[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 15.5.1897
Location: On the south side of Fore Street
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: The platform (including canopy which is now supported) and station building survive as a private residence with few external alterations. An internal loft conversion has changed the original single storey building into a two storey house. A modern mock Victorian carriage stands in the cattle dock.
County: Devon
OS Grid Ref: SY078852
Date of visit: June 1965, August 1969 & 6.10.2005

Notes: The station was opened as Budleigh although it actually served the village of Otterton. The London and South Western Railway, which worked the Budleigh Salterton Railway, chose the name to avoid confusion with its Otterton station on the North Cornwall line. It was renamed East Budleigh 27 April 1898. In 1911 the stationmaster was John Pooke.

The station had a single-storey brick building with a pitched tiled roof on the up side of the line. It had a flat canopy with a deep valance stretching over the full width of the platform in front of the building. There was a brick goods shed at the rear of the platform. The goods yard comprised a single loop siding on the up side running behind the platform. This served a cattle dock and pens. A large concrete-panelled provender warehouse with a pitched asbestos roof - standing on staddle stones, to deter rodents - was built at a later date, probably during WW2, it was operated by local firm Silcocks. Goods facilities were withdrawn from 27 January 1964.

Two ex-Southern Railway coaches were stabled at the south end of the goods yard c1930s for use as camping coaches. They were still being used into the 1960s. In 1960 only 16 stations on the BR Southern Region had camping coaches and four of those were on the Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton railways.

After remaining empty for over ten years the station building was restored in 1978/9 by Bob and Barbara Crowson with many of its original features, including the canopy being retained. The Crowson's lived in the station until 1985. The current owner John Edmonds has built a 7 ¼” gauge railway on the track bed in front of the platform and running round the front of the house - the Otterton & East Budleigh Light Railway has occasional open days in connection with local charitable fundraising events. Click here to see a short film.

For more pictures of East Budleigh station see the Otterton village web site.

Click here to see photographs of the Otterton & East Budleigh Light Railway

Click here to see a series of 27 photographs taken between December 1977 and August 1979. These have been digitally enlarged from small images so the quality isn't good.

Click here for Tony Parrini memory of East Budleigh station in the early 1960s


The first railway on 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 lines earthworks had been built; it was revived in 1871 and the line finally opened on 6th July 1874. The station was inconveniently sited a mile inland; Sidmouth deliberately discouraged the railway from coming close enough to the sea front in an attempt to put off trippers, it preferred to remain a select resort, even into the second half of the 20th century. Sidmouth had been attracting a select 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 lack of sand on the beach was also an important consideration as shingle beaches are always unpopular 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 1930's

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 15th 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 which opened on 1st 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 1950's although rationalisation in the 1960 reduced the line to little more than a skeleton service with diesel multiple units being introduced on 4th November 1963. A cross country service from Cleethorpes - Exmouth was introduced in 1960 but this only lasted two years. There had never been any industrial development in Budleigh Salterton and goods traffic was always correspondingly light.

Freight facilities were withdrawn on 27th January 1964. With the draw down of passenger services the end was inevitable. Through trains were withdrawn at the end of the 1966 summer season and both branches closed to passenger traffic on 6th March 1967. Freight traffic to Sidmouth survived for a further two months with complete closure from 8th May 1967, the track was lifted shortly after closure.

Route map drawn by Alan Young. Tickets from Michael Stewart, (except 0481 Brian George). Luggage label from Brian George.

Click here to see the lyrics of a folk song written about the construction of the Budleigh Salterton railway. .

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

East Budleigh Station looking south from Fore Street in early 20th century. Note the oil lamps on the platform and on the forecourt.
Copyright photo from Paul Laming collection

1905 1;2,500 OS map shows the simple layout at East Budleigh. One siding runs parallel with the running line for some distance terminating at a large dock behind the platform. Cattle pens stand on the dock. The station building with its canopy stretching across the platform is seen with the small brick goods shed standing at the back of the platform to the south of the building.

1958 1:2,500 OS map. The cattle pens on the large 'L' shaped dock have gone. Silcocks' provender warehouse had been built by this time but it is not shown. Coal bins are shown near the
south end of the yard.

A northbound goods train is seen at East Budleigh Station in 1938.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

East Budleigh station and goods yard looking south from Fore Street in the 1950s. Silcocks' large provender warehouse is seen in the goods yard. Two camping coaches are seen at the far
end of the yard.

East Budleigh station and goods yard looking north in August 1960. The large prefabricated building behind the loading gauge is Silcocks' provender warehouse - this building is still standing.
Photo from Brian George (sitting on the sacks by the loading gauge)

Camping coaches at East Budleigh station seen during a camping holiday ion August 1960
Photo from Brian George

Looking south from Fore Street bridge at East Budleigh station c early 1960s.
Photo from Alan Mobbs

By 1963 the service was being provided by DMU.
Photo from John Mann collection

East Budleigh Station looking north in June 1965, The goods shed is seen on the left.
Copyright photo by John Alsop

East Budleigh station looking north in the 1960s.
Photo by Alan Mobbs

East Budleigh Station in looking north in February 1967. The goods yard was closed by this date and the sidings have been lifted. The disused dock is seen on the left. Note the Devon General
bus on the bridge.
Copyright photo by Bernard Mills

East Budleigh Station looking south in August 1969.
hoto by Nick Catford

By August 1977 nature was taking over the track bed and the station as seen in this view looking north.
Photo by Alan Young

Restoration of the station building underway in August 1978.
Photo by Simon Spencer

East Budleigh Station looking south in winter 2004. Note the 7¼” gauge line running along the track bed in front of the platform. There are occasional public open days at the station.
Photo by John Edmonds

A charity public open day on the Otterton & East Budleigh Light Railway. John Edmonds is on the footplate of No. 1 'Otter' Click here for more pictures of the railway.
Photo received from John Edmonds




[Source: Nick Catford]

Home Page
Last updated: Friday, 30-Aug-2019 17:51:36 CEST
© 1998-2014 Disused Stations