While the South Devon Railway (SDR) is working on its winter maintenance schedule further down the line, the steam railway is putting on a family-centred steam open day event at its Buckfastleigh station for this February half term – including the chance for grown-ups to drive a real steam engine!
The extensive site at Buckfastleigh station, just off the A38, will be open every day between 11th and 26th February, except Mondays and Fridays, with entrance to the station grounds free.
South Devon Railway general manager, Ernest Elsworth-Wilson, said: “We’ve got loads for people to see and have a really enjoyable time finding about what we do and what we have on the railway. Our shop and café as well as the whole site and gardens will be open to explore.”
Attractions include a chance to ride in real goods train guards van, enjoy a Devon cream tea in one of the line’s historic coaches, pull the levers in the original Buckfastleigh signal box, step inside the cab and see the controls of a main line diesel locomotive and there are even a limited number of tickets to drive a genuine Great Western steam engine.
In addition, visitors can walk around the extensive gardens and see inside the railway museum where ‘Ashley’, the small tank engine from Exeter Gas Works, and ‘Tiny’, the only surviving locomotive built to Brunel’s broad gauge, are the star exhibits.