Plus parts of the South Hams and West Devon

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: May 23, 2018
Webpage updated: March 05, 2022




The branch train waiting to leave Princetown Station.
From the author's collection.

Princetown Station, 10 miles 43 chains mile post mileage from Yelverton Station, was opened for passenger traffic by the Princetown Railway Company on August 11th 1883.  The opening was publicly celebrated in Princetown on Wednesday August 15th 1883 with a parade, sports and a feast for the local children.

The Station was provided with a single road Engine Shed large enough for two locomotives, a corrugated iron Carriage Shed for six carriages and a turntable 23 feet 6 inches in diameter, principally for the use of turning the snow ploughs.

Mr John Higman, formerly at Launceston Station, was Princetown's first Station Master.

According to the Great Western Railway Company's official "Traffic Dealt with at Stations and Depots", published circa 1936, in the calendar year 1903 Princetown Station issued 11,535 railway tickets, dealt with 244 parcels and took in total income 6,263.  During the calendar year 1913 Princetown Station issued 12,679 railway tickets, handled 252 parcels and took in total receipts of 5,926.  

A Private Siding Agreement was entered in to with Plymouth Corporation on April 14th 1923 for a siding within the station yard for loading timber.

According to the Great Western Railway Company's official "Traffic Dealt with at Stations and Depots", published circa 1936, in the calendar year 1923 Princetown Station issued 10,665 railway tickets plus 70 season tickets, dealt with 71 parcels and took in total income 7,605. 

The Carriage Shed at the end of the platform closed circa 1928.

According to the "The Official Hand-book of Station 1929" Princetown Station, with included the Plymouth Corporation siding and the Swell Tor siding, dealt with goods traffic, passengers, parcels, miscellaneous traffic, furniture vans, carriages, motor cars, portable engines and machines on wheels, live stock, horse boxes, prize cattle vans, and carriages and motor cars by passenger or parcels trains.  It was equipped with a crane capable of lifting 5 tons.

Princerown Station's total receipts during the calendar year 1929 were 6,201.  The Station issued 14,655 railway tickets plus 128 season tickets and handled 136 parcels.  Surprisingly the sale of tickets by the guard to passengers who joined trains at Burrator and Sheepstor Halt were included in the Princetown Station figures.

Princetown Signal Box was reduced to Ground Frame status in October 1932, thereafter manned by a porter-signalman from the Station.

By March 1933 the Plymouth Corporation Private Siding had been removed.

According to "The Official Hand-book of Stations 1938" only the Swell Tor Sidings now came within the Princetown area.  The facilities were the same as stated above for 1929.

There was no coal and coke merchant at Princetown in 1939.  Further track linking the loop line to a siding was removed after 1947.

The locomotives changing ends on a train on the last misty day of operation.
Mr Norman Simmons of Godalming, Surrey.

The annual Princetown Cattle Fair took place on Wednesday September 6th 1950.  A special train comprising of the locomotive, two brake vans and 20 cattle wagons was timed to leave Laira Yard at 11am and proceed to Princetown to form the Cattle Special.

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 Princetown Station to: Devonport Albert Road, 7 shillings (s) 9 pence (d) 1st, 5s 3d 3rd; Keyham, 7s 9d 1st, 5s 3d 3rd; Plymouth North Road Station, 7s 1st, 4s 9d 3rd; Saint Budeaux Ferry Road, 8s 1st, 5s 3d 3rd; Saltash, 8s 9d 1st, 5s 9d 3rd; and Tavistock South Station, 5s 3d 1st, 3s 6d 3rd.

Princetown Station was closed on and as from Monday March 5th 1956, although there was no Sunday service anyway and the last train on the Princetown Branch ran on Saturday March 3rd 1956.  Princetown Engine Shed was closed on and as from March 15th 1956.