Easter egg hunt and a visiting loco in the line up for Easter

A special heritage gala will take place over all four days of the Easter weekend following the railway theme: “Delivering the Goods” which aims to show off the different types of goods trains and passenger services once common on the railway network in a bygone era.

The star attraction for this event will be the first appearance on the line of special visiting steam engine in the form of Ivatt Mogul 2-6-0 No. 46521 whose nickname is ‘Mickey Mouse’.

This engine had a starring role as Blossom in the 1990’s BBC sitcom “Oh, Dr Beeching”, and is coming from the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire and due to stay on the SDR until June.

But mystery seems to shroud the origin of the odd ‘Mickey Mouse’ nickname for both the Ivatt and British Railways Standard Class 2 engines. 

One suggestion is that it was only ever applied to the tank version of the engines and a slightly less than complimentary reference to the fact that the Ivatt design was virtually a previous Stanier one, but with modifications and not the genuine article, so a 'Mickey Mouse' imitation version. 

Another more fanciful suggestion is that the engines were paired with quite large tenders which, when the whole engine was viewed front on, made it look rather like it had a large pair of ears and so out of scale to the loco!

So, the SDR is asking people to try and answer this conundrum about the ‘Mickey Mouse’ nickname via social media websites and its websites! If anyone does really know the answer to the origin of the nickname, then the SDR would love to hear from them.

Working alongside the Ivatt Mickey Mouse at Easter will be unique Collett Goods steam locos No. 3205 and London Transport liveried pannier tank No. L.92 from the SDR home steam fleet. But diesels are not forgotten and will be represented by Sulzer Bo-Bo Class 25 D7612 and new arrival Class 37 No. D6975.

There will be an hourly passenger service throughout the day, with many goods, milk, parcels and ballast trains slotted in between which will provide lots of interesting visual entertainment. 

These freight trains will mostly operate on the Buckfastleigh to Staverton section, although there will be an early goods running through to Totnes each morning.

And there will be plenty of shunting demonstrations too with station pilot locos provided at Buckfastleigh with Class 09 D3721 and at Staverton with Class 04 D2246

Diesel loco D3721 will also unusually spend the weekend coupled to our genuine GWR shunters ‘chariot’ just to show what railway work for shunters was like over 60 years ago. And the SDR’s Expressway Models shop is selling 00 gauge models of a similar vehicle over the weekend. 

To tie in with the “delivering the goods” theme, there will also be number of engine and brake van workings on the Staverton to Totnes section each day. These will be steam hauled and use one of the former GWR "Toad" brake vans. 

Only a limited number of passenger places will be available on these brake van services which will give visitors the rare chance to sample to railway from a new vantage point.

All the other normal SDR attractions will be open at Buckfastleigh, such as the large Refreshment Rooms, ‘Bridge View’ kiosk, well stocked gardens, riverside walk, museum, plus the miniature and garden railways and, on Sunday and Monday, there will also be a large display of vintage road vehicles around the site. 

The SDR's former London Transport double-deck Routemaster bus will also be in operation (except on Saturday), and for the younger generation there will be an Easter Egg Hunt. 


Public timetable 

Working timetable  

10th April 2014 

46521.JPGIvatt 2-6-0 No 46521 will be visiting us this Easter from the Great Central Railway. Photo: Andy Matthews.

800px-46521_at_Loughborough_(3).jpgIvatt 2-6-0 46521 at Loughborough; original image by Tony Hisgett .  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence.

3205 neil cave 300px.jpgGWR 3205 from the home fleet. Photo: Neil Cave.