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 Otterham station on the North Cornwall line. It was renamed East
Budleigh 27 April 1898. The first stationmaster was John Larcombe but by 1911 he had been replaced by John Pooke.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 Goods facilities were withdrawn from 27 January 1964.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.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SIDMOUTH
& BUDLEIGH SALTERTON RAILWAYS
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
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
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
St. Mary, Tipton
St. Johns, Sidmouth,