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Devon Group rail trip to Okehampton: Sunday 12th August.

Great Western Railway only operates trains to Okehampton on summer Sundays so today's trip was a chance to sample more of the ex Southern Railways ' Withered Arm' network in Mid Devon. Ten Trust members came along using the Devon Day Ranger ticket.

1. From Barnstaple we changed trains at Crediton into this GWR Class 150.

2. At the restored Okehampton station.

3. Next was a stroll downhill into the town for lunch and a beer at the White Hart Hotel (a Wetherspoons pub).

4. Back at Okehampton, the next plan was to sample the Dartmoor Railway to Meldon. This Class 08 D4167 will shunt the carriages and brake van uphill to Meldon Viaduct Halt.

5. Dartmoor Railway Guard Sue Baxter (the one with the hat) allowed several of our members to ride in the Brake Vans balcony to Meldon whilst the others went first class in a Mk2 corridor first.

6. At Meldon there was time to view the viaduct. Naturally we all hope common sense will prevail to reopen the line towards Plymouth and one day trains will once again run over a strengthened Meldon Viaduct.

Then back to Okehampton and Exeter. Time for a nice trip down the Dawlish sea wall to Newton Abbot for a quick beer before back at Exeter in time for the 1807 train home to Barnstaple.

Our next trip is planned for Wednesday 26th September to Axminster, Seaton and Beer for Beer Heights Railway and Pecorama. For further details contact Nigel Thompson

Words and photos by Nigel Thompson.


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