South Devon Railway
'3803 Live Steam'

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 20th

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.

3803 prepares to leave Buckfastleigh  © SDRT Richard Elliott
In charge of the PWay train at Stretchford © SDRT Andy Mathews
Having run round at Totnes Littlehempston  © SDRT Andy Mathews
A fine portrait at Totnes Littlehempston with water crane © SDRT Andy Mathews
Back to Buckfastleigh with BR goods train  © SDRT Andy Mathews
Just leaving Totnes Littlehempston having gone under Hampstead Bridge © SDRT Andy Mathews
Hauling her first set of Coaching Stock  © SDRT Chris Ashworth 

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© South Devon Railway Trust 2006