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Devon Group Rail trip to Bere Ferrers

On Wednesday 18th September, 8 L&B Devon Group Trust members travelled by rail to Bere Ferrers Tamar Belle Railway Museum. Purchasing the excellent value Devon Day Ranger ticket (£6.60) we departed Barnstaple at 08:43, collecting Dave Payne-Hilton at Exeter. Then on to Newton Abbot for a quick trip to Paignton and back. Next a FGW HST to Plymouth in time for the Gunnislake branch departure at 12:54.

1. The group pose on the platform at Plymouth before their connection to Gunnislake.

2. Alighting first at Bere Ferrers, we were given a brief introduction by the owner, Chris Groves who had provided us with a pre-arranged buffet in the Mk 1 buffet car.

3. Enjoying the beer and buffet.

4. Later we were treated to rides and driving up and down the short demonstration siding line with the ex MoD Hunslet 'Lord St Leven' and a 1920s carriage.

5. Looking out from the carriage end as we approached the end of the line.

6. We all took turns to 'drive' the locomotive. Your reporter Nigel Thompson enjoys his go on the throttle.

7. Next was a visit to the signal box originally from Pinhoe in Exeter. Chris explains the sequence of signalling a train from Exeter Central onto the single line there.

8. Martin Williams has a go with the levers during the signalling sequence.

9. The signal box is on the platform at Bere Ferrers as the next Gunnislake train approaches.

10. At Gunnislake with the branch train FGW Sprinter 150104.

11. Not so busy with this afternoon departure, so the group spread out to enjoy the window views on this scenic branch line.

12. Back at Exeter, there was time for the customary pub visit to the Wetherspoons Imperial.

All L& B Trust members are welcome to join us on these South West based rail days out. The next local trip around Devon is scheduled for Wed 9 October to include at least a ride on the South Devon Railway. Then Wednesday 13 November (TBA) and Wednesday 18 December (for a Christmas lunch somewhere in Devon) Contact Nigel Thompson for further details.


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