|Exeter St Davids station provides some good photographic views, the station has six platforms and photography from any is quite easy. In the morning, the light favours standing on the main entrance side of the station and in the afternoon on the 'up' side. Porterbrook owned, FGW operated No. 57601 is seen departing from platform 4 with empty stock bound for Laira depot, Plymouth on June 13, 2001. CJM.||This is the view taken looking west from the Gissons farm bridge at Exminster. In the background is the road bridge once serving Exminster station, which now provides another good photographic vantage point of the line. Here No. 67005, powering a rake of 7 EWS/Royal Mail vans heads towards Exeter with a driver training run on March 11, 2000, soon after the Class 67s had been delivered to the UK. CJM.|
St Davids station, built by the Great Western Railway and now operated
by Railtrack and served by First Great Western, Virgin Trains, South West
Trains, Wales & Borders trains and Wessex Trains, has six platforms,
five of which are through lines. Adjacent to the station is a Wessex Trains
operated depot, where Classes 150, 153 and 158 units can be found.
The first road bridge to cross the line west of Exeter is at Marsh Barton, adjacent to a council disposal site. The bridge is narrow and leads down to the Exeter Canal. Lineside vegetation in this area restricts the
potential but a picture can be obtained both ways. Going westward, the
line is next crossed by what is part of the Exeter ring road at Matford,
this very busy bridge offers views both ways but again bush and tree growth
has limited the number of views. Walking around the roads in this area
can be very difficult, but if you want to visit you are best advised to
park in a layby just off Matford roundabout on the Plymouth carriage-way.
Up views are quite pleasant here in the late afternoon/evening.
A farm bridge, known as Gissons, offers some good views of the line just slightly west of the motorway, this is accessed from the village of Exminster, with a narrow road leading off from near the church. Ample parking is available next to the bridge and views are possible throughout the day, the best time is probably during the afternoon, when up trains are seen coming away from the site of the long closed Exminster station. At the west end of the village of Exminster (and the end of Exminster by-pass), is a road leading down to an industrial estate and crossing the line at the site of the closed Exminster station. The old GWR signal box remains here and is now a bird observation point. The old station buildings are now in industrial use, but views of the line are
good in both directions, pictures can be taken here at virtually any time of the day depending on light.
West from here the line starts to skirt through Powderham estate and can best be accessed from a footpath from the village church of Powderham, this can be found by following the A379 west and diverging left for Powderham on an angled junction. Parking is possible adjacent to the walkway at Powderham or by parking in the church yard, but please give a little donation if you do, it all goes to help the upkeep of this old and historic building.
The footpath from Powderham runs alongside the line a few hundred yards back towards Exeter before a gated crossing goes over the line. Photography is good along this path of down trains in the afternoon, which can be framed by trees or if you are lucky animals in the fields. The crossing of the line here can be very dangerous so please be very careful. This is a stop, look and listen crossing and please do just that, trains approach fast and often cannot be heard until very close. In the morning, with the light on the east side of the line, a footpath running along the bank of the River Exe towards Turf and Exeter gives some excellent views of down trains passing through the countryside, pictures of up trains are a little more difficult.
Westward from Powderham the road skirts the railway towards Starcross.
site is maintained by TheRailwayCentre.Com and authored by Colin J Marsden,
it is a guide to the world famous
section of line between Exeter and Newton Abbot, traversing the Dawlish Sea Wall.
The author can be contacted at SeaWall@TheRailwayCentre.Com