Welcome to Exe Valley Railway.com

The Exe Valley Railway was a branch line in Devon built by the Great Western Railway.It was in constant use from 1884 until the line was closed to passengers on the 7th October 1963.

It ran for almost 25 miles through beautiful Devon countryside and is still a happy memory for those who were lucky enough to travel along this picturesque route.

Although the line has been dismantled,most of the line remains unbuilt on,a tantalising thought that leaves open the possibility,however small,of the track one day being relaid and once again people travelling by train this beautiful route.  

Why Was the Exe Valley Railway Closed?

  Since I have become interested in the Exe Valley Railway,the thing that has always puzzled me most,is why did they close it down?

Everyone I have heard of who once travelled the line is still sad about its loss and miss it even today.People who never travelled the line due to not being born in time like myself, wish it was still there and local business people all say how good it would be for the local economy if the railway still existed today,so why was it closed down in the first place?To understand this,I suppose we have to take off our nostalgia glasses for a moment and go back in time to 1963 and examine the facts.


In those days the railway to some was dirty,old fashioned and antequated compared to the new and exciting advancements in cars and the motorways.To the concrete modernists who seemed rife in the 60's,the railways represented the past not the future and they made it their mission to concrete over this past.

As with most things however,it was not a matter of opinion or of one form of transport over another that was the main factor in the argument,but as usual it was money.The railway network was losing vast amounts of money and this was the main reason put forward for something being done about the railways.

 So it was then that Richard Beeching or Dr. Beeching as he was known,was brought in by the Conservative government in 1961,to look at ways to modernise the railways and to some how make them profitable again.

On the 27th March 1963 he published  his report called,"The Reshaping of Britsh Railways" known commonly as,"The Beeching Report" which to the shock of many people,proposed the closing of 2,363 stations and the closure of 5,000 miles of line.To explain and defend his proposals he made this film which we will now watch...if you want to:)



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News From Down the Line

newslogo44Every now and then when I talk to people and they hear of my interest in the Exe Valley Railway,they tell me little bits of information or recall an old memory.It always amazes me how even today,more than 50 years after it's closure,the fondness with which people remember the railway and how fresh the memories seem to be to them.

This little section of the website is to pass on to you these little "titbits" and any other small pieces of information that I have come across.

Exe Valley train Exeter St Davids 1962250



04/09/18 I was recently contacted by one of our readers Barry Hilton,who when younger visited the Southwest and took some pictures down at Exeter St.Davids.This is what he told me.

"Taken 'in my teens', by a SLR Dacora II camera, on Ilford colour film, 120 size negs (2 1/4 inch square). It was the only colour film that I used as they were relatively expensive for me at the time, something like 22/6d.Taken in the summer of 1962 as a result of a family holiday in the South West, I would travel the railway systems of the area taking photos whilst the rest of the family spent most of the time on the beach. I seem to remember buying a 'runabout' ticket for 10/6d which covered all the Exe Valley system at the time." 



Memories of the EVR

If you have any memories of the Exe Valley Railway that you would like to share with us,please get in contact with me and maybe we could publish them on our website.Likewise,if you have any photographs or film related to the railway that you would like to share,please contact me.   

Exe Valley Railway Quiz

How much do you know about the Exe Valley Railway?Take our quiz and find out!


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GWR Posters

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