40th Anniversary of the final train to run to Torrington
27 January 2023
40 years ago today, on 27/01/1983, the final train to ever run to Torrington Station arrived. BR class 122 single car DMU L101 (TDB975023) worked a special from Barnstaple to Torrington and back conveying the Devon Euro MP Lord O'Hagan, members of the Committee of the North Devon Railway Line Development Group and local government officials. The visit was carried out to decide the fate of the line, initially it was decided that the line would not be lifted for two years to allow time for reopening if at all possible and Lord O'Hagan applied for funding from the European Economic Community Headquarters in Brussels to try to save it but this was turned down in March 1983. The Torrington Station Building was sold in October 1983 and opened as the Puffing Billy restaurant in May 1984. Track lifting commenced at the Meeth end of the line in June 1984.....the end of an era.
As a matter of interest, this unit (L101) was formally single car W55001 when in passenger service but was converted for departmental use in 1969 and is now fully restored and operational at the East Lancashire Railway.
Many thanks to Keith Gale for providing this excellent photo of the train at Torrington Station.