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!
The May Loco Roster is out now:
A grand reunion for everyone who has worked on the Ashburton Branch, at any point in its history, is being held at Buckfastleigh on Saturday 13 April 2019!
If you have worked as a volunteer or employee of any of the South Devon Railway companies or associated groups, the Dart Valley Railway, British Railways, or even the GWR, and you worked on or in connection with this branch at any time, you are invited to our reunion and we would love to see you there!
The reunion is being held during our golden anniversary steam gala, which promises a lot of steam locomotives, including some ‘old friends’ from the history of the line.
You can catch up with former friends and colleagues and see how the branch has developed and progressed in preservation.
There will be DISPLAYS and artefacts relating to the the Ashburton Branch and its history.
You can then take a special REUNION TRAIN TRIP to Totnes and back to re-acquaint yourself with the line.
There will then be a HOG ROAST and a BAR at Buckfastleigh in the evening, followed by some light entertainment.
The event opens at 1pm, with the special train running at approximately 4pm, returning at approximately 5.30pm, with the hog roast starting at approximately 6pm (exact times TBA with the railway timetable is finalised). The bar will be open all day.
Up to three members of your family or guests are also welcome to accompany you.
There is no fee to attend this reunion event, but donations will be gratefully received at the hog roast. Attendees may ride the special reunion train for free, as a thank you for all your help in the operation of the branch over the years. (If you wish to ride on other trains during the day you will need to purchase a ticket at the prevailing rate.)
Attendees are asked to pre-register in order to enable us to plan appropriate food, trains, etc, by one of the following methods:
– emailing us
– by Facebook message
– by telephoning us on 01364 644 370
Please include your telephone number, email address, and how many people you will be brining.
We look forward to seeing you there!
As you will shortly see, two carriages will be arriving at Buckfastleigh shortly from the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway.
One of these will be with us for the 2018 season, and one will be with us for Thomas weekend.
We are very grateful to the P&DSR for the loan of these coaches and for continuing to work together with us.
Also arriving in the next few days will be the Rev Awdry’s classic Thomas the Tank Engine!
The SDR is looking forward to hosting its diesel gala this November (2nd-4th November 2018), and is delighted to announce a SECOND diesel gala into the programme!
The SDR Golden Anniversary Diesel Gala will be held on 19-21 July 2019.
This is a great opportunity for SDR Diesel Galas as it has been experimentally moved to a summer date!
Watch this space for more details as they become available!
We are delighted to announce that the Golden Anniversary Steam Gala will be held on 6-14 April 2019.
SDR staff are coming up with a lot of fantastic ideas for how this should operate, and it is really great that the programme is being driven by the volunteer community!
There promises to be lots of engines, lots of trains and lots of quirks!
More news soon…
Welcome to the South Devon Railway 1940s Weekend!
The festival has been held at Buckfastleigh Station for many years. The show has grown and developed greatly and now boasts a large amount of displays, vehicles, trade stands, entertainment and atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else!
The Devon Area Military Vehicle Trust (MVT) will once again be building camp in the grounds of Buckfastleigh Station. There will be around 50 military vehicles including lorries, Jeeps and motorbikes for you to look over for the duration of the weekend. Quality trade stands of both Military and Civilian clothing and curios will provide you with the chance to acquire a lasting memento of your day.
Civilian vehicles will be represented with a small display beside the military camp. Cars and Lorries were often commandeered for the war effort and were used for the Home Guard and other groups assisting the needs of the country. Modifications such as headlamp shrouds and white lines being painted on the wings were carried out, with no consideration to the vehicles prestige or value, for the purposes of blackouts during an air-raid.
Formed by historic military vehicle enthusiasts, the MVT has grown into one of the largest military vehicle preservation groups in existence with branches worldwide and a membership of thousands.
The Devon Area has members who share the aims of the Trust which was established for the purpose of restoring and preserving military vehicles of historical interest and the preservation of books, drawings, records, documents, sound and visual recordings, films, photographs and other media and ephemera relating to such vehicles, their history and development, and promoting and encouraging the same aim in others.
Staverton Bridge – US Army Camp
Alight at Staverton and visit the U.S. troops that have set up their temporary Training Camp alongside the station. This camp is being used to train the troops for what could be expected at Normandy, soon to be known as “D-Day”.
Make sure you pay attention as the troops will be on hand to explain the requirements of an assault course and give instructions on detecting mines.
A small selection of vehicles have been made available to the camp for training purposes but troops are having to rely on train services for the provision of supplies.
Food, Drink & Entertainment
Refreshments are available at all of our stations and even on some of our trains! Why not try some of the local produce on offer or even take home some Devon fudge as a memento of your day.
A Bar is available by the Entertainment Marquee, as well as on some of our trains, and will be serving a selection of Beers, Ciders and Wine.
Our Entertainment Marquee will be home to quality live performances throughout the day where you can sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of the fabulous forties.
Music was often used during the war to provide a morale-boosting atmosphere at times of dismay and hardship. Therefore, tunes were generally very memorable and upbeat so as to encourage mass sing-alongs and camaraderie.
This timetable can also be downloaded as a PDF.
Entry to the 1940s Festival is free to those who have purchased a ticket to travel on the South Devon Railway for that day. There is a fee, payable on the day, of £5 per Adult and £3 per child for those wishing to visit the festival field only.
Tickets for the South Devon Railway entitle you to all day travel on any of our trains and includes entry to the festival. They will be available to purchase on the day or you can buy them in advance here.
Sample of fares:
Senior Citizen (65 and over) £14.00
Child £9.00 (3 years – 15 years)
Children under 3 – FREE)
Family £43.00 (two adults and two children)
Joint fares are also available with the Rare Breeds Farm at Totnes and Dartmoor Otters & Buckfast Butterflies at Buckfastleigh.
Full details of fares.