Cockwood Harbour

This is a renowned photographic spot on the ex-GWR main line in the south west. Cockwood Harbour is situated ¾-mile south of Starcross, and was once a location where Brunel’s critics asserted it would be impossible to form a railway. A wooden viaduct was erected across the throat of Cockwood lake, carrying a single-track Broad Gauge line of 7-foot 0¼-inch width. Some of the piles for the viaduct were driven to a depth of 30-feet. The line through Cockwood opened with the Exeter to Teignmouth portion of the South Devon Railway on 30th May 1846. Double-track working commenced between Starcross and Dawlish on 16th February 1874, and the entire route was converted to standard gauge-only operation over the weekend of 21st/22nd May 1892.

7th April 1985

The tide is out as a Plymouth-bound BR Blue/Grey HST passes by, lead by power car No. 43142. © David Glasspool Collection