Above: Ashbury & North Lew station on the branch line from Okehampton to Halwill Junction used to serve a remote rural area in north Devon . (Incidentally, North Lew village was a favourite west country haunt of the former poet laureate, Sir John Betjeman.) The line closed in 1966 and the station is now a private residence, but note that track has been re-laid into the goods yard besides the old goods shed. Photographed from the public highway on 21st March 2004. (Bob Prigg)
Above: This view of the station at Ashbury & North Lew shows clearly that this used to be a passing place on the branch. The empty trackbed can be seen heading away into the distance (now private land, of course), with the entrance to the goods yard at the end of the platform on the left. As can be seen, the station building is now a well-maintained family home. The ballast can still be seen between the platforms, including the outline of where the sleepers used to sit. Photographed from the public highway on 21st March 2004. (Bob Prigg)

Left: A final view of Ashbury & North Lew shows the station steps, which were probably manufactured in the Southern Railway's concrete works at Exmouth Junction in Exeter. It is almost certain that Betjeman used these steps on one of his journeys to North Lew, and he would probably be delighted to see them still in place – some small consolation for the wholesale closure of branch lines in this part of the country. Photographed from the public highway on 21st March 2004. (Bob Prigg)

Above: The Spey Viaduct at Spey Bay, Moray – a truly excellent listed structure that now carries the Speyside Way and is part of the National Cycle Network – photographed during a monster rambling event that took in 72 miles of old lines on the Moray Coast and Speyside. The fixings for the long departed railway telegraph wires can be seen either side of the main span. Photographed in September 2004. (Bob Prigg)
Above: This is the redoubtable bunch of ballast crunchers who completed the 72 mile monster ramble referred to in the previous caption, photographed on an imposing girder bridge at Craggonmore on Speyside. From left to right, the members are Paul Harrison, Chris Parker, Bob Harwin, Adrian Bonelle and Brian Haggar, with Bob Prigg behind the camera.
Above: Cove Halt on the former GWR Exe Valley line from Exeter to Dulverton via Tiverton. The crossing keeper's house is now a private residence, which comes with the signalbox – still in good condition and still in its original position. Photographed in August 2004. (Ivor Sutton)
Above: We rarely, if ever, superimpose anything on our pictures but made an exception here so that visitors to our site can make sense of this image – the arrow indicates the ramp at the end of Cove Halt. Who would know nowadays? The pagoda style passenger shelter which once stood on the platform can be seen nowadays at Doniford Halt on the West Somerset Railway, having been rescued from a nearby field where it had been used as a stable. The line through this quiet rural area between Tiverton and Bampton closed in October 1963. Photographed in August 2004. (Ivor Sutton) Additional information for caption by Rob Lindley.
Above: Just north of Cove Halt, the Exe Valley branch crossed the river which provided its name. The rust and vegetation on the bridge reveal that it is many years since a train passed this way, but this scene still retains the essence of a Devon railway byway and it is not difficult to imagine a GWR pannier tank and auto-coach rattling over the girders. Visitors to the area should respect the fact that the bridge is on private land. Photographed in August 2004. (Ivor Sutton)