The Barnstaple and Ilfracombe Railway


Opened in 1874 and closed in 1970,  this 14 mile extension of the LSWR connected  Barnstaple to the seaside resort of Ilfracombe and over nearly 100 years transported vast numbers of holiday makers to the delights of the North Devon coast.

The nature of the country through which the line ran ment it contained a number of steam gradients, and despite Ilfracombe staion being above the towwn, trains heading for Barnstaple had to tackle a 1 in 36 bank from the platform end, and long holiday trains had to be double headed, often by 'West Country' Pacifics and still banked.

Ilfracombe was the terminus of one of the main sections of the "Atlantic Coast Express", as well as "The Devon Bell" Pullman train and its observation car, for the short time it ran.

136 page paperback, very well illustrated with B&W photos, maps etc.

An interesting story, well told.