Railway Info.

A Memory of Barnstaple

The building on the left is a carriage shed, used for holding spare passenger vehicles under cover. It is from the North Devon Railway in the 1850s and still appears to have broad gauge track (7ft gauge - not removed until 1877) laid into it. Access was by means of a small turntable just off the picture to the left. The Ilfracombe Railway is being built - the low embankment can just be seen with what appears to be temporary track on it - and the girders of the river bridge are in place but work is continuing on the line - see the works yard at this end of the bridge. There are no signals in place, so the line is not open, and the Quay station has been built but looks unfinished. This means that the photo was probably taken in about May 1874 - 13 of the viaduct girders were undelivered in February and the first engine did not cross the river until mid-June. The central warehouse dates from 1848 and was built by the NDR as a manure store, later being used as a slaughterhouse and a carriage shed! It is now a listed building. The white house is a railway cottage and the wooden building in the foreground is a very early North Devon Railway house - a similar building still exists at Yeoford station. Behind the white house, some timber signal boxes are being assembled - one can assume that these will be moved complete to their new locations on the Ilfracombe line. Over on the far right are some goods wagons showing the pre-1885 LSWR livery of dark brown with small lettering. The centre vehicle is grey and these may be broad gauge wagons.

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