Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 05, 2016
Webpage updated: July 03, 2020

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As from Thursday January 1st 1948 the railways of Great Britain were nationalized under the British Transport Commission and the Railway Executive, trading as, and much better known as, British Railways. 

The lines of the former Great Western Railway Company became the Western Region and those of the former Southern Railway Company became the Southern Region.  British Railways Western Region also operated the Saltash Suburban Service.

Both Regions adopted their original colour schemes as their "corporate colours" for their carriages: chocolate brown for the Western Region and malachite green for the Southern.  A new series of station name boards in a lozenge shape, each with its Regions colours, were produced to adorn stations.  Carriages remained green on the Southern Region, although a darker shade was later adopted, but changed completely on the Western over the years from chocolate and cream to British Railways corporate colour of plain maroon.

However, on and from Sunday April 2nd 1950 all the Southern Region's lines west of Exeter were passed over to the Western Region but the management and control of them remained with the staff at Exeter Queen Street Station and at Exmouth Junction Motive Power depot.  The lines in the Plymouth area remained with the Western Region when the other Southern lines west of Exeter were handed back to the Southern Region on Saturday February 1st 1958, prior to closing them all down.

As far as the former Borough of Devonport's territory was concerned, British Railways closed to passenger the former Southern Railway Company's main line between Saint Budeaux Victoria Road and Devonport Junction on or as from September 7th 1964 and Gunnislake Station  to Callington Station on the Callington Branch on or as from November 7th 1966.  The Stonehouse Pool Branch ceased to be used in 1966 also.  This was followed by the closure of the old main line between Lydford Station and Bere Alston Station on or as from May 6th 1968.  On that day both Old Devonport and Old Plymouth lost their second route to Exeter and London.