The Culm Valley Light Railway - Tiverton Junction to Hemyock (LP 231)
In 1870 what did most Victorians know of the Culm Valley in Devon? Nothing or very little. An exception was Arthur Pain whose brother lived at Hemyock. Pain was a proponent of light railways and had been trained by R.P. Brereton, I.K. Brunel’s chief assistant. Pain’s plan was for a track with minimal earthworks and thus have a low cost of construction. Where better than to try out his idea than in the Culm Valley which had industry, farming and the tourist potential of the Wellington Monument only three miles from Hemyock, the great exploits of the Duke still within living memory? The River Culm rises three miles away in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset, it give its name to several settlements on its banks and, in the 19th century, powered corn and cloth mills.
The Culm Valley Light Railway epitomised the idyllic English country branch line railway as it wended its way along the unusually tight curves along the Culm Valley.
Passengers continued to be carried on this railway backwater up until 1963, and the demise of the passenger service brought the end of regular steam working over the line. Goods traffic still ran, the dairy at Hemyock ensured that diesel-hauled goods train continued. The dairy dropped a bombshell when it announced it was to close in October 1975. Although tickets were printed for a final run along the line, safety regulations of the Department of the Environment prevented the trip from being operated with passengers, so the line closed without ceremony - it had missed its centenary by just seven months.
Softback, A5 format, the book consists of 144 pages with 178 illustrations and printed on high quality art paper.
Condition: Very Good
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Updated: 29 December 2021