At the Lynton & Barnstable railway company’s board meeting on 15th June, it was agreed to commence public operations at the L&B’s Woody Bay Station on 18th April 2003. Visitors to this legendary narrow gauge railway will be able to ride down the line on a specially constructed works train, as far as bridge 67 (currently under construction). This will allow the paying public to ride on the L&B trackbed for the first time in nearly 70 years, and to savour the atmosphere of this exciting reconstruction project. The station at Woody Bay will be opened as a visitor centre, which will also include a shop, toilets and the newly constructed car park. It has also been agreed that a celebratory special event will be held on Sunday 11th May 2003 to mark the 105th Anniversary of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway opening. The gauge will be 2ft. Meanwhile, further down the old L&B line, an application for planning permission has been submitted to develop a private members-only railway at Chelfam station. This line, approximately 320 meters in length would run on company land in and around Chelfam Station area for L&B Railway Company and Trust members only who would operate the line. This work is to be solely financed by the Friends of Chelfam who plan to restore this picturesque L&B station back to its original condition. Volunteer labour will be used only if there is no suitable work at the Woody Bay station project. A drive a steam engine event was held on the evenings of the 26th and 27th June, when 25 guest drivers each had a go at driving both the steam loco ‘Brookfield’ and the diesel shunter. Over the two days, the locomotives notched up around 40 miles and raised about £150 towards the major ‘L&B track laying’ fund raising appeal.
Tracklaying at the Woody Bay station site started in June with the first 2ft gauge track being laid on the L&B trackbed since its closure in 1935. Over 60 meters of 40lb rail was put in on the transhipment siding, followed laying of the siding in the car park for works trains. Work on laying track on the ‘mainline’ towards Parracombe took place over the L&B’s Track Week 17th to 25th August.