Guidance

Tamar Valley community rail line

Community rail line service between Plymouth and Gunnislake.

Documents

Tamar Valley Line: prospectus

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Tamar Valley Line: map

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Details

The Tamar Valley Line runs from Plymouth to Gunnislake following the course of the River Tamar. Like other railway lines in Devon and Cornwall, it’s not electrified and trains are therefore diesel operated.

In Dr Beeching’s ‘Reshaping of British Railways’ 1963 report the Tamar Valley Line was among those recommended for closure. However, because the local roads were not considered to be of a good standard, the decision was made to keep this local rail line open.

Route data

Region South west
Locale Cornwall, Devon
Stations 9
Length 15 miles
Journey time About 46 minutes — one way
Route type Rural
Designation Line
Pilot project Yes
Designation date September 2005
Partnership Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership
Operator(s) Great Western Railway

The Tamar Valley Line serves the following 9 stations:

  • Gunnislake
  • Calstock
  • Bere Alston
  • Bere Ferrers
  • St Budeaux Victoria Road
  • Keyham
  • Dockyard
  • Devonport
  • Plymouth

Pilot routes

The Tamar Valley Line was one of the first designated community railways. Seven pilot routes were selected which could demonstrate different aspects of the community rail development strategy.

The Tamar Valley Line was selected as one of the pilots because it borders Devon and Cornwall and links Plymouth in Devon to Gunnislake in Cornwall. The service is dominated by commuter traffic into Plymouth.

The 7 pilot routes:

  • St Ives Bay Line (St Ives — St Erth) in Cornwall
  • Looe Valley Line (Looe to Liskeard) in Cornwall
  • Tamar Valley Line (Gunnislake — Plymouth) in Cornwall/Devon
  • Abbey Line (St Albans — Watford Junction) in Hertfordshire
  • Poacher Line (Skegness — Grantham) in Lincolnshire
  • Penistone Line (Barnsley — Huddersfield) in South and West Yorkshire
  • Esk Valley Line (Whitby — Middlesbrough) in North Yorkshire and Teesside

Community rail designation

The Tamar Valley Line was designated as a community rail line by the Strategic Rail Authority in September 2005. The designation covers the line between St Budeaux and Gunnislake and the passenger services between Plymouth and Gunnislake.

The following stations on this route are designated:

  • Gunnislake
  • Calstock
  • Bere Alston
  • Bere Ferrers
  • St Budeaux Ferry Road
  • St Budeaux Victoria Road

Network Rail strategic route plan

The Tamar Valley Line has been identified as a rural route within Network Rail’s west of England (K) strategic route plan.

The Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership

The Tamar Valley Line is one of the 7 railway lines supported by the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, which was formed in 1991 to promote railway services in the area. The lines supported by the partnership are:

  • Atlantic Coast Line — Newquay to Par
  • Avocet Line — Exeter St David’s to Exmouth
  • Looe Valley Line — Looe to Liskeard
  • Maritime Line — Falmouth to Truro
  • St Ives Bay Line — St Ives to St Erth
  • Tamar Valley Line — Gunnislake to Plymouth
  • Tarka Line — Exeter Central to Barnstable
Published 28 July 2005