Registered Charity Number 1162632

Technical support / advice  was given by Dan Wood

Designed By Edward Barker ©  Made With Serif WebPlus on Behalf of Tarka Valley Railway C.I.O.

This narrow gauge line was re-laid as a standard gauge line in 1925 when services ran through to Halwill Junction. This section of line only saw fairly light passenger numbers and closed early in 1965. Passenger services from Torrington to Barnstaple ceased later the same year as part of the Beeching plan, and had formed part of what became known as The Withered Arm'. Freight working continued for many more years. In particular milk and clay trains were in evidence.The final clay train ran in 1982.


During the great days of rail travel, through coaches ran between Torrington and Waterloo, as part of the famous Atlantic Coast Express.


The railway to Torrington was opened in August 1872, the station was originally opened as a terminus, but provision was made to extend the line beyond should the need arise. However, in 1881 a 3' gauge line was built to serve the Marland Brick and Clay Works, about 6 miles south of Torrington.

The Tarka Valley Brief History Guide

Tarka Valley preservation group formed.

Progress retired to Peter Marland two years after the last clay  train.

After 1978 only clay was transported, and September 1982 that too ended. The line from Meath to Barnstaple was lifted.

The passenger line from Barnstaple to Halwil junction ceased in 1965 and only freight continued.

Planning permission granted in March 2013 to extend the railway towards Bideford. Permission allows track to the bridge, and two sidings on the left hand side.




After 1978


Key Historical Events











Photographer Unknown



Peters Marland - North Devon Clay Works


The three standard gauge shunting locomotives remained at the clay works for some time after the last train in Summer 1982. In 1983 they had been purchased by the North Devon Diesel group, affiliated to a group trying to preserve the old Torrington line.


From the front, the first and last locomotives are John Fowler built machines and the middle locomotive a Ruston diesel, all 4 wheel locomotive shunters.

When the 1980s preservation scheme failed the three diesels were re-housed on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway.


The leading locomotive 'Progress' is now back at Torrington station having been relocated in 2008.




Built 1945 by John Fowler manufacturers number 4000001. 60 h.p. 6 cylinder Leyland diesel engine installed in 1977. Hydrostatic drive and braking with Westinghouse air brakes as a secondary system. Driving wheels 30 inches.


The locomotive is in full running order.