SideTracked - Exeter Central
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An easy to reach micro, close to Exeter City Centre and Exeter Central Railway Station.
Exeter Central railway station is the smaller of Exeter's main railway stations, but is the more centrally located. It is situated on the London Waterloo-Exeter main line, and is also served by local services to Exmouth, Paignton and Barnstaple.
A station was opened at Exeter Queen Street on 19 July 1860, the terminus of the London and South Western Railway's line from London Waterloo station via Salisbury. On 1 February 1862 the line was continued through a short tunnel to the Bristol and Exeter Railway's station at Exeter St Davids – this passes under Queen Street and then descends a steep descent of 1 in 37 through the 184 yards of St Davids Tunnel.
The line eventually reached Plymouth, Padstow, Bude, and Ilfracombe. Queen Street station became an important passenger interchange and locomotive changing point, the locomotives being serviced at Exmouth Junction engine shed, on the east side of Exeter.
The station became an interchange in 1861 with the opening of a branch to Exmouth, which left the main line about half a mile to the east at Exmouth Junction just east of BlackBoy tunnel. To the east the line was doubled as far as Broad Clyst in 1864 and throughout to Salisbury by July 1870.
The original station had just a single platform on the south side, with a large train shed covering this and the tracks. A second platform was added in 1874 and further extensions were added in 1925. It was fully rebuilt in the early 1930s and renamed "Exeter Central" on 1 July 1933.
Goods yards were provided both north of the platforms and also west of the Queen Street bridge. General goods traffic was withdrawn on 4 December 1967 but cement traffic continued to a terminal adjacent to the northern platform until January 1990. There were through lines between the platforms used for goods trains and shunting, but the last of these was removed in 1984. The signal box was closed on 6 May 1985 and controls transferred to a new power signal box at St Davids.
Exeter Central in 1969.
Exeter Central in 1969.
The station had become part of the Southern Railway in 1923 and then part of British Railways Southern Region in 1948. During the 1980s the station was repainted into the house colours of Network SouthEast, the most westerly station to receive them. In the 1990s the station was transferred to the Regional Railways sector of BR and was refurbished with a new ticket office, in the late 1990s the crumbling footbridge at the eastern end was replaced with a modern ramped design, this allowed the closure of the barrow crossing at the western end. The station was operated by Wessex Trains until 31 March 2006 when First Great Western took over franchise. It has been suggested in the local media that the station should be transferred to the holder of the South Western franchise
There are two through platforms and one east-facing bay in use. The station has two entrances, the main one being on Queen Street and a smaller unmanned entrance on New North Road. Wheelchair access is via the car park from Queen Street and the modern New North Road footbridge which was built with long ramps to the platforms.
Exeter Central is served by trains on the West of England Main Line operated by South West Trains from London Waterloo station to Exeter St Davids, although many of them continue to Paignton or Plymouth. Occasionally these trains are replaced by First Great Western trains at weekends when the route to London Paddington station is closed for engineering work, in which case most Waterloo trains turn back at Yeovil Junction where a connection is made between the two London services.
Local services are provided by First Great Western along the Avocet Line from Exmouth to Exeter St Davids where they generally continue to either Paignton or Barnstaple. On summer Sundays there are also trains to Okehampton in connection with the Dartmoor Sunday Rover network.
You are looking for a 35mm film container attached by magnetism, located in the 'park' area on a public footpath to the south of the railway station.
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