Devonport Park & Ford tunnels

Devonport Park & Ford tunnels

The Plymouth, Devonport & South Western Junction Railway was incorporated by an Act of Parliament in August 1883, with work on the 22½-mile route from Lydford to Devonport starting in March 1887. At its northern end it ran alongside the Launceston & South Devon’s line, dating from 1865.

The PD&SWJ made a junction with the London & South Western Railway at Devonport, creating a through route eastwards. On its approach it passed through two tunnels – Ford (373 yards) and Devonport Park (530 yards). These were separated by a deep cutting in which Albert Road Halt would eventually be built. This though was 16 years away when the first trains ran on 2nd June 1890.

A stone’s throw from King’s Road Station was the attractive masonry entrance to Devonport Park Tunnel which faces south-east. Like Ford, it was built for two tracks. The tunnel has stone sidewalls with a brick arch, and curves to the north. Today the Up side of the structure houses a buried sewer pipe. Generously sized refuges are provided throughout.

The shorter Ford Tunnel runs beneath Victoria Place for much of its length. It is lined entirely in stone but features brick sections at both ends. The northern portal is also brick. Beyond it, the approach cutting has been infilled to accommodate blocks of flats.

December 2010