Timbentown West, also known as Timbentown Junction, is a seaside town on Berk's west coast based on both sides of the River Arle Estuary. The town is served by both the Southern and Timbentown railways.
History and Workings
Timbentown is an ancient port. As its name implies it was a burgh or fortified town at the mouth of the River Arle. Situated opposite Goushi on the Isle of Man, it is likewise a deep water harbour formed by the same geological rift. It was probably stockaded first by King Godred MacHarold. King Godred Crovan strengthened it as a base for his first and unsuccessful takeover attempt on the Isle of Man in 1075.
Timbentown has withstood many sieges, not always successfully, but the town has generally held out long enough to enable second lines of defence at Gob-y-Deighan (Devil’s mouth), and Ulfstead to be put in a state of readiness to repel unwanted visitors. Following the Island’s acceptance of Henry IV in 1404, Timbertown’s defences were no longer needed, and fell into disrepair. Very little now remains.
The place has always been a port, and had a period of high prosperity in the 18th Century when mining began in Timbertown. This rose to a peak from 1880 to 1930 when Timbentown was a recognised calling place for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s steamers from Goushi and Ramsey. The Mid Berk Railway, operated a boat train service in connection with the steamers. The town became the port for the inland Peel Godred
The Southern Railway built a branch line from Bio Tidmouth to here in 1916, it was initially intended to reach Harwick but this was dropped when the Admiralty found the line to Timbentown sufficient. The extension was again considered during the 1940s, but again was dropped. A naval base was established at Timbentown during the First World War.
The steamer service ended when the Mid Berk closed its passenger service in 1936, and when the last mine in the valley closed in 1947, the port fell into sad decay. Revival began in 1965/66 when the SR decided to use the port as a supplement to Bio Tidmouth. They relaid the harbour extension, built new jetties, and installed up to date dockside equipment. The 15” gauge Timbertown Railway, opened in 1967, does not generate much port traffic, as the ballast it carries is taken away by rail, but it does bring visitors and therefore trade to an interesting old town which is a useful starting point for the exploration of a very lovely valley.
The Timbertown Railway also has their own steam engine shed, diesel engine shed, carriage shed, turntable and yard at the station. It had a single platform on the south at first, but it has been supplemented by another on the north side of the station. A wall behind its whole length was erected together with a platform canopy giving much needed shelter in blustery weather. There is also a cabin that not only houses the point and signal levers controlling all movements in the station area, but is also used for traffic control and holds the radio transceiving apparatus necessary for this purpose.
Stoick the Vast had decided to extend to the Southern Railway to Harwick with a branch line starting at Timbertown West. Brody was assigned to look after the goods traffic, whilst Daisy took care of the passengers.
- Small Railway Engines - Ballast, Tit for Tat, Mike's Whistle and Useful Railway
- Oliver the Western Engine - Resource and Sagacity, Toad Stands By and Bulgy
- Jock the New Engine - We Need Another Engine, Jock and Teamwork
- Its Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway counterpart is Ravenglass Station.
- Wooden Railway (signal gantry; Pirate Cove Discovery set-exclusive)