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Work in Progress - Thursday 20th November


L & B Volunteers lay track at Torrington Station

 On Thursday 20th November several L & B volunteers took a break from the outdoor work at Woody Bay to assist the new Tarka Valley Railway Group at Torrington Station on the Tarka Trail (old railway line from Barnstaple to Meeth). At Torrington the group is proposing to reinstate some of the original track layout through the station towards Bideford and with future plans to open to the public offering train rides providing scenic views of the adjacent river Torridge.

 L & B volunteers laying track at Torrington Station    

L & B volunteers laying track at Torrington Station  

With assistance from a friendly local contractor with a mini-digger, the trackbed was dug out to the required depth. Sleepers were brought in alongside and finally the rails lifted into place. During the day two 45 foot length panels were laid and connected up to the exisiting track in the platform. It was the first time many of the L & B volunteers had laid standard gauge track anywhere and with the considerable weight and size difference involved, we were all grateful for the free lunch and tea laid on for our efforts by Phil and Carol Simkin of the Puffing Billy public house (former Torrington Station).

Other members of the Tarka Valley Railway Group are busy restoring the rolling stock on site such as a China Clay Hood wagon, a brake van, the SR Mk 1 coach and the small Fowler diesel locomotive (ex Marland clay works). The station, track and rolling stock can all be viewed from the Tarka Trail walking and cycling route. Inside the Puffing Billy pub and restaurant an interesting collection of photographs and other railway memorabilia reminds visitors of the railways past at Torrington. For membership and further information contact Phil Simkin, TVRG, Torrington station, Station Hill, Great Torrington, Devon EX38 8JD.

 L&B volunteers pack up tools after laying two panels of track at Torrington

  L&B volunteers pack up tools after laying two panels of track at Torrington

North Devon Gazette logo The North Devon Gazette is carrying a story about this, see here.

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