Yeoford railway station

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Yeoford
National Rail
2021 at Yeoford station - view from the bridge.JPG
General information
LocationYeoford, Mid Devon
England
Coordinates50°46′37″N 3°43′34″W / 50.777°N 3.726°W / 50.777; -3.726Coordinates: 50°46′37″N 3°43′34″W / 50.777°N 3.726°W / 50.777; -3.726
Grid referenceSX783988
Managed byGreat Western Railway
Platforms1
Other information
Station codeYEO
ClassificationDfT category F2
History
Original companyNorth Devon Railway
Pre-groupingLondon and South Western Railway
Post-groupingSouthern Railway
Key dates
Opened1857
Passengers
2017/18Decrease 18,156
2018/19Decrease 17,116
2019/20Increase 17,236
2020/21Decrease 7,884
2021/22Increase 16,442
Notes
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Yeoford railway station is a rural station serving the village of Yeoford in Devon, England. It is on the Tarka Line to Barnstaple, 11 miles 42 chains (18.5 km) from Exeter Central at milepost 183 from London Waterloo.[1]

History[edit]

Yeoford station on 14 July 1969

The station was opened by the North Devon Railway in July 1857.[2] On 1 November 1865 the first section of the Okehampton Railway opened from Yeoford (now known as Yeoford Junction) to North Tawton, although the new railway ran alongside the existing North Devon line almost to Coleford. This route was to become the London and South Western Railway main line to Plymouth. To carry this extra traffic the line was doubled from Crediton to Yeoford on 1 June 1876 and onwards to a new Coleford Junction on 16 May 1877. The platform for trains going towards Plymouth and Barnstaple was given an extra track so trains could stand on both sides.[3]

There were sidings on both sides of the station but in 1943 additional long sidings were laid at the Crediton end south of the Plymouth platform so that traffic could be exchanged between the two routes. The goods yard was closed on 10 February 1964 and the signal box closed on 18 August 1968.[4] Through trains beyond Okehampton to Plymouth had been withdrawn in May 1968 and passenger services to Okeheampton ceased in 1972.[5]

Coleford Junction was closed on 17 October 1971,[6] since when the two lines at Yeoford have been operated as individual lines from Crediton to Barnstaple and to the quarry at Meldon near Okehampton.[5] The Dartmoor Railway had planned to reopen the disused platform at Yeoford in order to create an interchange with the Tarka Line (and thus the national network). Through running from Yeoford to Okehampton was intended to commence in 2009 but this failed to happen.[7] Daily passenger trains have since been restored between Exeter and Okehampton (now known as the Dartmoor line)[8] but they cannot call at Yeoford as the platform on that line is derelict. The Tarka Line trains use what used to be the southbound platform in both directions.[2]

The station has been used by many operators, but recently, over the last decade by Wales & West, a regional West Country and south Wales train operator, which in 2001 divided into Wessex Trains and Wales & Borders. Since then, Yeoford has been served by Wessex Trains and more recently by the Greater Western franchise, owned and operated by FirstGroup and now known as Great Western Railway.

Description[edit]

The station is on the northern edge of the Yeoford.[9] Only the platform on the north side of the line is in use to serve trains to and from Barnstaple. The original buildings have all been demolished but there is a waiting shelter on the platform. The second platform is derelict but a second track runs in front of it for trains to and from Okehampton which pass without stopping. The former station master's house is in residential use.[2]

Services[edit]

All services at Yeoford are operated by Great Western Railway. There is generally one train per hour in each direction between Barnstaple and Exeter Central and all call at Yeoford on request to the conductor or by signalling the driver as it approaches.[10]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Crediton   Great Western Railway
(Tarka Line)
  Copplestone
  Historical railways  
Crediton   London and South Western Railway
(Exeter to Okehampton)
  Bow

Signalling[edit]

The signal box at Yeoford was opened on 1 June 1876. It was situated on the west side of the road bridge alongside the line to Coleford Junction. It had a wooden upper storey on top of an unusually tall stone base which was necessary so that the signaller could see over the bridge to the station and goods yard. It was closed on 18 August 1968.[4]

Coleford Junction[edit]

When the line towards Okehampton opened in1865 the junction was at Yeoford with the two single tracks running beside each other for 77 chains (1.5 km) as far as Penstone. To create a double-track route in 1877 the Okehampton line became the down line and the Barnstaple line became the up. This required a proper junction at Penstone which was called Coleford Junction. A signal box was opened here on 16 May 1877. It was closed on 17 October 1971 when the physical junction was moved to Crediton.[11]

Neopardy[edit]

Trains shunting at Yeoford blocked the busy line from Crediton so an additional signal box was provided at Neopardy to break the section into smaller parts, that allowed a train to be sent forward from Crediton while another train was blocking the line at Yeoford. It is not known when it opened but it was before 1890. It was generally only in use Mondays to Saturdays during the daytime. In later years it was only brought into use on busy days such as summer weekends. It was closed completely on 7 April 1916.[12]

Community railway[edit]

The railway between Exeter and Barnstaple is designated as a community railway and is supported by marketing provided by the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership. The line is promoted as the Tarka Line.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jacobs, Gerald (2005). Railway Track Diagrams Book 3: Western. Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps. p. 10. ISBN 0-9549866-1-X.
  2. ^ a b c Oakley, Mike (2007). Devon Railway Stations. Wimbourne: The Dovecote Press. pp. 219–220. ISBN 978-1-904-34955-6.
  3. ^ Nicholas, John (1992). The North Devon Line. Sparkford: Oxford Publishing Company. pp. 107–113. ISBN 0-86093-461-6.
  4. ^ a b Nicholas 1992, pp. 26–33
  5. ^ a b Nicholas 1992, pp. 134–143
  6. ^ Nicholas 1992, pp. 33–35
  7. ^ "News". Dartmoor Railway. Archived from the original on 16 August 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
  8. ^ "Okehampton rejoins the National Rail network". Modern Railways. December 2021. pp. 10–11.
  9. ^ Craske, Peter (2013). Tarka Line Walks. Crimson Books. pp. 40–47. ISBN 978-1-78059-182-7.
  10. ^ "Train Times (D2)" (PDF). Great Western Railway. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  11. ^ Nicholas 1992, pp. 33–36
  12. ^ Nicholas 1992, p. 26
  13. ^ "Tarka Line". Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership. Retrieved 3 December 2021.

External links[edit]