Digby and Sowton railway station

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Digby and Sowton
National Rail
Digby and Sowton - fGWR 143619 arriving from Exmouth.JPG
LocationDigby, Exeter
Coordinates50°42′50″N 3°28′26″W / 50.714°N 3.474°W / 50.714; -3.474Coordinates: 50°42′50″N 3°28′26″W / 50.714°N 3.474°W / 50.714; -3.474
Grid referenceSX960914
Managed byGreat Western Railway
Other information
Station codeDIG
ClassificationDfT category F1
Original companyRailtrack
Key dates
23 May 1995Opened
2015/16Decrease 0.561 million
2016/17Increase 0.589 million
2017/18Increase 0.631 million
2018/19Increase 0.666 million
2019/20Decrease 0.624 million
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Digby and Sowton railway station is on the Avocet Line in Devon, England. The station is unstaffed[1] and an automated ticket machine sells tickets for immediate travel. As a result of this, the station is part of a new Penalty Fare Zone, where passengers could be charged a £20 penalty fare if a ticket is not purchased, prior to joining the train.


A small station known as Clyst St Mary and Digby Halt was opened by the London and South Western Railway on 1 June 1908 to serve Clyst St Mary and Digby Hospital. The 120 foot (37 m) long platforms were built from old railway sleepers. It was closed by the new British Railways on 27 September 1948.[2]

The present Digby and Sowton station was funded by Devon County Council and Tesco Stores Limited; construction began on 9 November 1994 and it opened on 23 May 1995.[3] It is situated about 380 yards (350 m) south of the site of the old station to serve new housing on the site of the now closed psychiatric hospital, and also a light industrial estate at nearby Sowton.

The station was operated by Wessex Trains, until 31 March 2006 when First Great Western took over the franchise.


The station serves the Sowton Industrial Estate via a long foot/cycle path that runs along the railway line and the housing estates around the former Digby Hospital through a step free access bridge, with divided sections for cycles and pedestrians.

The station is also a short walk to/from the Sandy Park rugby ground, the home of the Exeter Chiefs.

In 2009, it was included in a two-year scheme to improve local railway stations. Shelter space for passengers was doubled, better surface and lighting was installed, and a new footpath was created.[1] The cycle network connecting stations along the Avocet Line from Exmouth to Exeter, including the Digby and Sowton station, was improved.[1]

Passenger volume[edit]

There has been considerable growth in passenger usage of Digby & Sowton. During the twelve months ended March 2003, over 120,000 people used the station, and this doubled within five years.[4] In 2009, over 275,000 passengers used the rail station, making it one of the busiest unstaffed railway stations in the area.[1]

  2002-03 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Entries 60,818 68,208 78,811 101,063 125,299
Exits 59,687 66,596 77,011 100,891 122,153
Total 120,505 134,804 155,822 201,954 247,452

The statistics cover twelve month periods that start in April.


The station is served by all trains on the Avocet Line between Exmouth, Exeter St Davids and Paignton.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Polsloe Bridge   Great Western Railway
Avocet Line


  1. ^ a b c d "Exeter rail station wins revamp cash". Express & Echo. 20 August 2009. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013.
  2. ^ Oakley, Mike (2007). Devon Railway Stations. Wimbourne: The Dovecote Press. ISBN 978-1-904349-55-6.
  3. ^ Maggs, Colin G. (1997) [1980]. The Exeter and Exmouth Railway. Locomotion Papers. Usk: Oakwood Press. p. 41. ISBN 0-85361-430-X. LP203.
  4. ^ "Station Usage". Rail Statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Retrieved 13 March 2009.