Just the day after the first A380 flew in to London Heathrow
the South Devon Railway has got its own 380! This one is ex GWR 2-8-0 No.
3803 that has just been completed after a major restoration from scrapyard
condition over the last two years in the lines' workshops. It enters traffic
23 years after purchase from Barry Scrapyard where it had lain rusting
for the previous 20 years after withdrawal from traffic in 1963.
The engine, built in 1939, will now undergo trials before
entering service on the line's tourist trains over the forthcoming bank
holiday weekend. The engine has cost in the region of £350,000
to restore and has been rebuilt by the South Devon Railway's own team of
full time staff and Association volunteers.
Update Saturday May
3803 has been out and about today earning a living whilst
running in. After approximately 25 miles of trouble free running on Friday,
clearance was given by the workshop Manager for the loco to be used on
today's permanent way trains.
During the day, which started at 04.30, the loco returned
to doing what it was built for - working goods trains. It worked Buckfastleigh
to Totnes and back with a nine wagon train, then back to Bishops Bridge
prior to returning back to Buckfastleigh with a three coach empty stock
working. Some shunting followed and the day ended with approximately 23
further miles having been worked without incident.
© South Devon Railway Trust 2006