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Devon Group March Rail Trip to Totnes

On Wednesday 29th March several L&B members met up to travel to Totnes for ride on the South Devon Railway.

This line closed to all traffic on 7 September 1962 and was re-opened again as the Dart Valley Railway, a preserved steam line, on 5 April 1969. The South Devon Railway Trust took over the running of the line on 1 January 1991.


1. On arrival at Totnes Riverside, the group were bemused to find this works train in the way. After a short shunt the Class 09 shunter cleared the wagons from the platform line and waited for the passenger arrival.

2. So the group had a rare chance to pose by the 09 D3721.

3. BR black liveried pannier tank 1369 had brought the train to the home signal, and then ran into part of the loop which was not being worked on.

4. D3721 then hauled the train into the platform at Totnes Riverside.


5. The group enjoying their ride on the South Devon Railway.


6. Lunch for everyone was in the spacious café at Buckfastleigh.

7. It was rare alcohol-free lunch on this trip, so organiser Nigel Thompson enjoyed a nice cuppa with his scampi and chips. Not to worry drinkers: the return journey included pub stops for some welcome real ale at both Exeter and Newton Abbot!


8. At Buckfastleigh the South Devon Garden Railway was operating today. Appropriately a 16mm scale LYN was steamed for the benefit of the L&B visitors.

9. LYN passes by watched by ‘near namesake’ Lindsay Palmer.

10. Another L&BR link here. This is a restored ex RGB of Barnstaple works trolley ex of Pilton works. RGB donated several of these wagons (1’10” gauge) to the L&B last year. This one has been restored and displayed on some rail and provides a useful seat for visitors to watch the garden railway.

11. Several other model locos were prepared for a run. Trust member David Mead had travelled from Hampshire especially to join the group for the day and enjoyed the opportunity to photograph these models in action.


12. L&BR volunteer carriage painter Barrie Cann spotted the viewing window into the SDR’s carriage and wagon shop and was impressed with their facilities. Soon have similar at Blackmoor Barrie. 


We then took the train back to Totnes with haulage by Pannier tank No.1369 and briefly D3721 from the home signal.

Cross Country HST to Newton Abbot for drinks at The Railway, then an hour later back to Exeter for another quick pint at GW Hotel, in time for the 18.00 train back to Barnstaple.


Next trip Wednesday 3rd May Torbay area, or Shaldon by ferry.  Other ideas welcome contact: Nigel Thompson

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