Torre railway station

Torre railway station

Infobox UK station
name = Torre

locale = Torquay, Devon
borough = Torbay
code = TRR
manager = First Great Western
platforms = 2
latitude = 50.47338
longitude = -3.54678
original = South Devon Railway
pregroup = Great Western Railway
postgroup = Great Western Railway
years = Opened
events = 1848
years1 = Renamed
events1 = 1859
lowusage0203 = 138,305
lowusage0405 = 153,214
lowusage0506 = 150,974
lowusage0607 = 139,572

Torre station is a suburban station on the Riviera Line in Torquay, Devon, England. The station is operated by First Great Western but is not staffed; except for one evening train it is only served by local services.


A RailGauge|84 broad gauge branch was opened by the South Devon Railway from Newton Abbot on 18 December 1848, this station being the terminus and known as Torquay. [cite book| last = Gregory| first = R H| title = The South Devon Railway| publisher = Oakwood Press| date = 1982| location = Salisbury| id = ISBN 0-853612-86-2] This line was extended by the Dartmouth and Torbay Railway on 2 August 1859, which opened the present Torquay railway station at Livermead so the original station was renamed "Torre".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 0-85361-387-7]

The station had a small extension to the single platform and a train shed built in 1855 but with the opening of the Dartmouth and Torbay Railway, a new platform had to be provided. The original station can still be seen standing alongside the track just north of the platform.

Goods traffic was handled from October 1849. The goods yard was originally at the west end of the station. The original goods shed was destroyed by fire in 1857 and eventually replaced in 1865 by a stone building alongside the railway on the Newton Abbot side of the station. [cite journal | last = Sheppard | first = Geof | title = Goods Traffic at Torre | journal = Broadsheet | issue = 53 | pages = 4–11 | publisher = Broad Gauge Society | date = 2005] A coal yard was built on the west side of the station.

The South Devon Railway amalgamated with the Great Western Railway on 1 February 1876. The railway had originally been just a single track, but on 26 March 1882 the line to the north was doubled and a second platform opened. On 20 May 1892 the line was converted to RailGauge|ussg standard gauge.

The first signal box was opened in 1883 at the London end of the northbound platform. This was replaced in 1921 by a new three-storey building on that platform. The original signalling used just 16 levers; the new box contained 42.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 on 1 January 1948. The buildings on the second platform were demolished in the 1960s and replaced by a simple brick-built shelter. Goods traffic was withdrawn on 4 December 1967.


On the afternoon of 17 June 1946 a passenger train from London Paddington station to Paignton collided with the rear of a freight train that was stationary north of Torre station. The signalman had made an error in setting the line as clear and so the passenger train had been allowed to leave Kingskwerswell thinking the line was clear. Both lines were blocked and over 3,000 passengers had to be carried by bus between Newton Abbot and Torre.

Another collision happened on 26 April 1958 when a passenger train approaching from Newton Abbot passed through two danger signals and collided with a freight train that was shunting in the station.


The station is situated in Newton Road (the road from Torquay to Newton Abbot, just above the traffic lights where Avenue Road joins it.

To the left of the station entrance is a Halfords store which is built on the cramped site of the first goods shed which burnt down in 1857. To the right is the original terminus building of the line from Newton Abbot which is now used by an electrical manufacturer and, beyond that, the 1865 stone goods shed is now a joinery workshop. The second station building is used by a furniture shop which has extended onto the platform by building a concrete block wall in line with the pillars of the canopy.

The entrance passageway through this building opens onto the platform for trains towards Paignton. Access to the opposite platform is by way of a covered footbridge and it is on this platform that the tall but disused signal box stands. Chapel Hill rises behind this platform .


Torre is served by First Great Western local trains in both directions on an approximately hourly basis during the day. Most trains run between Exmouth and Paignton; on Sundays the service is less frequent and most trains only run between Exeter St Davids and Paignton. [cite web |title = National Rail Timetable 135 (Winter 2007)|publisher= Network Rail|url =|format=PDF] There is also a single South West Trains service from London Waterloo station that calls in the evening.


Torquay engine house

The South Devon Railway was designed to be worked as an atmospheric railway, the trains propelled by stationary engines that created a vacuum in a pipe laid between the rails. An engine house was built a short distance to the north of the Torquay terminus that would have powered trains up the 1 in 75 (13%) gradient from the station, but it was never brought into use and conventional locomotives worked the trains instead.

The building still stands in Torquay Road near the Lidl supermarket(atcoord|50.4854|N|3.5541|W|type:landmark_region:GB). It was used for many years by the Longpark Pottery but is currently a fruit and vegetable warehouse. It can be glimpsed above the cutting on the right of trains approaching Torre from 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

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