The Lynton & Barnstaple opened in 1898 as a 2 foot gauge line of some 19 miles close to Exmoor in North Devon. It was built to higher standards than many similar lines at the time, with impressive station buildings, goods facilities, excellent passenger carriages and even main line style signalling.
In 1922 the railway became part of the Southern Railway but was not a success closing in September 1935.
An Association was formed in 1979 with the idea of reopening as much of the railway as possible; and a short section of line has now been reopened to passengers from a base at Woody Bay. Alongside this replica carriages approach completion, some goods stock has been restored and projects are progressing to build replica locos.
A number of key parcels of land have been purchased for the railway – after closure the trackbed is now owned by a considerable number of farmers and citizens The railway plans to open nine miles of track, linking Lynton, where the station would be sited closer to the town on an extension to the original route, and a new station at Wistlandpound Reservoir. Here the trackbed us flooded by the reservoir and an expensive deviation would be required.
Recently a replica Manning Wardle loco has been built at Boston Lodge, named Lyd and now runs in Southern livery (it is seen opposite on the WHR in simple black for its traditional running in turns), on the ffestiniog and welsh highland. I plan to create a model of Lyd for Rhyd Ddu in time and some work has been started on the backwoods miniatures kit.