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Visit to the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh (IA Section)

Thu. 23 May 2024 at 11:00 am

£3 – £5

A visit led by John Haslam.

The South Devon Railway (SDR) is a seven-mile former Great Western Railway branch line, built in 1872, which runs along the beautiful valley of the River Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes. It operates steam trains with restored rolling stock between historic stations with the intention of recreating the golden days of travel between the 1930s and 1960s. It also maintains a workshop in which it maintains and restores vintage locomotives from other heritage steam locomotive companies.

John Haslam has been volunteering with SDR since its days as the Dart Valley Railway in 1972. He has served in many roles including ticket office clerk, guard and signalman. He was promoted to Operating Manager and, until retirement, was Company Secretary for the operating company, which is a charitable trust.

The visit

Two groups of ten at 11am and midday will be escorted about the SDR Workshop, where contract work is done, and then taken to the Running shed where SDR’s own stock is housed.

A photography protocol will be in force. This requires that contract work for owners and their equipment from outside SDR will be off-limits for photographers, as will be machinery actually in use. Photography of in-house SDR stock, however, is permitted. John will advise visitors which rules apply to what they are seeing.

Visitors should assemble outside the café across the station forecourt from the station buildings prior to the two tour times of 1050 and 1150 for safety briefings. Refreshments will be available before and after each tour for which attendees should make their own arrangements.

Stout boots or shoes should be worn and no open-toed footwear is permitted. Members owning high-viz coats should wear them, though they are not obligatory. Access will be across uneven, non-tarmac surfaces, with puddles if there has been rain.

There is a large free car park at the site.

The limited numbers mean that registration will be required on a first-come-first-served basis. Book via the organiser (details below) preferably with a telephone number for short-notice contact if required.

Charges will be £3 for DA members and £5 for non-DA members.


Thu. 23 May 2024
11:00 am
£3 – £5
Event Categories:


Industrial Archaeology Section


South Devon Railway
Dartbridge Road
Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0DZ