This August Bank Holiday, come to the South Devon Railway for a feast of steam and diesel trains – and our famous beer and cider festival too!
We’ll be running trains all day with departures from each end of the line (Buckfastleigh and Totnes) at frequent intervals throughout the day.
At Buckfastleigh, our London Transport Routemaster bus will be running trips to Buckfast Abbey and along to Ashburton, the original terminus of our line, the garden railway and all our usual attractions, from the museum to the gardens and gift shop, will be open.
At Staverton, our midway point on the line, the beer and cider festival will be in full swing from 11.0am until late (6pm on Monday), offering a great selection of different ales, craft beers and ciders to enjoy from Devon Diesel Society’s award-winning bar.
In addition, there will be:
– a barbecue on Friday & Saturday evening
– buffet car serving a variety of hot and cold foods and soft drinks
– a ‘just for fun’ quiz on Sunday evening.
Check out the timetables
We are pleased to say L92 is back in traffic as of today, so the normal two-steam train service will run tomorrow.
Thank you to everyone who has worked hard to bring L92 back into use.
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
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.
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 It was withdrawn from its final shed, Yeovil, in October 1964 and sold to John Cashmore Ltd as scrap, but immediately re-sold to the Dart Valley Railway as a source of spares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.
We all look forward to greeting 6430 next year!
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.)
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
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
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………………………!
A huge THANK YOU to all our passengers, staff and Cadets who have visited the South Devon Railway over the last three days, and made our Day out with Thomas weekend so FANTASTIC!
We look forward to seeing you all again soon!