South Devon Railway Museum
The South Devon Railway Museum can be found in the former goods shed at Buckfastleigh station.
Although established many years ago in the early days of heritage operation of the line, extensive refurbishment started at the end of 2009. Part has been closed while new displays and artefacts have been prepared, whilst the infrastructure has been greatly improved. All parts open to the public are now fully accessible, while lighting and information are much better.
The aim of the museum is to present a picture of the Ashburton branch throughout its life. This takes it from the very first appearance of the railway in South Devon, through the broad gauge era, the Great Western and British Railways through to the heritage era of the Dart Valley Railway and South Devon Railway. The story is told through a wide range of artefacts, including photographs, posters and timetables. The only surviving broad gauge locomotive – Tiny – takes pride of place, while 0-4-0 Peckett Ashley, which spent its working life at Exeter Gas Works, shows children of all ages how a steam engine works. Track and signalling are not forgotten, and as time goes on more and more of the museum will become interactive.
There is also a fascinating display of pictures of the construction of the original South Devon Railway main line.
The South Devon Railway Museum can help provide a great day out for visiting schools and other groups, as well as being a fascinating place to find out about the history of local railways and part they played in their communities. It is open throughout the year – do drop in and see us..
The South Devon Railway Museum, featuring Ashley (left) and Tiny.
Ashley gives visitors a chance to see how a steam locomotive works. Both photos: Sarah Anne Harvey.
The museum holds a series of meetings during the close season on a variety of railway subjects. All are very welcome.
Follow the link to Devon Museums.