The South Devon Railway Enthusiasts' site

SOUTH DEVON RAILWAY 1960s Mixed Traffic Event
A1A–A1A Class ‘31’ 31 601Photo © DDS 2014

There will be a return to the distinct atmosphere, sights and sounds of the 1960s on the South Devon Railway (SDR) over the late May Bank Holiday with a special four-day weekend event running from Friday 22 to Monday 25 May.

A heady mixture of steam & diesel trains will be on offer every day – and into some of the evenings – transporting people to and from the SDR’s now established and popular Spring Ale festival at scenic Staverton station run by the Devon Diesel Society. The festival will be open from 12.00 to 23.00 on the Friday, 11.00 to 23.00 on both Saturday and Sunday, and from 11.00 to 18.00 on the Monday.

Organisers say there will be over 45 Ales & Ciders available at Staverton, plus a BBQ on Saturday and Sunday, as well as the usual ‘Just for Fun’ quiz on Sunday night, but also with a 1960s theme. Staverton station’s very own, newly restored buffet coach will also be open for business selling hot and cold drinks and snacks and pasties.

The South Devon Railway is encouraging all intending visitors to come along dressed in 1960s clothes in order to get into the swing of the event and help build the atmosphere.

It’s hoped that 1960s music will be playing on all three platforms on the railway as well as within the SDR’s Buckfastleigh large and well stocked Café & Shop, but only at a background level indoors.

Late trains will run to the ale festival on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, plus some evening freight trains for added interest. Steam ‘auto train’ workings will feature throughout as well as trips on the diesel ‘Bubblecar’ unit.

Normal SDR train fares will apply throughout, and visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the large FREE car park at Buckfastleigh or use the mainline rail connection at Totnes and “ride the trains to sample the ales” in comfort. Note: First Great Western offer through tickets to the SDR from their booking offices or ontrain guards.

A link the four day timetable is below listing the various workings and times. The event will feature three SDR steam locos in former GWR types NOs. 0-6-0 3205, 0-6-0PT L92 (5786) and newly restored 0-6-0PT 6412, along with one diesel locomotive each day.

The star visitor of the show is expected to be newly repainted Devon & Cornwall Railways (DCR) diesel Class 31 loco No. 31601 in DCR grey livery which will be named “Devon Diesel Society” at 11.00 on Friday 22 May at Buckfastleigh. (Please see separate detailed press release about this.)

Operated by Devon & Cornwall Railways on the mainline, Class 31, NO. 31 601 sees almost daily use working engineering, freight and other non-passenger services throughout the country. It arrived on the SDR earlier this month where it is being rapidly repainted from its present livery into the latest DCR livery of dark grey by volunteer members of the Devon Diesel Society (DDS) in the SDR’s Carriage & Wagon shop.

As a thank you gesture for the repainting work being undertaken, the Society have been offered free use of the loco for part of the impending 1960s Mixed Traction and Spring Ale gala over the May Bank Holiday weekend. The loco will also be named “Devon Diesel Society” by Rob Scott – the DCR driver who has arranged the repainting deal with DDS and who is a also a DDS supporter.

Following naming, the loco will work the 11.30 departure and then work various services during the Friday and Saturday before heading back onto the mainline via the connection at Totnes, probably sometime Sunday afternoon. Having a loco running around the network bearing the Devon Diesel Society name will generate quite some interest for both the DDS and South Devon Railway! Other diesel hauled services during the event will be operated by Sulzer Type 2 No. D7612.

The beer festival opening on the Friday is being put back to 12.00 which will allow all DDS members to witness the ceremony before opening the bar at 12.00. It’s hoped to have a vintage coach (probably 9004) attached to the 11.30 train (which should hopefully be formed of appropriate British Railways 1960s Mark 1 coaches in BR(WR) Chocolate & Cream livery) and special guests/press can travel in this vehicle either for the round trip, or to Staverton for a visit to the bar.

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© South Devon Railway Association 2014

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