A lively, amateur enthusiast’s journey between these two destinations in April 2010.
Having walked this line on a family holiday as a child in 1980, I always harboured a wish to come back and do it again, but this time I brought along my camera and a bike. What you see here is a dogged attempt to film nearly all the track bed and all the points of interest on this route, recreating a driver’s eye view as if you were sat on the front of the loco !
Starting at Princetown and descending through the moor on a fabulously sunny day, the sites of the various halts (King Tor, Ingra Tor, Burrator) are sought out and a quick nose into the granite quarry of Foggintor is included. These spectacular quarries are where Nelson’s Column and sections of London Bridge were extracted from. Indeed, there are still parts of London Bridge that never got delivered that were left sitting by the track bed at the entrance to Swelltor quarry, views of which are included here.
Numerous places where the line was re-built in the 1870s that deviate away from the original Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway of the 1820s are also featured. Other than the delightful views of the moor, you get to see the spectacular Burrator reservoir from above and general distant views off towards Cornwall.
Descending to the lower end of the line, I managed to get an invitation to go in and film around Dousland station in full detail, where there was much to see. The station building and platform still remain and are lovingly preserved with a number of GWR features to see.
More surprising was the fact that I was allowed in to roam and film to my heart’s content around the site of Yelverton station. For many years, this fascinating station site has been notoriously awkward to access and well known for being a closely guarded hidden gem.
The nature reserve that Yelverton station site has become was a really fantastic sight. I was kindly given a detailed tour by the owner and then allowed to film unhindered for as long as I needed to. The fact that I was there in April before all the spring growth obscured all the views made things even better.
Views include the platforms bringing in the line from Princetown, merging with those of the mainline from Plymouth, a spectacular accommodation bridge, a deep cutting through the rock and a loco inspection pit. Enjoy a trip through the fantastic 680 yard long tunnel towards Horrabridge and marvel at the amount of water pouring through from above ! There are numerous other points of interest; one of the most superb sites I have ever had the pleasure to visit.
Apart from the film which represents the journey down across the moor, there is a section at the end of the third dvd showing a slide show of a number of stills taken at the same time.
The photo used in this listing is one of the aforementioned stills. It shows the greatly overgrown platforms in Yelverton station where passengers from Princetown once alighted as they appear today.
Includes constant, enthusiastic, well informed commentary, packed with historical facts.