Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway was opened in 1898, a 597 mm gauge line extending 31 km through the rugged scenery of the fringes of Exmoor, linking the twin resorts of Lynton and Lynmouth with the main line railway at Barnstaple. The line was supported by Sir George Newnes (1851-1910), founder of Tit-Bits and the Strand Magazine, and one of the pioneers of the popular press, who had a house at Lynton. It was the only narrow gauge railway in Britain to be equipped with main line standard signalling. It was a line of distinctive character, but rarely made profits. In 1923 it passed into the ownership of the Southern Railway which made some investments in the line, but lack of passengers forced its closure in 1935. A voluntary body, the Lynton & Barnstaple Association, was formed in 1979, but real progress towards restoration did not begin until the 1990s. From 1994 the miniature LynBarn Railway, was operated by L&BR volunteers in a theme park near Clovelly in order to raise money for their project. The railway continues but the volunteers now work on the L&BR itself. The following year the Association purchased the original station at Woody Bay, with some adjacent land. The first public train service ran on 17 July 2004, and the Association now offers a journey of 1.4 km to Killington Lane Halt. It provides extensive advice on walks that can be undertaken from the stations. The Chelfham Viaduct of eight 13m span arches, one of the largest structures on any narrow gauge railway in Britain, was restored in 2000, but is not yet part of the working railway. The L&BR originally had four locomotives, three from Manning Wardle of Bristol and one from Baldwin of Philadelphia. Lyd, a replica of one of the Manning Wardle engines, runs on the Festiniog Railway in North Wales, along with an original L&BR coach restored for use on the Festiniog in the 1960s. Lyn, a replica of the Baldwin of 1898, was first steamed at Woody Bay in 2017. The Association has a rake of four rescued and restored original coaches. Current plans envisage an extension through Blackmoor and Wistlandpound and eventually to Lynton, and at a later date, in the other direction, to Barnstaple.

Lynton & Barnstaple Railway
Woody Bay Station Martinhoe Cross Parracombe
EX31 4RA Barnstaple
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1598 - 763487