Welcome to my website dedicated to the standard gauge railways of North Devon - since the age of steam.


I first visited North Devon by train in November 1982 on the last train to Torrington.

Until then, as a schoolboy I knew little about North Devon Railways apart from the L&B Railway. From trips with my parents to the West Country, I had always wondered quite what lay beyond Cowley Bridge Junction as the line disappeared off around the curve.

My website features photographs my late father John Stanford and I have taken. If you would like to use photos for non commercial use that is fine provided they are credited where appropriate, for commercial use please contact me first, by e-mailing (replace AT with @)  I am also most grateful to others who have loaned photos or shared their knowledge with me or provided support and they are credited below. photos by father or self are uncredited on the site. 

Whilst the website is in its 4th year and is a sole effort, I have now a number of people or groups  to thank for their contributions, support, or photographs - or all three elements. They are -

John Luxton, Rob Aston, Peter Bedding, Clive Fairchild - Bideford Railway Heritage Centre, Tarka Valley Railway Group at Torrington and Ian Dinmore, fgrSimon, Dave Vinsen.

I am flattered that upto 10 people a day visit the site (its not the same 10!). I hope you enjoy the tour of standard gauge North Devon Railways - past and present - including the period when first generation diesels and DMUs trundled pretty lines through outstanding scenery. 


LATEST NEWS - update March 2013

Planning permission granted 12 March 2013 to Tarka Valley Railway Group (TVRG) to lay just over 260 metres of track at Torrington, after much hard work. 

To celebrate the good news the group are having an event - extract from their newsletter below -  

Easter Sunday / Bank Holiday Monday, March 31st / 1st April.

We are holding a special Gala event to celebrate the good news on the planning front. We see this as an ideal way to publicise our expansion plans to a wider public audience and hopefully sign up new members and volunteers. It is also an opportunity to show off the restoration work being done by ‘The Thursday Gang’.

The BR Mk1 coach will be open for book and magazine sales and membership enquiries and of course the plans for the extension will be on display. The marquee will be holding a collection of goodies for sale and there should be some model railway interest, and railway modelling accessories for sale. 


YouTube footage of that weekend is at


Coincidence but true!

6th November 2010 - 28 year anniversary of the last train to Torrington running - bizarrely on the day of the 28th anniversary I travelled the Bristol to Taunton line and saw the Guard of the train and thought I recognised him from the DVD featuring the last train to Torrington - I politely quizzed him and he broke into a beaming smile, saying he was the guard on 6th November's last Torrington train and I had just made his day by mentioning same! Without delaying the trains departure from Yatton, he said he has the flame cut side with numbers from loco 31174! To top the coincidences, the encounter with the Guard took place within 15 minutes of the actual time the last train left Torrington 28 years earlier!