AboutTamar Valley Branch Railway
Travelling by train from Plymouth to Bere Ferrers, Bere Alston, Calstock and Gunnislake
This 14-mile scenic branch railway line runs into the heart of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After a brief circuit around Devonport Dockyard and under IK Brunel’s Royal Albert rail bridge, the line crosses a long, low viaduct to the peaceful farming countryside of the Bere peninsula, across to the Cornish bank of the River Tamar on the majestic Calstock viaduct and on to the end of the modern line at Gunnislake.
The branch railway line was completed in 1907 as part of a more extensive network. The lines beyond Gunnislake and Bere Alston were closed 40 years ago, but as a promising sign for the future, early in 2008 the Devon County Council approved a plan to rebuild the track from Bere Alston to Tavistock.
The line connects with the Tamar Valley Discovery Trail ( click here for a map ), part of a network of footpaths, which runs 30 miles north from Plymouth to Launceston. Visitors commonly mix train rides and hikes between stations as an ideal way of exploring the area. Ferries still run regular river cruises from Plymouth.
Click here to download the current train timetable.
This is an abridged version of an article written by Paul Lightfoot and is reproduced with his kind permission.
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