Dartmoor Scene

The Dartmoor Scene represents the beginning of an imaginary Great Western branch line, straggling from South Devon into Cornwall.

The branch makes a junction with the GWR main line from Exeter to Plymouth where it runs high along the southern edge of Dartmoor.

The buildings at the lonely junction station of ‘Pen Tor Road’ recall those once standing at Ivybridge and Yelverton. On the platform, in the unhurried atmosphere of a country branch line, a waiting passenger can be seen asking the station foreman the time of the next train.

Two Western National buses stand in front of the station buildings in an area decorated with flower baskets and tropical palms, while in the small goods yard, coal wagons wait to be unloaded.

Other details complete the picture of a country station in the 1930s, including typical notices warning against trespassing, and about not crossing the line, ‘Except by Means of the Bridge’; sombre evergreens line the station approach in characteristic Great Western fashion.

Shortly after leaving the station, a long viaduct carries the branch across wild moorland scenery. Both Devon and Cornwall imposed remarkable engineering demands on the railway builders, and perhaps no feature made this more evident than the lofty and striking timber viaducts designed by Brunel to carry the rails across deep river valleys.