Paignton railway station

Paignton railway station

Infobox UK station
name = Paignton

locale = Paignton
borough = Torbay
latitude = 50.43489
longitude = -3.56489
manager = First Great Western
platforms = 3
code = PGN
original = Dartmouth and Torbay Railway
pregroup = Great Western Railway
postgroup = Great Western Railway
years = Opened
events = 1859
usage0203 = 0.336
usage0405 = 0.346
usage0506 = 0.335
usage0607 = 0.372

Paignton railway station is the railway station serving Paignton in Devon. It is the terminus of the Riviera Line from Exeter and is also an interchange between National Rail services and the preserved Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway.


The railway to Paignton was built by the Dartmouth and Torbay Railway, opening to passengers on 2 August 1859 and extended to Brixham Road station on 14 March 1861. Goods traffic was handled at Paignton from 1 April 1861. The Dartmouth and Torbay Railway was always operated by the South Devon Railway and was amalgamated with it on 1 January 1872. This was only short lived as the South Devon Railway was in turn amalgamated into the Great Western Railway on 1 February 1876. The single-track line had been built using the RailGauge|84 broad gauge, but on 20 May 1892 was converted to RailGauge|ussg standard gauge.cite book| last = Potts| first = C R| title = The Newton Abbot to Kingswear Railway (1844 - 1988)| publisher = Oakwood Press| date = 1998| location = Oxford| id = ISBN 0-853613-87-7]

On 11 July 1904, GWR road motor services started running from here to Torquay, in competition with new electric tramways; the land opposite the station is still used as a bus station.

The line from Torquay was finally doubled in 1910 when the platforms were extended to accommodate longer trains. Further expansion came in 1924 with the opening of a larger booking office and new canopies were erected over the platforms. A few years later the double track was extended to Goodrington, new carriage sidings opened behind the southbound platform. A new goods shed opened on 1 June 1931 south of the station, which freed the original goods shed to deal with parcels traffic and passengers' luggage, and allowed the platforms to be further extended. Plans in 1937 to move the station onto a new site south near the goods shed, which would have allowed five platforms to be constructed, failed to materialise due to World War 2.cite book| last = Oakley| first = Mike| title = Devon Railway Stations| publisher = The Dovecote Press| date = 2007| location = Wimbourne| id = ISBN 1-904349-55-6]

The Great Western Railway was nationalised into British Railways in 1948. In 1956 further carriage sidings were opened at Goodrington, mainly used to handle the heavy traffic on summer Saturdays.

The line from Paignton to Kingswear was sold to the Dart Valley Railway on 30 December 1972 which operated another nearby heritage railway at Buckfastleigh. An independent station alongside the main platform, known as "Queens Park", was opened to serve the Kingswear trains on the site of the carriage sidings opened in 1930. This site includes a shed for the railway's operational engines and carriages. The line has since been transferred to the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway.

The main station building was demolished in 1993 when the booking office was moved into the old goods shed.


Two signal boxes were opened in 1889, the 13-lever North Signal Box by Torquay Road level crossing, the 17-lever South Signal Box by Sands Road level crossing. Both were replaced in 1924 by two new boxes. The North box closed on 26 March 1988 when control of trains was transferred to the Panel Signal Box at Exeter but the South box was retained to monitor the two level crossings. In 1990 this function was transferred to a panel in the station buildings and the signal box closed.


The station is sandwiched between two level crossings. At the north (Torquay) end of the station is the busy crossing over Torbay Road. It has a footbridge to allow people to cross the line on foot when the crossing is closed for a train to pass. At the opposite end is the quieter Sands Road crossing, which is used when trains are running on to the carriage sidings or when the heritage line to Kingswear is in operation. Because of this the two lines over this crossing are operated as single tracks with trains running in either direction on both.

The main entrance is through the booking office – the old goods shed – which is constructed from local soft red sandstone. This is on the side furthest from the beach, opposite the bus station, and most trains both arrive and depart from this track (Platform 2). At busy times trains may arrive at the opposite track (Platform 1) but must then continue over Sands Road Level Crossing into the carriage sidings and then return to Platform 2 as the signalling does not allow trains to start northwards from Platform 1. Both platforms have step-free access; passengers unable to use the footbridge are able to pass from one platform to the other over the Torbay Road level crossing which is situated at the north end of the platforms.

The Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway has its own independent platform and entrance on the south side of the station. Their locomotives are coaled in the shunting neck adjacent to the approach road, but the shed is at the far end of the station.


Paignton is served by First Great Western local trains on an approximately hourly basis during the day. Most trains run to and from Exmouth; on Sundays the service is less frequent and most trains only run to and from Exeter St Davids.cite web |title = National Rail Timetable 135 (Winter 2007)|publisher= Network Rail|url =|format=PDF]

A few long distance trains also run to Paignton, especially during the summer months. First Great Western operate trains from London Paddington station, including the Torbay Express. South West Trains services come from London Waterloo station [cite web |title = National Rail Timetable 160 (Winter 2007)|publisher= Network Rail|url =|format=PDF] and CrossCountry services operate from the North of England (Newcastle Central). [cite web |title = National Rail Timetable 51 (Winter 2007)|publisher= Network Rail|url =|format=PDF] At other times passengers travelling change into main line trains at Newton Abbot.


Further reading

*cite book| last = Beck| first = Keith| coauthor = Copsey, John| title = The Great Western in South Devon| publisher = Wild Swan Publication| date = 1990| location = Didcot| id = ISBN 0-906867-90-8
*cite book| last = Cooke| first = RA| title = Track Layout Diagrams of the GWR and BR WR, Section 14: South Devon| publisher = RA Cooke| date = 1984| location = Harwell

External links

* [ Video of a train leaving Paignton station]

topath= convert|0.25|mi|km
anti-nextstation=Torquay convert|3|mi|km
clck-nextstation=Goodrington Sands convert|1|mi|km

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