In March 2017, several large planters and two smaller pots were installed on Platform 1 by a group of volunteers. These planters now need to be renewed. The Friends can apply to South Western Railway, the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership and the Community Rail Network for funding to buy plants and materials.
However, we are urgently seeking a project co-ordinator and a team of volunteers to move this project forward.
Longer-term, the planting scheme could be expanded to the station forecourt and to platform 2.
Railway Line Improvements
The Friends of Honiton Station are working with our colleagues in the Salisbury to Exeter Rail Users’ Group, to campaign for improvements to the rail service.
We are seeking:
- An additional morning rush hour train from Honiton to Exeter at around 08.15;
- Additional carriages on key trains, including the 17.25 from Exeter;
- And above all, we are campaigning for sections of double track between Honiton and Exeter to be reinstated, so that two trains an hour in each direction can run between these stations.
In early 2020, South Western Railway installed on our behalf a new noticeboard next to the ticket machines. This is to be used as a community noticeboard, and is maintained by a member of the Friends. Community groups running events, or wishing to pass on important messages to the community, can leave a notice no bigger than A4 at the Town Council Offices at the Beehive. These posters will then be collected by a volunteer for display on the noticeboard.
At present, this service is suspended due to the pandemic.
Future Plans for Our Line
Network Rail recently published proposals from the West of England Line Strategy Group for the future of the line. These include:
- Re-instating the double track for 3km from Honiton Station towards Feniton;
- A 6km section of double track from Whimple to near the M5 bridge outside Pinhoe;
- A second platform at Cranbrook Station;
- An extension to the existing loop at Tisbury, near Salisbury.
Later phases of work would see an extension of the double track section at Yeovil Junction, and an extension of the loops at Axminster and Gillingham.
We intend to campaign strongly in support of these proposals.
In early 2020, a new large display board and bookcase were installed for us by South Western Railway in the station waiting room.
The bookcase is to be used to start a community book swap scheme. Travellers can pick up a book to enjoy on their journey. Once the scheme is in operation, people will be able to make donations of suitable books directly to the station.
This service is presently suspended due to the pandemic.
The new display board is to be used for small community exhibitions. The first display is an exhibition of photographs telling the history of Honiton Station, to coincide with the 160th anniversary of the opening of the railway through the town in 1860.
An illustrated commemorative booklet on the history of the station is available from the Allhallows Museum shop on Tuesdays and Saturdays until Christmas. The booklets are free. The shop is open between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.