcomed the locally sponsored Budleigh Salterton Railway which continued following the Otter valley from a junction with the Sidmouth branch at Tipton St Johns. It opened on 15 May 1897 with an intermediate station at East Budleigh, and a second added two years later at Newton Poppleford.


Although the company remained independent until 1912 the line was operated by the London & South Western Railway who built an extension from Budleigh Salterton to Exmouth; this opened on 1 June 1903, with an intermediate station at Littleham on the outskirts of Exmouth.

Much of the through London - Exmouth traffic was diverted along the new line, and several through trains round the circular Exeter - Exmouth - Budleigh - Sidmouth Junction - Exeter route were introduced. Use of the two branches was encouraged by the introduction of runabout tickets just before WW1, and the lines were moderately well used by day-trippers
from London until the start of WW2.

Passenger numbers on the branch remained healthy well into the 1950s, although rationalisation in the 1960 reduced the line to little more than a skeleton service with diesel multiple units introduced on 4 November 1963. A cross-country service from Cleethorpes to Exmouth was introduced in 1960 but this lasted only two years.

The lines between Sidmouth and Sidmouth Junction and between Exmouth and Tipton St John were earmarked for closure in the Reshaping of British Railways (‘Beeching’) report of March 1963. The formal publication of the closure proposal took place on 20 August 1964. Although the Minister of Transport, Thomas Fraser, consented to the closure on 22 December 1965 – his final day in office before Barbara Castle took his place – there was a considerable delay until closure to passengers was effected.

There had never been any industrial development in Budleigh Salterton and goods traffic was always correspondingly light. Freight facilities were withdrawn on 27 January 1964. Through passenger trains were withdrawn at the end of the 1966 summer season, and both branches closed to passenger traffic on 6 March 1967. Freight traffic to Sidmouth survived for a further
two months with complete closure from 8 May 1967. The track was lifted shortly after closure.

Route map drtawn by Alan Young. Tickets from Michael Stewart. Bradshaw from Nick Catford

Click here to see the lyrics of a folk song about the proposed Budleigh Salterton Railway before it was built.

To see the other stations on the Sidmouth& Budleigh Salterton Railways click on the station name: Sidmouth Junction, Ottery St. Mary, Tipton St. Johns, Sidmouth, Newton Poppleford, East Budleigh & Littleham


Budleigh Salterton station looking north-west c. 1903, shortly after the second platform was added but before the footbridge was provided.


1905 1:2,500 Ordnance Survey map shows the layout of the station shortly after the second platform was added and the footbridge was built.

1933 1:2,500 Ordnance survey map shows no change to the station layout but there has been considerable residential development on both sides of the line.

Aerial view of Budleigh Salterton station and goods yard in 1928.

Budleigh Salterton station seen from the east end of the down platform c1930s. A train for Exmouth is awaiting departure.
Photo from John Mann collection

Budleigh Salterton station seen from the up platform c1950s. Southern Railway 'target' signs are still in place. The signal box and goods yard are seen beyond the down platform.
Photo From John Mann collection

Budleigh Salterton station looking north-west from Leas Road bridge in August 1963
Photo by Philip Tatt

Looking north west towards Budleigh Salterton goods yard in August 1963. The loop siding is seen: one side runs through the goods shed while the other side runs round the shed. The siding seen on the bottom left serves the cattle dock which was behind the west end on the down platform.
Photo by Philip Tatt

Budleigh Salterton station looking north-west from Leas Road bridge in April 1964
Photo by Ben Brooksbank

Budleigh Salterton station looking south-east in June 1965. The Southern Railway target name signs have been replaced with BR (Southern Region) totems.
Copyright John Alsop

Budleigh Salterton station forecourt in June 1965
Copyright John Alsop

Budleigh Salterton station looking north-west in August 1969, probably fairly soon after the track was lifted as there are only a few weeds coming through the ballast, which remains in place. The industrial development is seen in the goods yard.
Photo by Nick Catford

Budleigh Salterton station looking north-west in August 1972. The ballast is still in place but nature is beginning to take over the trackbed. The station building has been demolished.
Photo by John Mann

Budleigh Salterton station looking south-east in August 1978. There has been some infilling of the trackbed with rubble.
Photo by John Mann


The site of Budleigh Salterton station in October 2005.
Photo by Dave Holman



 

 

 

:[Source: Nick Catford]


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