Plym Valley Railway

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Plym Valley Railway


Marsh Mills Station on the Plym Valley Railway - geograph-4282634.jpg
A train leaving Marsh Mills Station
Gauge: standard
Location: 50°23’42"N, 4°4’59"W
Track: 1½ miles
Headquarters: Marsh Mills

The Plym Valley Railway is a heritage railway in south-western Devon running on one and a half miles of track, based on what was once a part of the South Devon and Tavistock Railway, a branch line of the Great Western Railway. The South Devon and Tavistock closed in 1962, severing Tavistock from the rail network, and the Plym Valley Line, created by volunteers restores just a small part of the route close to Plymouth.


The line now used by the Plym Valley Railway was originally part of the South Devon and Tavistock Railway, which opened as a 7 ft 0.25" broad-gauge railway linking Plymouth with Tavistock, inland on Dartmoor. The broad guage line opened in 1859, and was converted to Standard Gauge (standard) in 1892. The line closed in 1962.

In 1982, local enthusiasts set up a group to restore part of the line as the Plym Valley Railway. The first section re-opened in May 2008, and trains could operate over ¾ mile of track as far as Lee Moor crossing, the site where the 4 ft 6" gauge Lee Moor Tramway (now the West Devon Way cycle path) used to cross the line on the level. A new station was built just north of the site of the original Marsh Mills railway station as that site is occupied by a line that serves the Marsh Mills china clay plant. The new station was provided with a shop, buffet and small museum.

The preserved line was extended to Plym Bridge on 30 December 2012, bringing it to a mile and a half in length.

The 0-4-0ST steam locomotive "Albert" returned to service in December 2007 after receiving major repairs to its boiler. Albert has operated on all passenger trains and diesel No. 13002 has been used regularly on engineering trains. In 2009 preparation work commenced on returning 0-6-0ST "Byfield" to steam, seeing the locomotive stripped down to its main components for assessment.

The Plym Valley Railway is based at Marsh Mills station, close to the A38 road near Plymouth. It operates trains as far as Plym Bridge.

Rolling stock

Steam locomotives

  • Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST "Albert" built in 1948 – undergoing overhaul in 2016

Albert was built for the British Sugar Corporation, and worked at their Worcester & Somerset plants. She has been at the Nene Valley Railway and East Kent Railway before being privately purchased and coming to the Plym Valley Railway in 2004. She was sent to Portland for repairs, and returned in 2007.[1]

  • W.G. Bagnall 0-6-0ST "Byfield" No. 2 built in 1941 – undergoing overhaul in 2016

Byfield No. 2 was built in Bagnall’s, Stafford in 1942 to help with the war effort in ironstone quarries around Northamptonshire. Byfield ended up sold to Hunt & Co at Hinkley in 1970, and later rescued by enthusiasts for restoration and use on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway in the 1980s. It bought by the Plym Valley Railway in 2002 for a complete overhaul, which is taking many years.[2]

  • Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST "705" built in 1937 – undergoing overhaul in 2016

No.705 was built by Andrew Barclay& Sons Co. at their Caledonia works in 1937 for The Clyde Valley Electrical Power Company, shunting coal trucks. In the 1970s it was sold to a company who planned to build a railway on the Orkney Islands but this scheme failed,the locomotive remain stored at the Strathspey Railway until it was bought for the East Somerset Railway which finished its restoration In 2011, No. 705 was bought for the Plym Valley Ralway.[3]

Diesel locomotives and multiple units

  • Class 03 D2046, built at Doncaster in 1958[4]
  • Class 08, a 0-6-0 13002, built in 1952 at Derby
  • Class 117 DMU T304 (51407+51365) – undergoing overhaul in 2016
  • Plymstock Cement Works 0-4-0 Diesel Hydraulic 'Vanguard' shunter
  • Sentinel 0-4-0 10077 "Sidney"

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Plym Valley Railway)


  1. Albert - Plym Valley Railway
  2. Byfield – Plym Valley Railway
  3. 705 – Plym Valley Railway]
  4. D2046 – Plym Valley Railway