The South Devon Railway Enthusiasts' site

Small Turntable for Buckfastleigh
July 2001

An opportunist acquisition has brought a small turntable to Buckfastleigh.

As a result of a few phone calls last week between a member in Oxford and the railway management at Buckfastleigh a small turntable from the former Austin-Morris works at Oxford (now part of the BMW empire) has been rescued from the scrap heap and moved to Buckfastleigh.
Whilst only able to accommodate engines up to 15' 3" wheelbase it was still felt that the turntable could be of use in future plans for the site. Of the resident steam engines at Buckfastleigh, 1369, 'Errol Lonsdale', 'Sapper', 'Glendower', 'Ashley', 'Lady Angela', Hams Hall No 4, 'Carnarvon' and the Beattie Well Tank are all short enough to use the table. Of the diesel shunters 04 No 11216, Yorkie LO52, and the 0-4-0 Fowler and 0-4-0 Ruston are also small enough. And, of course, all the short wheelbase box vans on the line would also fit easily.

Since this article was written in 2001 Hams Hall No 4, the Beattie Well Tank, the Ruston, 'Sapper' and 'Errol Lonsdale' have left the SDR.

The thinking behind the acquisition is that the table could be incorporated into a new engine shed design as part of the site development and which could open up many new possibilities for the design of any new shed. Only the larger engines would then need to use the main facility which would be a traditional straight shed, probably of two roads.

Alternatively, the table could find itself part of a new museum building displaying the smaller locomotives and historic wagons.

Whatever the eventual use the need at this moment was to secure the item, and this has been done. In the long term the SDR would still like to acquire and install a full size turntable at Totnes to enable servicing and turning of mainline locomotives to be possible.

The South Devon Railway acquired a mainline turntable in 2005.

Turntable components Turntable components

July 2009

Recently the works staff have started on the restoration of this turntable for use as part of our boiler servicing area at the Ashburton end of A shop. Its use for turning the locomotives listed above will still be possible.

Restored components
Restored components
Restored components
Components being restored for future use.
Photos © Mike Comben 2009

October 2010

Following the purchase of RK Pridham, South Devon Railway Engineering has started on the development of the workshop by building the new boilershop.  Fundamental to this is the wagon turntable so, by the 31st October 2010, the turntable was in its new pit just waiting for the decking to be fitted.

Turntable installed outside new boilershop

Wagon turntable decked 02nd November 2010

The wooden and steel deck has now been fitted 02nd November 2010Photos © RJ Elliott 2010

Two more pictures of the installation of the small turntable to serve the new boiler shop! The first picture shows the wooden layer on top of which the steel deck is partly laid. The second picture has the full steel deck in place and turned to line up with the first track into the boiler shop. The next stage will be a concrete delivery to form the boiler shop floor.

Wagon turntable 06th November 2010

An unusual bird's eye view of the "new" turntable.Photo © GR Bishop 2010

20th March 2012
1369 on turntable
1369 was the first engine in live steam to be turned on the turntable.Photo © RJ Elliott 2012
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© South Devon Railway Trust 2001-12

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