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Bow Station, Devon


Bow station in 2008

Opened 1 November 1865 – Closed to passengers 5 June 1972

Bow station lies on the Exeter to Okehampton line, between Coleford Junction and North Tawton.
The line was 150 years old in 2015. This website features the history of the station, its past and present,
people and memories, memorabilia, and a photographic record.


Latest News:

Welcome Lima, July 2023
Bow Station welcomes the arrival of Lima, a dog rescued by soldiers in the Ukrainian war zone at Lyman. She was moved to Kyiv where she received the necessary vet treatment and then travelled to England where she was re-homed by Lea Valley Dog Rescue. She can now look forward to a better life far away from the hostilities in her homeland.
Image filed under: Images (Station)
Newly discovered ticket
LSWR third class day excursion ticket from Devonport to Bow (via Ford), clipped but not dated (present owner not known).

Image filed under: Memorabilia
The up-platform shelter c.1982
Further deterioration of the shelter which was eventually demolished by the then owner of Bow Station and the remnants pushed down the bank behind (even though it was not his property). The cast-iron brackets still survive. The station barrow can be seen languishing inside, subsequently "rescued" and restored for use on the West Somerset Railway, where it can be seen at Williton station and on our Memorabilia page (image courtesy of Stephen Johnson, cyberheritagerail).

Image filed under: Images (Station)
February 1985
Images of trains at Bow after the closure and before the resurgence of Dartmoor Railway are proving elusive. Here we have an unidentified Class 33 passing through Bow heading for Meldon with hoppers and track panels
(image copyright and courtesy Pete Doel).
Image filed under: Images (Trains)
Movements in February 2023
The closure of the line for a week towards the end of February saw the return of the road-railers, both day and night. Here, on 23 February one returns from delivering a load of concrete slabs further up the line. Meanwhile, on Valentine's Day, Gloria managed to extract a friendly wave from the driver of 150221. Unfortunately, in neither case was the Celtic Nations flag very excited.
Images filed under: Images (Trains) and Images (Station)
Rail collection
More night work, very early on Tuesday 24 January 2023, collecting the rails which had been successfully cut. More cutting and collecting to follow. Are Network Rail employees and neighbours along the line ever allowed to sleep?
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Old Rail Clearance
Activity very early in the morning on 23 January 2023 with the first signs of some clearing up along the rebuilt line. A rail cutter clips old lengths of track into shorter sections ready for collection. Unfortunately it could not attack many lengths without them being separated first, so the job was abandoned for the night, presumably to be continued when the planners can sort the necessary equipment out.
Image filed under: Images (Trains)

"Sic Transit Gloria" or "Gloria in Excelsis"
Gloria gets ready for the festive season in December 2022. Having tried and failed to catch a train driver last year, she is is determined to trap one this time. Unfortunately they were mostly on strike! Note the special festive Union flag flying in the background.

Image filed under: Images (Station)

The various flags can be seen at the top of the Images (Station) page.

We wish all Bow Station watchers a Merry Christmas and a peaceful and successful New Year.

New image of the up-platform shelter in 1977
Another shot of the abandoned up-platform shelter, this time five years after closure. The up line track has been removed and even the interesting posters have gone or are derelict (image courtesy Tim Miles).
Image filed under: Images (Station)
New enamel signs on 30 June 2022
Our Nugget Boot Polish sign has become a landmark for the GWR drivers so we are pleased to add two more vintage enamel signs, both railway related, for passers-by to enjoy. In these days of inflation the Daily Mirror does seem cheap at one old penny!
Image filed under: Images (Station)
2 May 2022
Colas Tamper DR75407 "Gerry Taylor" on its way back up to the Coleford site having travelled down towards Fatherford earlier in the day.
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30 April 2022
A previously unrecorded big-beastie caterpillar vehicle passing through as part of a convoy on the way up to the Coleford worksite.
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28 April 2022
The Rhomberg-Sersa HOBC makes its way towards Fatherford tailed by Colas 70806.
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29 March 2022
A shiny new milepost has appeared just to the west of Bow Station, and possibly elsewhere along the line? These things seem to happen overnight with no warning! For those of you not previously aware, you can now work out that Bow Station lies approximately 187 miles and 55 chains away from Waterloo.
Image filed under: Images (Station)

23 February 2022
The last three months have been fairly boring with just the regular Class 150s rushing up and down the line. The only break has been the occasional 158, 164 or 165, so it is almost  a relief for the line to be closed for the bridge repairs near Coleford. It has meant the return, albeit temporary, of the road-railers with their friendly Welsh crews requesting tea!
Image filed under: Images (Trains)

Original Plan of the Line
We have just acquired an original plan from a survey of the line between Coleford Junction and North Tawton, eight miles in all. It is mounted on linen and folded with fourteen spreads. It shows the elevation at one chain intervals, gradients, embankments, culverts, even original landowners. The spread shown here covers Bow Station (added by someone in pencil), originally owned by John Heard, and of particular interest is the necessary diversion to the road. It is a fascinating document of some historical interest.
Image filed under: Memorabilia

2 January 1965
The last steam train from Exeter to Padstow pauses at Bow with Standard Class 3 2-6-2T 82039 in charge and presumably the driver and guard looking on. The headboard reads "Last regular steam passenger train, Exeter to Padstow" (photographer unknown, image courtesy Tim Miles). One of the best images we have and further details would be very welcome.
Image filed under: Images (Trains)

If you have any information or material relevant to the station we would love to hear from you (contact us).