Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 01, 2017.
Webpage updated: August 30, 2017




On February 1st 1876 the Great Western Railway Company took a 999 years lease on the South Devon Railway Company's Launceston Branch, which had been opened in two parts: Plymouth to Tavistock in 1865 and Tavistock to Launceston in 1869.

In June 1884 the first train from Plymouth Station left at 8.15am.  It passed the first Up train, 7.55am from Launceston, at Horrabridge Station, where it also left passengers for the first train to Princetown.  It was due to arrive at Launceston at 10.02am.  The seciond train left Plymotuh Statyion at 11.20am but passed the second Up train, 10.30am from Launceston,  at Bickleigh Statioin.  It, too, left passengers at Horrabridge for the second trian of the day to Princetown and was due to  arrive at Launceston at 1.10pm.  The third train of the day left Plymouth Station at 2.20pm and passed the thirds Up train, the 2,05pm from launceston, at Horrabridge.  These had no connections for Princetown.  The fourth train left Plymouth Station at 5.55pm.  It passed the fourth Up train, the 6.05pm from Launceston, at Tavistock Station.  Both connected at Horrabridge with the last train of the day for Princetown.  It was due to arruve at Laubceston at 7.40pm.  The final train of the day departed from Plymouth Station at 8.35pm. It appears to have passed the last Up train at Yelverton Junction as the Up train was due to leave Horrabeifdge at 9.03pm but the Down train not until 9.16pm, an unusually long gap.  The Down train was due toi get to Launceston at 10.14pm.  Each train carried First, Second and Third Class passengers and stopped at North Road Plymouth Station, Mutley Station and Marsh Mills Station.  On Sundays there were only two  trains in each direction, at 8.50am and 8.35pm from Plymouth, and 7.55am and 6.05pm from Launceston.

The Great Western Railway Company opened several new stopping places for the benefit of the public.  Plym Bridge Halt was opened on May 1st 1906 followed by Whitchurch Down Platform, just south of Tavistock, on September 1st 1906.  On August 21st 1907 Shaugh Bridge Platform, for the Dewerstone Rock, was opened.  Two decades later Clearbrook Halt was opened on October 29th 1928.  Finally, on April 4th 1938, came Liddaton Halt, between Lydford and Coryton. 

As from January 1st 1948, following nationalization of the railways, the line became the British Railways Launceston Branch.