West Bay Discovery Centre, West Bay, Bridport, DT6 4EN.

Closure of passenger service

Published by Editor on

On 22nd September 1930, the passenger service to West Bay was quietly withdrawn- just a few notices were pinned up and the weekly timetable in the Bridport News amended to no longer showing stops at East Street Station and West Bay.

This was such a contrast to the joyous open day 46 years previously on 31st March 1884 when a great number of passengers travelled down on the first train to West Bay from Bridport at 7.32 am. Overall, 5,100 first day tickets were issued including 1,100 Sunday very excitable school children who were each given a bun and an orange. The children were however bitterly disappointed that due to the wet weather they were not allowed out of the train, which promptly returned to Bridport. There was grand public luncheon and later a band entertained the people in a field near the station. Obstacle races, bucket-of-water races and climbing the greasy pole were well contested and confectionery vendors set up nearby. Ships in the harbour were bedecked with flags and evening bonfires were lit on the cliffs.

Sadly the grand plans to bring holidaymakers and day-trippers to West Bay were thwarted by competition from new motor buses. The freight service continued, the Second World War bringing extra business. Shingle was taken from the beach at West Bay for use in airfield construction and trainloads of nets were dispatched to the military.
Eventually only one train a week ran, and the West Bay line was finally closed to freight traffic on 3rd December 1962 and in 1965 the rails were finally removed.

Today all that remains is West Bay station and a goods carriage which have been converted into the excellent Station Kitchen and a pleasant walk or cycle ride along the old railway route to Bridport.


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