Plus parts of the South Hams and West Devon

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: May 10, 2018
Webpage updated: January 29, 2022




The broad-gauge South Devon and Tavistock Railway was officially opened on June 22nd 1859.  At that time the only rail facility at Marsh Mills was a siding to the corn mill.

New Bridge, although here incorrectly named as "Long Bridge", in relation to the Marsh Corn Mills.
Ordnance Survey Sheet CXXIV.1, dated 1854-1863.

To enable visitors to the Royal Agricultural Society of England's Show to visit the demonstration fields at Woodford Farm (later Great Woodford Farm), Plympton, the South Devon Railway Company provided a platform adjacent to the Farm at Marsh Mills.  It was inspected by the Society's Local Exhibition Committee on Friday July 7th 1865 and was open to the public from July 17th until July 21st 1865.

Trains arrived from Plymouth Station at Millbay at 7.15am, 10.40am, 2.25pm, 5.30pm and 7.40pm.  The return fares were one shilling second class or one shilling and sixpence first class.  Single tickets in either direction could be purchased for eight pence or one shilling.  Trains from Launceston and Tavistock arrived at 8.10am, 10.05am, 1.25pm, 6.55pmand 9.40pm.

Marsh Mills Station, at 3 miles 73 chains mile post mileage from Plymouth Station (Millbay) was unceremoniously opened to passenger traffic on Wednesday November 1st 1865.

BRWR number 6430 pulls away from Marsh Mills Station
with the 2.10pm Plymouth to Tavistock South train
 on December 29th 1962.
  Peter W Gray.

When the standard-gauge trains of the London and South Western Railway Company began using their running rights over the line between Lydford Station and North Road Plymouth Station in 1876 a new Marsh Mills Signal Box was installed.  Their passenger trains started calling at Marsh Mills Station on May 18th 1876.

The Launceston Branch was converted to standard-gauge by the Great Western Railway Company, which resulted on a rather large gap between the Down and Up tracks through the Station.  The Up line continued separately right through to join the Down main line at Tavistock Junction.

Two sidings served the Marsh Corn Mills on the Up side of the line.  Also on the Up side were sidings to the China Clay Works.  Sidings were added during the Second World War on the Down side, just beyond the Station, to the Coypool Depot of the Royal Mechanical and Electrical Engineers.

The passenger entrance to the Station was down a slope from beside the bridge carrying the A38 main road to Plympton over the railway line at the southern end of the Down platform, where the booking office, main waiting room and lavatories were located.  Access to the Up platform for trains to Plymouth was by using the railway's barrow crossing at the Plymouth end of the Station.  Marsh Mills Signal Box was on the Up platform, accompanied by a small, stone waiting shelter.

According to the Great Western Railway Company's official "Traffic Dealt with at Stations and Depots", published circa 1936, in the calendar year 1903 Marsh Mills Station issued 17,320 railway tickets, dealt with 35 parcels and took in total income 2,943.  During the calendar year 1913 Marsh Mills Station issued 19,263 railway tickets, handled 29 parcels and took in total income of 3,554.  During the calendar year 1923 Marsh Mills Station issued 14,224 railway tickets plus 109 season tickets, dealt with 33 parcels and took in total receipts of 9,588.  Only 9,069 railway tickets and 17 season tickets were issued at Marsh Mills Station during the calendar year 1929, and total receipts were down to 5,898, thanks to the commencement of motor bus services nearby.  The figures included tickets issued by the guards on the trains from Plym Bridge Platform.

In 1936 Marsh Mills Station was controlled by staff at Bickleigh Station.     

A shunting locomotive was derailed at Marsh Mills Station on Friday May 7th 1948 and caused delays of around 2 hours to the train service on the Branch.

On Weekdays and Sundays, 'where train service permits', commencing on May 1st 1953, the following cheap day return tickets, first and third class, were available from Marsh Mills Station to: Bickleigh, 1 shilling (s) 5 pence (d)1st, 11d 3rd; Clearbrook Halt, 2s 6d 1st, 1s 8d, 3rd; Coryton, 8s 1st, 5s 3d 3rd; Dousland, 3s 1st, 2s 3rd; Horrabridge, 3s 1st, 2s 3rd; Launceston, 10s 6d 1st, 7s 3rd; Lifton, 9s 1st, 6s 3rd; Lydford BRWR, 6s 9d 1st, 4s 6d 3rd; Mary Tavy, 5s 9d 1st, 3s 9d 3rd; Plym Bridge Platform, 9d 1st, 6d 3rd; Princetown, 6s 1st, 4s 3rd; Shaugh Bridge Platform, 1s 9d 1st, 1s 2d 3rd; Tavistock South, 4s 6d 1st, 3s, 3rd; Whitchurch Down Platform, 4s 1st, 2s 9d 3rd; and Yelverton, 2s 9d 1st, 1s 9d 3rd.

According to the "The Official Hand-book of Station 1956" Marsh Mills Station, which included the Dartmoor China Clay Company's siding, Messrs Sellick, Nicholss and Company Limited's siding, and the War Department's Coypool siding, dealt with only goods and passenger traffic.

Marsh Mills Station was closed to passenger traffic on or as from December 31st 1962 but remained open for china clay traffic.

The Station area is now the base of the Plym Valley Railway.