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Rail served MoD depots in East Devon

Jack Benson

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Newcourt sidings on the Exmouth branch was the only one I am aware of. Closed just after the Falklands war, and the depot has now had a new housing development built on it, so a new station has been built to serve it. 

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About 20 years ago, I began to compile a list as an attempt to identify, initially from published accounts, those wartime depots (excluding operational bases such as barracks, airfields, radar stations and dockyards),which were rail served (these are underlined in the atached list). However the sources used revealed so many service establishments that it was decided to list all those which may have generated or received rail traffic, and to try to identify, and separate out, those with rail access later.


The dates given are those where the site was first mentioned




Devon Depots.doc

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The sources used to produce the list (which now runs to some 5000 entries) are varied,  including British and US Official Histories, Army Council Instructions and Admiralty Fleet Orders, Railway Clearing House Handbook of Stations 1938, 1949,. 1956 and 1962, Parliamentary Debates and Reports, publications of the Industrial Railway Society and others


The availability of material on the Internet has provided many references, from republished original documents to the websites of local historical societies. All references have, wherever possible, been crossmatched

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 22/05/2020 at 23:26, Jack Benson said:

Were there any MoD/WD/MoS rail served depots in East Devon? This query goes way, way, way back to WW2


There's one obscure military line that goes even further back to WW1



The Black Forest or Mamhead Railway started at Starcross Junction. Built in 1918 as a military timber line it ran for the most part directly on the road surface. Little mentioned and leaving no traces it is now a forgotten ghost. Even the local museum has no records of it, just blank faces. It closed in 1919 and was lifted soon after. The locomotive that ran on it was finally sold to Exeter Gasworks in 1923. The Line was worked by Italian and German POWs and a camp was situated just below Black Forest Lodge.



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