The railway between Exeter and Exmouth, 1846

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The railway between Exeter and Exmouth, 1846

Following the arrival of the Great Western Railway at St David’s in 1844, railway mania gripped Devon. Amongst the new schemes was a proposal to make a railway between Exeter and Exmouth. This Parliamentary Act spells out in detail how this was to be achieved. The sum of £53,000 was to be borrowed; a committee of directors was to be drawn up; the position of the rail was fixed, and maximum rates of charge for passengers, goods and animals were laid down.

The construction of the line was finally carried out in 1857-8. Its construction brought the end of the old well at Lion’s Holt which had supplied drinking water to the city; the new cutting for the railway drained the spring which fed the well.

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum