Devon's Railways

Local historian and award-winning author Helen Harris traces the triumphs and failures of Devon's pioneering rail companies which, in their heyday, created a truly impressive transport network.

Beginning in the early nineteenth century with tramways for local industries, railways developed rapidly from the 1840's onwards.  They reached their peak of success at the turn of the 20th century when lines etched their way across the whole of the county of Devon.  

During the 1920's and 1930's motorcar use began to grow at an alarming rate and the fate of the glorious but increasingly antiquated travel system was sealed.


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