SideTracked Totnes Traditional Geocache
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Just up the access road from Totnes Station
We have Motorway Mayhem. We have A-Road Anarchy (cos there aren’t many Motorways in Wales!). But what about public transport users?
SideTracked Caches are intended to provide quick Cache-and-dashes at Train Stations.
It is hoped this idea will spread across the country in the same way as the MMs….but if hiding one PLEASE BE SENSIBLE and remember that in this day and age, public transport is under greater scrutiny than ever before, so, although these caches should be quick and easy grabs, PLEASE don’t place a Cache where it could cause alarm!
Totnes railway station was built by the South Devon Railway Company and opened on 20 July 1847 when trains started to run on the line from Newton, as Newton Abbot was known at time. It was a terminus until 5 May 1848 when trains started to run through to Plymouth, initially using a temporary terminus at Laira. The line was intended to be operated by atmospheric power and an engine house to provide power was built behind the eastbound platform, although it was never brought into use. The two platform tracks were covered by wooden train sheds, an engine shed was built south of the line beyond the westbound platform, and a goods shed was erected between this platform and the River Dart which the line crossed on a viaduct just to the east of the platforms.
Totnes became the junction for the Buckfastleigh, Totnes and South Devon Railway's line to Ashburton when it opened on 1 May 1872. The South Devon Railway was amalgamated with the Great Western Railway on 1 February 1876 and the Buckfastleigh company was absorbed in 1897. Trains were suspended on 21 and 22 May 1892 while the original 7 ft 0¼ in (2,140 mm) broad gauge tracks were replaced by those of 4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm) standard gauge. The engine shed was closed in 1904 although the turntable was retained for five more years.
The westbound platform was damaged during an air raid in World War 2 on 21 October 1942. The Ashburton branch train was damaged in the attack, two people killed and two more injured.
On 1 January 1948 the Great Western Railway was nationalised to become the Western Region of British Railways. Passenger services to Ashburton were withdrawn on 3 November 1958 and the line closed entirely on 10 September 1962. A few months earlier, on 14 April 1962, a fire destroyed the main buildings situated on the westbound platform at Totnes. General goods traffic was withdrawn on 14 June 1965 although coal continued to be handled until 4 December 1967 and milk until 1980, from the dairy that incorporates the building intended for the atmospheric engines.
A new station building was opened on 21 October 1983 to replace the temporary buildings that had served the station since the fire in 1962. From 5 April 1985 to 2 September 1987 trains on the Buckfastleigh line, now the South Devon Railway heritage line, operated into the station. A footbridge across the River Dart was opened on 30 September 1993 which now allows people to walk to Totnes (Littlehempston) railway station to join the heritage trains to Buckfastleigh.
The 1887-built footbridge than spanned the station and gave access to the operating floor of the signal box was destroyed on 18 October 1987 when hit by a crane engaged in track renewals, it has been replaced by a new bridge.
The dairy shut in 2006 and is up for redevelopment.
Cache replaced 26/6/9: it is now a magnetic keyholder, and not attached to the signboard. Next visitor please replace log, as I have moved away. (12/5/12)
Gurer vf vasbezngvba. Ybbx oruvaq vg. Guerr nybat gb gur evtug. Zntargvp.