- Tamar Valley Line
Infobox rail line
name = Tamar Valley Line
British Rail Class 153at Dockyard
start = Plymouth
end = Gunnislake
First Great Western
linelength = convert|14|mi|km|abbr=on
speed = convert|55|mph|km/h|abbr=on
map_state = collapsedThe Tamar Valley Line is a railway line from Devonport in
Plymouth Devon, to Gunnislakein Cornwall, United Kingdom. The line follows the River Tamarfor much of its route.
The line from St Budeaux to Bere Alston was opened for passenger traffic on
2 June 1890by the Plymouth, Devonport and South Western Junction Railway(PDSWJ) as part of their line from Lydford to Devonport, which in effect was an extension of the London and South Western Railway's main line from London Waterloo stationto Lydford, enabling the LSWR to reach Plymouth independently of the Great Western Railway. [cite book | last = Cheesman | first = AJ | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = The Plymouth, Devonport and South Wesetern Junction Railway | publisher = Oakwood Press | date = 1967 | location = Blandford Forum]
The branch to Gunnislake was opened by the PDSWJ on
2 March 1908. [cite book | last = Crombleholme | first = Roger| coauthors = Gibson, Bryan; Stickey, Douglas; Whetmath, CFD | title = Callington Railways | publisher = Forge Books | date = 1967 | location = Brackenll| doi = 1985]
The line used former
LSWR O2 Classtank engines as the man form of motive power for many years but in the 1950s newer LMS Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2Tengines took over. By 1964 steam had been ousted from the line and DMUs had taken over, working as two-car sets.
Plymouth(including the suburbs of Devonport and St Budeaux) – Bere Ferrers– Bere Alston– Calstock– Gunnislake
The section between
Calstockand Bere Ferrersis on the Bere peninsula, between the river Tamar, and the river Tavy. The most southerly road bridge (the A390) on the peninsula is at Gunnislake, crossing the river Tamar. This means the railway is the quickest way of getting into the city of Plymouthto the south. The line did face closure by the Beeching Axe, however the remaining section of line was saved due to the poor road transportation.
The number of passengers travelling on the Tamar Valley line has been declining in recent years, although numbers travelling to or from some Plymouth suburban stations is increasing, as it is at Gunnislake itself. [cite web|title =Station Usage|work =Rail Statistics|publisher =Office of Rail Regulation| url=http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/nav.1529|accessdate = 2008-06-30] The statistics cover twelve month periods that start in April.
The Tamar Valley Line is one of the railway lines supported by the
Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, an organisation formed in 1991 to promote railway services in the area. The line is promoted by many means such as regular timetable and scenic line guides, as well as leaflets highlighting leisure opportunities such as walking or visiting country pubs.
The Tamar Valley
rail ale trailwas launched in 2004 to encourage rail travellers to visit pubs near the line. Five are in Plymouth city centre and a further three in the suburbs of Devonport and St Budeaux. There are single pubs to visit at Bere Ferrers and Bere Alston, two in Calstock and six in Gunnislake. 6, 10 or 18 stamps collected in the Rail Ale Trail leaflet entitle the participant to claim special Tamar Valley Line Rail Trail souvenir merchandise. [Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership (2006), "Tamar Valley Line Rail Ale Trail"] Wessex Trainscovered Class 150 2-car DMUnumber 150240 in coloured pictures promoting the line and named "The Tamar Kingfisher". It is now in service with Arriva Trains Wales and works throughout it's network.
The line was designated as a
community railline in September 2005, being one of seven pilots for the Department for Transport's Community Rail Development Strategy. This aims to establish the true costs and revenues for the line with an aim of improving them. It is also looking at simplifiying the reversal of trains, considering the costs and benefits should the line be "microfranchised" separately from the Great Western Franchise, and the potential for extending the line from Bere Alston to Tavistock. [ Department for Transport Rail Group (2005), "Route prospectus for the … Looe Valley Line and … Tamar Valley Line" ]
18 March 2008Devon County Council backed a proposal by developers Kilbride Community Railto construct 750 houses in Tavistock that includes reopening the convert|5.5|mi|km|0 line from Bere Alston to a new Tavistock railway stationat a cost of £18.5million. [cite journal| last = Harris| first = Nigel| title = Taking trains back to Tavistock| journal = Rail| issue = 590| pages = 40–45| publisher = Bauer| date = 2008]
* [http://www.carfreedaysout.com/ Great Scenic Railways in Devon and Cornwall.]
* [http://www.minebydesign.co.uk/calstock/railway/railway_intro.htm Calstock Online Parish Clerk - Railway pages]
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