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The Taunton to Barnstaple Line Volume 3

The Taunton to Barnstaple Line Volume 3
A History of the Devon & Somerset Railway Volume 3 :

Freddie Huxtable

256 pages. 275x215mm. Printed on gloss art paper with colour laminated board covers.

ISBN13 : 9781911038733


Having covered the history of the Devon & Somerset Railway in Volume 1 (published 2016) and the route, stations and signalling in Volume 2 (published 2017), this third and final part of the trilogy rounds the story off by looking at the operation of the line throughout its existence and the human aspect of a country railway which served the local communities through which it ran.  The opening chapter comprises a detailed study of the motive power used on the line, from its opening as a broad gauge line under the Bristol & Exeter Railway, through the long years of GWR ownership and then in to the final two decades under British Railways, with diesels and DMUs taking over by the end. Included too is a look at the carriage stock that appeared over the years and a brief consideration of the goods wagons. The next chapter takes a comprehensive look at the passenger and goods services provided through the decades and this is followed by a chapter covering the main events which affected the line, the special trains that ran from time to time over the years and finishes with a look at the accidents and mishaps which occurred on or affected the branch. The final chapter is then one of reminiscences and memories, from those who worked on or over the line to those who used it or lived nearby and the whole is illustrated by another fine selection of photographs of this highly picturesque railway. The book is completed with a number of Appendices covering various aspects from through coach working to a list of staff mentioned in the GWR and BR (WR) staff magazines when transferring to or from locations on the D&SR. Finally, there is a detailed Index for all three volumes, the pages of which have been numbered consecutively on from Volume 1. This book will therefore have much appeal to locals who knew the line and family historians searching for a mention of earlier generations, as well as students of railway history and enthusiasts for Great Western secondary cross-country routes.

The Taunton to Barnstaple Line Volume 3 - Sample Images

sample book illustration
A pack of hounds (possibly the Tiverton Staghounds) being un-boxed at Dulverton station circa 1912. The van is parked in the cattle dock, with a horse box with its doors open on the left, the station behind and the carriages of an Exe Valley train visible in the bay. Note too the empty lime-washed GWR cattle wagon. The Hounds van is a unique and interesting vehicle, having been built originally in 1874 as a 28ft, 6-wheeled, four-compartment Third with central luggage compartment, one of a batch of twenty-four to diagram S5 (No's 875-890 and 893-900). No. 885 was subsequently converted at an unknown date for use as a Hounds van, probably not long before this photograph was taken judging by its clean condition here, and was renumbered as No. 949; the number is just discernible in the waist high panels at each end of the vehicle. The end compartment to the right was retained as accommodation for the huntsman, who here shepherds the excited hounds as they burst out of the double doors of the van in what may well have been an official GWR photograph. Courtesy Chris Nelder 
sample book illustration
‘Bulldog’ No. 3453 Seagull inches its way off the turntable at Barnstaple shed in the early 1930s. Built in January 1910 as No. 3743, No. 3453’s first allocation was to Neyland shed in west Wales. It was withdrawn in November 1951 from Reading shed, having long-since been moved away from D&SR duties. Arthur Halls, courtesy National Railway Museum