Dawlish railway station

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Dawlish National Rail
2013 at Dawlish station - view from the breakwater.jpg
Location
Place Dawlish, Devon
Local authority Teignbridge
Coordinates 50°34′50″N 3°27′52″W / 50.5805°N 3.4645°W / 50.5805; -3.4645Coordinates: 50°34′50″N 3°27′52″W / 50.5805°N 3.4645°W / 50.5805; -3.4645
Grid reference SX964766
Operations
Station code DWL
Managed by Great Western Railway
Number of platforms 2
DfT category D
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 0.480 million
2012/13 Increase 0.507 million
2013/14 Decrease 0.484 million
2014/15 Increase 0.557 million
2015/16 Decrease 0.527 million
History
Original company South Devon Railway
Pre-grouping Great Western Railway
Post-grouping Great Western Railway
Opened 1846
Rebuilt 1875
Listed status
Listed feature Dawlish railway station
Listing grade II
Entry number 1096669[1]
Added to list 17 July 1951
National RailUK railway stations
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
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Dawlish from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Dawlish railway station is on the Exeter to Plymouth line and serves the town of Dawlish in Devon, England. The station is built on the sea wall, as is the railway line, and has often suffered from storm damage due its proximity to the sea. South of the station the line passes through five tunnels through the cliffs as it follows the coast.

History[edit]

Dawlish in the 1870s with the station and chimney for the atmospheric pumping engine in the right background.

The station was opened by the South Devon Railway on 30 May 1846.[2] The strange wall with bricked up windows that can be seen in the car park is the remains of the engine house that used to power the trains while they were worked by atmospheric power from 13 September 1847 until 9 September 1848. At this time it was one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's 7 ft (2,134 mm) broad gauge railways.

The station initially had just one platform on the landward side with a loop line closer to the sea, but a second platform was added to serve the loop line on 1 May 1858. The original wooden station and train shed was burnt down on 14 August 1873.[3] The South Devon Railway built a new station with the platforms connected by an iron bridge, roofed with glass. The principal buildings were constructed adjoining Station Road, and the booking office was fitted with pitch pine cornice and fittings. Star gas pendent lights were installed, and a lift for taking up luggage to the platform levels. The first-class waiting rooms were furnished with Brussels carpets and polished oak furniture. The contractor was Blatchford and Son of Tavistock and the cost was £4,000 (equivalent to £340,000 in 2015).[4] The new station was re-opened on 12 April 1875[5]

The South Devon Railway was amalgamated into the Great Western Railway on 1 February 1876, and on 20 May 1892 the line was converted to 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge. The Great Western in turn was nationalised into British Railways on 1 January 1948.

The platforms have been extended several times to cope with the crowds and now nearly reach Coastguards' Footbridge, although the Exeter platform was shortened again in 1970.[6] The decorative iron and glass canopies above the platforms were replaced by concrete beams and glass panels in 1961 but the glass has since been replaced by Perspex.[7] Goods traffic was withdrawn on 17 May 1965.

1921 accident[edit]

On 22 September 1921 a Plymouth to Crewe passenger train collided with an Exeter St Davids to Newton Abbot goods train that was shunting in the station. The passenger train, hauled by Star Class 4055 Princess Sophia, failed to stop at a danger signal. Cranes cleared the line by lifting damaged wagons onto the beach, where they remained for a couple of days.[6]

2014 sea wall breach[edit]

On the night of 4 February 2014, amid high winds and extremely rough seas, part of the sea wall at Dawlish was breached washing away around 40 metres (130 ft) of the wall and the ballast under the railway immediately behind. The line was closed. Network Rail began repair work [8] and the line reopened on 4 April 2014.[9]

Station Masters[edit]

  • Francis Farr Fowler 1859 - 1862[10]
  • Mr. Endle 1862 - 1863
  • Mr. Quigley 1863 - 1864
  • Joseph Pearse 1864 - 1866[11] (formerly station master of Torre station, afterwards station master at Teignmouth)
  • Mr. Mills ???? - 1869[12]
  • G. Bray 1869 - 1878[13]
  • H.E. Williams 1879 - 1889[14] (afterwards station master at Chippenham)
  • Mr Hunt 1889 - 1895 (afterwards station master at West Drayton)
  • W. A. Harrison 1895 - 1896 (formerly station master at West Drayton)
  • R.D. Pressick 1896 -1909[15] (formerly station master at Lostwithiel)
  • Harry Jennings Gibson 1909 - 1927[16]
  • W.A. Price 1927 - 1935[17] (afterwards stationmaster at Teignmouth)
  • H.J. Vowles 1935 - ????
  • G. Mitchell ca. 1949

Signalling[edit]

The 1920 signal box

The first signal box was provided on the seaward platform beside the north end of the waiting room but this was replaced by a new two-storey signal box on 9 September 1920 on the opposite platform. So as to fit on the narrow platform the brick-built lower storey which contained the interlocking equipment was narrower than usual, with the upper storey was vaulted out from this to give a full size operating floor.[6]

After the summer of 1970 the signal box was only opened on summer weekends or if there were problems working along the sea wall. It finally closed on 27 September 1986 since when the trains have been controlled from Exeter.[6] Despite attempts to find a commercial use for the redundant building, it remained empty until 2013 when it was demolished during the period 2–5 July.[18]

Description[edit]

View from the south end of the platform

The station is adjacent to the beach near the gardens at the centre of the town. The main frontage is in banded rusticated masonry. The remaining walls are rendered except for the east elevation, which faces the sea, which is in rubble stone. It has two storeys as the railway runs above street level and a café occupies most of the street frontage.[7] The main entrance is at road level on the side served by trains to Exeter. This opens onto a booking office with an ornate ceiling[6] from where a flight of stairs lead up to the Exeter platform, but step-free access can be obtained through a gate from the car park beside the station buildings, which is the only access route when the booking office is closed.

Access to the opposite platform is by way of a covered footbridge, the stairways of which are contained within the building. Passengers who cannot use the steps can be escorted across the barrow crossing at the south end of the station by the station staff.

Immediately to the south of the station is the low Colonnade Viaduct, which carries the railway above the small river that runs through the gardens and the main footpath from the town to the beach and the South West Coast Path. To the north of the station is Coastguards Footbridge, with Coastguards Cottage, now a café, on the hill above the line to the west, and Brunel's Boat House between the line and the beach to the east.

The station buildings are Grade II listed.[1]

Services[edit]

A First Great Western service to London Paddington

Dawlish is served by Great Western Railway local trains in both directions on an approximately hourly basis during the day - more frequently at peak times. Most trains run between Exmouth and Paignton; on Sundays the service is less frequent and most trains only run between Exeter St Davids and Paignton.[19] The line from Exeter St Davids through Dawlish to Paignton is marketed as the "Riviera Line".

A few Great Western Railway trains from Bristol Temple Meads, Cardiff Central or from London Paddington station also call at Dawlish[19] as do CrossCountry services from the North of England.[20] Most of these services, including the Torbay Express from Paddington, continue to Paignton but a few run instead to Plymouth and even Penzance. At other times passengers travelling east or north catch a local train and change into main line trains at Exeter St Davids, or at Newton Abbot if travelling westwards.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Dawlish Warren   Great Western Railway
Riviera Line
  Teignmouth
Exeter St Davids   CrossCountry
Cornwall-Scotland
  Teignmouth

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Dawlish Railway Station (1096669)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  2. ^ Gregory, R H (1982). The South Devon Railway. Salisbury: Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-286-2. 
  3. ^ "Burning of Dawlish Railway Station". West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser. England. 21 August 1873. Retrieved 19 February 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ UK Consumer Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Gregory Clark (2016), "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)", MeasuringWorth.com.
  5. ^ "Dawlish Railway Station". Western Morning News. England. 13 April 1875. Retrieved 19 February 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ a b c d e Kay, Peter (1991). Exeter - Newton Abbot: A Railway History. Sheffield: Platform 5 Publishing. ISBN 1-872524-42-7. 
  7. ^ a b Oakley, Mike (2007). Devon Railway Stations. Wimbourne: The Dovecote Press. ISBN 978-1-904349-55-6. 
  8. ^ "UK storms destroy railway line and leave thousands without power". BBC Online. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Dawlish's storm-damaged railway line reopens". BBC news. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Dawlish". Western Daily Mercury. England. 27 May 1862. Retrieved 23 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  11. ^ "Mr. Pearse". Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. England. 5 January 1866. Retrieved 23 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ "Mr. Mills". Western Morning News. England. 8 January 1869. Retrieved 23 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  13. ^ "Dawlish.". Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. England. 8 February 1878. Retrieved 23 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  14. ^ "Dawlish. The Stationmaster". Exeter Flying Post. England. 24 May 1889. Retrieved 23 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ "Dawlish". Western TImes. England. 22 October 1909. Retrieved 23 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ "Death of former Dawlish Stationmaster". Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. England. 12 January 1940. Retrieved 23 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^ "Stationmaster moves from Dawlish to Teignmouth". Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. England. 29 November 1935. Retrieved 23 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  18. ^ Marsden, Colin J. (September 2013). "Dawlish signal box goes". Modern Railways. Key Publishing. 70 (780): 16. ISSN 0026-8356. 
  19. ^ a b Table 135 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  20. ^ Table 51 National Rail timetable, May 2016

Further reading[edit]

  • Beck, Keith; Copsey, John (1990). The Great Western in South Devon. Didcot: Wild Swan Publication. ISBN 0-906867-90-8. 
  • Cooke, RA (1984). Track Layout Diagrams of the GWR and BR WR, Section 14: South Devon. Harwell: RA Cooke. 
This station offers access to the South West Coast Path
Distance to path 50 yards (46 m)
Next station anticlockwise Dawlish Warren 1.75 miles (2.82 km)
Next station clockwise Teignmouth 3 miles (4.8 km)