Meldon Quarry railway station

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Meldon Quarry
Location
Place Meldon
Area West Devon
Grid reference SX566926
Operations
Managed by Dartmoor Railway
Platforms 1
History
1920s Opened
1968 Closed by British Rail
2000 New station opened by the Dartmoor Railway
2008 Dartmoor Railway services temporarily withdrawn during change of ownership
2009 Dartmoor Railway services reintroduced
Stations on heritage railways in the United Kingdom
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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Meldon Quarry railway station is a railway station at Meldon in Devon.

History[edit]

The station was originally constructed in the 1920s as Meldon Quarry Halt. It had no public access and functioned as a staff halt for quarry workers, their families and railway staff working at Meldon Quarry. The quarry originally had no metalled road access and some quarry workers and their families lived in cottages situated near the quarry. They used the halt for access to Okehampton. The halt was not shown in the public railway timetable and local passenger services would only call by special arrangement. A workmen's service from Okehampton also operated using a passenger coach attached to one of the ballast trains. The platforms of the halt were constructed using standard components manufactured at the Railway's own Concrete Works at Exmouth Junction. The platforms were very narrow and short, about the length of a single passenger coach. They were situated at the immediate east end of Meldon Viaduct, between the viaduct and Meldon Quarry signal box.[1]

The Beeching Report in 1963 recommended that the Exeter to Plymouth Line be cut back to Okehampton; and when services ceased between there and Bere Alston in 1968, the Halt became disused. Some time later both platforms were demolished during modifications to the rail layout and access at the western end of Meldon Quarry.

Bow, North Tawton, Sampford Courtenay and Okehampton lost their passenger services from 1972. But freight traffic continued on the line thanks to the activities of the British Rail ballast quarry at Meldon, three miles from Okehampton, which had an output of 300,000 tons per year. The quarry survives to this day, although it is now owned and operated by Aggregate Industries.

Reopening[edit]

A new station at Meldon Quarry was opened during 2000 by the Dartmoor Railway to act as the terminus of a passenger service from Okehampton. It has a single platform adjacent to the former up line but situated slightly nearer to Okehampton than the former Staff Halt. It is an entirely new construction unrelated to the previous Halt. The station was further improved in 2002 with the installation of concrete platform walling and a wooden platform shelter in BR Southern Region style and colour scheme. It is the current western terminus of Dartmoor Railway heritage passenger services to Okehampton and Sampford Courtenay. The station has no motor vehicle access but does have excellent pedestrian and cycle access via the "Granite Way" Cycleway (no. 27 route). [1] It also has links to Dartmoor via the local footpath network. There is a buffet situated near the station in a former SR electric multiple unit buffet car. The buffet overlooks Meldon Viaduct and the surrounding valleys. It currently opens at weekends and bank holidays during the summer season and is staffed by DRSA volunteers. [2]

Future options[edit]

Dartmoor Railway
miles
Tarka Line to Exeter
0.00 Crediton through services on summer Sundays
Salmon Pool Level Crossing
3.75 Yeoford served by Tarka Line trains
Coleford Junction Tarka Line to Barnstaple
8.50 Bow closed
11.75 North Tawton closed
14.50 Sampford Courtenay
18.25 Okehampton
20.25 Meldon Quarry
Meldon Viaduct
Closed LSWR route to Padstow and Bude
Closed LSWR route to Plymouth via Bere Alston

The Dartmoor Railway proposes to restore the interchange at Yeoford Junction where its line meets First Great Western's Tarka Line. The company is looking to create a railhead at Okehampton which would serve local industry and thereby save 50,000 lorry journeys per year.[2]

British American Railway Services Ltd, a new company created by Iowa Pacific Holdings of Chicago, became the new owner of the Dartmoor Railway on 4 September 2008. The company will develop freight, passenger and tourist services on the railway.[3]

Preceding station Heritage Railways  Heritage railways Following station
Okehampton   Dartmoor Railway   Terminus

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nicholas, John & Reeve, George (2001) The Okehampton Line. Clophill: Irwell Press ISBN 1-903266-13-0
  2. ^ Western Morning News, "£1.5m plan to expand moor railway", 8 June 2007, p. 34.
  3. ^ Heritage Railway, Pub. Heritage Railway Magazine. Issue 116, 2 October 2008 – 29 October 2008. P. 18.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°42′53″N 4°01′55″W / 50.7148°N 4.0320°W / 50.7148; -4.0320