Celebrations for 150 years of Avocet line - picture gallery

Exmouth marked 150 years of the Avocet railway line to Exeter with a day of celebrations.

Exmouth marked 150 years of the Avocet railway line to Exeter with a day of celebrations.

A number of events were held last Sunday, with the main attraction for railway enthusiasts being a special 125 High Speed Train provided by First Great Western- a unique sight on the line.

The train left Exeter St Davids station at 10.40am, and by the time it reached Exmouth it was packed with revellers, including several in period costume.

The train was greeted at Exmouth station by dignitaries including MP Hugo Swire and Exmouth mayor Darryl Nicholas, and a large number of Exmouth residents, some of whom also wore period dress.

Once the train had departed, people were then able to attend a Sustainable Transport Fair in the Strand Gardens, and enjoy live entertainment from the Exmouth Shanty Men, Exmouth Town Band and Great Western Morris dancers.

As well as the main celebration in Exmouth, events were also held further up the line, with the Topsham Signal Box and Station House being opened to the public, and the special train being met by dignitaries at Exton and Lympstone.

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The celebrations were organised by the Avocet Line Railway Users Group, and the group’s chairman Tony Day said he was delighted with how the anniversary had gone.

Mr Day said: “The event was a tremendous success, and a huge number of people turned out, which was very encouraging.

“We wanted to use the celebrations to draw attention to the vital part the line plays in getting around locally, and how it’s one of the most sustainable forms of transport.

“I thought the large turnout was a fantastic indication of the way local people value the railway line and it was a jolly good day for everyone.”

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