This was one of the first new stations to be commissioned under “Railtrack” auspices, in the run up to the privatisation of British Rail. The town of Ivybridge is situated about 8-miles east of Plymouth as the crow flies, upon the main line to the south west from Paddington via Taunton. Eastward expansion of the town since the late 1970s, which saw a steady growth in residential development, eventually culminated in a business case being made for a station to be opened here. The town had previously been a feature of the railway timetable; however, the first station, situated at milepost 234¼ from Paddington via Bristol, closed to passengers on 2nd March 1959 in an era which preceded Beeching.

Today’s Ivybridge station came into public use on 15th July 1994, and is situated ¾-route-mile east of its predecessor. Two partially staggered 340-foot-long platforms were commissioned, either side of a double-track formation. These are linked by a metal footbridge which provides step-free access to both sides of the line; the structure features ramps approximately 200-feet long, in addition to a staircase on the “down” side of the rails. A bus shelter-style structure was installed on each platform, and the station was unstaffed from opening.

In the September 1994 edition of Modern Railways magazine, the cost of the then new station was stated to be £1,500,000 and, from the outset, nineteen services would call each weekday. A car park comprising 210 spaces was laid on the “down” side of the line, shielded on all sides by trees, in addition to a drop-off point being made. Part of the station’s role was intended to be a “park and ride” facility for car users who did not want to drive into Plymouth City centre, allowing them to travel the last 12½-route-miles by rail.

29th June 1995

Class 47 No. 47789 is seen passing through the then new Ivybridge station eastbound, hauling the 13:53 Plymouth to Crewe mail. The car park is out of view, to the left. © David Glasspool Collection