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British Industrial History

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Torrington and Marland Railway

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The Torrington and Marland Railway was a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge built to carry clay from the quarries at Clay Moor to Torrington in north Devon.

The line was surveyed in 1879 by John Barraclough Fell who was also the consulting engineer to the nearby Pentewan Railway. Fell's survey was notable for its use of ten wooden viaducts, which were an unusual feature for a British railway.

The railway was a private line, built to serve clay traffic, but part of the agreement with the landowners over whose land it passed was that it would carry local passengers. Steam locomotives were used on both the main railway and the internal lines in the clay pits.

In 1925 the main line was replaced with a standard gauge branch of the North Devon and Cornwall Junction Light Railway.

The Torrington and Marland was cut back to a 1½ mile stub and the internal quarry lines.

These continued in use until 1971 when the line finally closed.

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