The Riveria Line is a train route stretching from Exeter St Davids to Paignton.
The train will slowly wind its way out of Exeter St Davids, the line to Exeter Central climbing sharply away to the left, while on the right is the entrance to Exeter TMD (Traction Maintenance Depot) and Exeter Panel signal box. Originally built by the South Devon Railway, the line crosses the Exe and runs over the Exeter suburbs on a long stone viaduct through Exeter St Thomas and onto flatter land by a rather uninspiring industrial park on the right, far better to look out of the left where Exeter Cathedral and the city can be seen. In fact top tip when leaving Exeter towards Plymouth is to get a seat by the window on the left if you can.
The line is quickly into the countryside and it runs across marshes alongside the Exe and the Exeter Canal, which combine after the train runs through Exeminster. The railway also runs closer to the river on the left as it continues West towards Powderham Castle which can be seen on the right, the best of the landscape is on the left however as you look across the river and Exe Estuary towards Exmouth. You are about to not only be traveling through the landscape, but are about to become part of it. This line is not only spectacular to be traveling on, but spectacular to look at as well. Entering Starcross village and through the station, where the Atmospheric Railway Museum has a home, the river is rapidly becoming the sea and on the right the pretty Cockwood harbour provides an excellent photo opportunity for many a tourist and train spotter - don't be surprised to see them lined up to snap your train as you go past.
Dawlish Warren station boasts four lines that allow fast trains to overtake the stopping services, and this is the home of the mobile home, with plenty of holiday caravans to choose from should you want to holiday here - including the famous holiday coaches adjacent to the line. The railway now continues on the sea wall and cuts into the red sandstone cliffs at Langstone Rock, before emerging with nice views across the sea towards Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton to the East and Torbay in the West.
Dawlish station is reached quickly with the little town, famous for its black swans off to the right, the train travels through Kennaway tunnel (265 yards), Coryton Tunnel (227 yards), Phillot Tunnel (49 yards) and Clerk's Tunnel (58 yards) glimpsing the sea on the left every time the train emerges. Eventually the line descends into the 513 yard Parson's Tunnel to take it under Hole Head. Parsons and Clerk tunnels are named after the two rock stacks that can be seen in the sea off Hole Head, a smugglers tunnel was said to have been found by the navies when they were digging the railway tunnels, which ran from a hidden entrance above the cliff to a secluded cove. The line therefore runs across Smugglers Lane on a viaduct, before the footpath rejoins for the final sea wall stretch [past Sprey Point cutting right towards Teignmouth at Eastcliff
Teignmouth is frankly a bit dull after the seaside run, but don't rule it out for a visit or stop off, even if as just an end or start point for a walk along the sea wall. After leaving Teignmouth the water to the left is (perhaps obviously) the River Teign. The line runs under Shaldon Bridge, and Shaldon can be seen across the river - a pretty place, but not really easily visited by rail. The river eventually gives way to the Hackney Marshes towards Newton Abbot, where on the right the race course can be seen.
After leaving Newton Abbot the Great Western Mainline Line diverges to the right, although it runs alongside the Riviera Line until Aller Junction, where it runs off across the southern tip of Dartmoor to Plymouth and on into Cornwall.
The Riviera Line slowly starts to drop down hill towards the sea, and never really gets much above 40mph. After shadowing the A380 Torquay road for a mile or so the line passes under Aller Road and continues through green fields until it some large residential properties mark the edge of Kingkerwell.The line rejoins the A380 again after passing some playing fields on the left and then ducks under the road . Running further down towards Torre, the line starts a steady turn to the left, before switching back to the right and curving through almost 90 degrees as it skirts around Torbay District General Hospital.
Torre station is approached through a cutting and is reached after a five mile run from Newton Abbot. The station itself was completed in 1848 and has witnessed two accidents in its time one in 1946 when a passenger train running south collided with a freight train due to a signalman's error. A similar incident occurred 12 years later when another southbound passenger train struck another freight train, this time the fault was that of the driver.
Leaving Torre the line continues to head downwards and less than a mile of passing residential properties the train arrives at Torquay. This station is just a short walk from the beach and has a booking hall and cafe. The two platforms are served by local trains which generally run on and hourly basis. </span>
On leaving Torquay the train passes under an ornate bridge and runs across a few headlands as it drops towards Paignton. The are attractive views of the sea to the left of the train, but it is not long before it arrives in Paignton, a couple of miles from Torquay, just over 8 from Newton Abbot and nearly 30 from Exeter St Davids.
Exeter St DavidsEdit
Local buses and taxis also offer onward travel from the station.
Exeter St ThomsEdit
Exeter St Thomas is a secondary suburban station serving the city of Exeter (althogth two HSTs stop there). It is operated by First Great Western, but also shares track with CrossCountry , South West Trains , & Freightliner.
Local buses also offer onward travel from the station.