Altered workings tomorrow (Friday)

Tomorrow’s beer festival evening trips will be steam-auto-operated instead of the booked DMU. That’s the 7.40, 9.05 and 10.20 from Buckfastleigh, and the 8.20, 9.40 and 10.50 from Totnes.

The 6.45 from Buckfastleigh and 7.40 from Totnes will be DMU-worked instead of steam auto.

Fun and games

Spitfire attending 1940s Festival – 7 & 8 July

HOT OFF THE PRESS!

1940s Festival (7 & 8 July)

We are pleased to announce that a full size replica Spitfire will be attending our ‘South Devon 1940s Festival’ on the 7 & 8 July!

The Spitfire is modelled on EN398 which was the Personal Aircraft of British Flying Ace W/Cdr Johnny Johnson D.F.C. It has a complete original cockpit and a working WWII Rolls Royce engine which you will be able to hear start up at regular intervals throughout the event.

Pre book your tickets for this event.

First Visiting Locomotive of 2019 Golden Anniversary Gala Announced

We are delighted to announce, thanks to our friends at the Llangollen Railway, that 6430 is the first confirmed visiting locomotive for the Golden Anniversary Steam Gala, 6-14 April 2019!


Above: 6412 hauls 6430 across Exeter West Junction on their way to the Dart Valley Railway in June 1966.

* * *

6430 was built at Swindon in 1937 and spent most of its working life in South Wales. It was withdrawn from its final shed, Yeovil, in October 1964 and sold to John Cashmore Ltd as scrap, but immediately re-sold to the Dart Valley Railway as a source of spares for 6412 and 6435. It was towed to Buckfastleigh by 6412 in June 1966.

Throughout much of its time on the Dart Valley Railway, 6430 was out of sight, painted in red oxide primer, which turned progressively more pink with age and wear. Eventually, with no hope of her being restored, she was put up for sale. It was bought in 1990 and spent some time undergoing restoration at Long Marston MOD depot, along with 5199, before moving to Llangollen in 1996.

The loco had unfortunately lost many parts to other engines. Repairs to its cracked cylinder blocks were tackled by the SVR during 1996, and new pannier tanks were fabricated and fitted at Llangollen. Manufacture of new axleboxes and re-wheeling took place in April 1998. New motion parts, coupling and connecting rods were cast and machined to size, whilst other parts were found elsewhere and purchased. A major problem was the badly corroded state of the boiler, which necessitated a completely new boiler barrel being made and fitted to the existing smokebox and firebox.

6430 first moved under its own steam came in December 2003. Work to finish of the locomotive continued, and it undertook a successful trial run along the whole length of the Llangollen Railway in February 2004.

Source: https://preservedbritishsteamlocomotives.com/6430-2/

We all look forward to greeting 6430 next year!

A Right Royal Train Ride

Local people and holiday visitors alike are being encouraged to take their own “Royal” low-cost steam train ride with the South Devon Railway (SDR) this coming week on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 May and help celebrate the nation’s forthcoming Royal Wedding with a discounted railtrip along the beautiful Dart Valley, which itself has its very own private and secret wartime connection with the Royal Family (see below).

On Friday 18th May, which will be Prince Harry’s last day as a single man, visitors can travel on the scenic, seven-mile line between Buckfastleigh and Totnes all day for the price of just a SINGLE ticket.

And on Saturday 19th May for the actual Royal Wedding day, visitors can have two tickets for the price of just one. The offer only applies to full price round trip fares. And, if the two tickets chosen are not the same price, you pay for the most expensive one and get the cheaper one free e.g. an adult and a child will travel for £15 which is the adult fare, so the child goes free.

The offer is available on line, or on-the-day at our booking offices.

(There are no further reductions on already discounted fares, such as Family and joint tickets with the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm and Dartmoor Otters & Buckfast Butterflies.)

THE SOUTH DEVON RAILWAY’S ‘ROYAL MILE’ – A CONNECTION WITH THE PAST!

Between the South Devon Railway’s (SDR) Staverton and Totnes Riverside stations, the river Dart runs very close to the scenic line as the line enters a series of bends.

At one point is a shallow cutting and it is here that, during the last war (World War II), an air raid shelter was dug into the embankment on the left hand side, close to a place now called Woodville by railway folk.

This out-of-the-way shelter was there to protect His Majesty King George VI on his visits to the West Country.

The lower part of the secluded SDR branch line, connected at Totnes to one of the two main rail routes to the West, was an ideal place to hide a train secretly and quietly, being hardly overlooked at all.

So, it was used to stable the Royal Train overnight so that the Royal passengers could then get a peaceful night’s sleep but, in case of a German air raid attack, precautionary measures were taken, such as building the shelter.

Thankfully, they were never used but, on a visit in 1941, the King missed a major air raid in nearby Plymouth by a mere 24 hours. It’s also believed that General Eisenhower’s private train was stabled down there prior to D-Day.

The line is very close indeed to the River Dart, so it is bounded by water on one side and a steep rock cliff
topped by a wood, known to the locals as Parsonage Wood.

On the opposite bank can be seen the grounds of Dartington Hall whose buildings might just be seen amongst the trees.

After passing an old platelayers’ hut and a private waterworks road crossing, the next mile of track is quite straight and is well known as the ‘Royal Mile’ because it was also used as the peacetime stabling point for the Royal Train’s overnight stops when the Royal family were either visiting the area or the nearby Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth!

And, the SDR is hosting another popular show over the May Bank Holiday weekend with its Spring Beer Festival event.

Diesel Service this Saturday


Our public trains this Saturday 12 May will be hauled by a heritage diesel locomotive. Steam locomotive 6412 will be in operation on other services. (This is due to a mechanical problem with L92.)

SDRA AGM Location Error


The SDRA AGM is incorrectly shown in Bulliver as taking place in Buckfastleigh Town Hall, whereas in the AGM booklet it is correctly shown as taking place in the Buckfastleigh Station Refreshment Room at 7.30pm on Saturday 2nd June.

The AGM booklet is correct

Many thanks.

Miniature Railway – Most Successful Event in Recent Years

Hello All

After several requests I have spent some time working out our figures for Thomas 2018.

It would appear that it was our most successful of recent years. Both locomotives ran faultlessly during the weekend and despite a couple of issues everything went to plan and there was lots of happy passengers who now want to come back again.

We also ran the 2 trains in opposite directions with Pheonix running the ‘wrong way’ on 2 coaches, which was received with much amusement and the passengers appeared to like it especially at the North End during the token exchange and the occasional exchange of tea at the station.

The figures are as follows:
Saturdays Passengers 630
Sunday 731
Monday 626
That’s a total of 1,987 passengers over the weekend.

As for what the locos did several miles as follows
Saturday Otter did 36 Laps Pheonix did 29 Laps
Sunday Otter did 36 Laps Pheonix did 34 Laps
Monday Otter did 28 Laps Pheonix did 30 Laps

That’s a total of 97 Miles between them not bad for the two little engines to perform faultlessly.

I would also like to thank all of the staff that helped this weekend it was an excellent weekend, the team also handled the 2 slight issues professionally and correctly.

Thanks to you all again but I may take next weekend off and give Pheonix a break too………………………!

Thanks
Kelvin