OLD PLYMOUTH . UK
Plus parts of the South Hams and West Devon
www.oldplymouth.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: May 20, 2018
Webpage updated: March 30, 2019

        

RAILWAYS IN OLD PLYMOUTH  |  LAUNCESTON BRANCH
BRANCH LINE, PLYMOUTH STATION (MILLBAY) TO LAUNCESTON STATION

TAVISTOCK SOUTH STATION

Tavistock South Station, with its grand overall roof, looking northwards towards Lydford.
Tavistock South Signal Box is just visible behind the water crane on the right.
From author's collection.

Tavistock Station was officially opened by the South Devon and Tavistock Railway Company amongst much jubilation on June 22nd 1859.  It was 12 miles 71 chains mile post mileage from Tavistock Junction and was equipped with a 45 feet diameter turntable.

The Launceston and Tavistock Railway Company opened their line from Launceston through Lydford to Tavistock Station on July 1st 1865.

On May 18th 1876 the train service was augmented by those of the London and South Western Railway Company, which had secured running rights over the Great Western Railway Company's Launceston Branch south of Lydford Station to gain access to Plymouth.  To cope with the extra traffic two small signal boxes had been opened on March 1st 1876, named Tavistock "A" and Tavistock "B".  A new Tavistock Signal Box replaced them in 1895.

Following the railway nationalization of 1948, Tavistock Station was renamed Tavistock South Station on and as from September 26th 1949 to distinguish it from the former Southern Railway Company's Station, now called Tavistock North.

Many of the train services from North Road Plymouth Station terminated at Tavistock South Station, usually operated as railmotors and sometimes running through to Saltash Station, in Cornwall.

An Up train to Plymouth has the right of way to depart from Tavistock South Station.
David Lawrence.

According to the "The Official Hand-book of Station 1956" Tavistock South Station, which included Messrs Hoare Brothers Limited's Putts Cleave siding, and the South Western Gas Board's 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 6 tons.

The snowy scene at Tavistock South Station on the last day of operation, December 29th 1962,
with 5564 on the 12.40pm from Launceston awaiting the arrival of the 12.45pm from Plymouth.
the late Peter W Gray.

Passenger traffic on the Launceston Branch ceased on and as from December 31st 1962 but the line from Lydford Station was kept open for freight traffic to Tavistock.  That traffic ceased and the line was completely closed on and as from September 25th 1964.