New life for historic railway line

18 January 2005 09:11 - BAM Nuttall Ltd

Nuttall is writing history in the county of Devon in south-west England. This is where the operating company built the original thirty-kilometre narrow gauge Lynton & Barnstaple Railway around 1895. Almost a hundred years later Nuttall is providing its services free of charge to help restore what has become a significant tourist attraction.

Back then, Nuttall built some eighty bridges for the line. Many of them were of modest proportions, but several impressive viaducts were also erected. By 1935 the line had closed and some of the structures along the line fell victim to the wrecker’s ball. But seventy years later a steam loco is again puffing its way through the rolling countryside. Since August 2004, when the first four hundred metres of line and the newly restored Woody Bay Station were opened to the public, over eleven thousand passengers have made the round trip. Next year – thanks mainly to the dedication of the railway’s many volunteers – the little loco will have three kilometres of the original route along which to ply its trade. The ultimate aim is to restore the whole line and some of the stations.