This line survived the Beeching cuts in the 1960's and is now a great asset to our visitors who would really like to see some of the most wonderful scenery in the south west. What is more, a trip on the line can be enjoyed at amazingly low cost. Generally, heritage railways need to charge high fares in order to survive and run historic locomotives and vintage rolling stock not to mention the overheads of keeping the line safe and sound. The Tamar Valley is not a heritage line as such. However, you could be forgiven in thinking that when you stop at the delightful station at Calstock after passing over the nearby viaduct. Bog-standard Class 158 DMU's are used instead of steam but the welcoming attitude of the on-board duty guard and station staff at Plymouth does great credit to First Great Western who operate the slow and delightful service.
We (two adults) took three of our grand children out for a day trip - Barnstaple - Exeter on the Tarka Line then onwards via the newly repaired section at Dawlish, on to Plymouth, up the Tamar Valley and back for just £20.60. Catch the 09:43 from Barnstaple.
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