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SOUTH DEVON RAILWAY News 16 March 2017

In the museum we have been making sure that the it is ready for the crowds at the weekend, including lesson plans for next week’s school visits. We have also hosted a team of expert conservators looking at the Littleworth coach. They will be preparing a report on its current condition, and the possibilities for future refurbishment in due course. We have also done some work on access to the Picnic Coach, which we expect to be using next week for our school visitors, and this will also benefit the Cake Ladies (Carol Jones, Pauline Short, Hilda Hookins and Sue Parratt) who will take up residence on Sunday. This is part of Half Price Weekend, of course. Buckfastleigh Station Group carried out very extensive cleaning of the blood and custard carriages today.

Elsewhere on the South Devon Railway the Permanent Way gang has been hard at work at Totnes, where extensive remodelling of the layout is in progress. One penalty of this is that there are no run-round facilities available until the works are complete so services will use a turnover locomotive. Locomotives in operation are expected to be 1369, 5542 and Class 37 6975.

Site of the new storage sidings at the Totnes end of the proposed restoration building
The diverted access road at the Ashburton end of the site
Photos © JBrodribb 2017

At Buckfastleigh there has been a pause in the work on the new sidings. The new access road around the site of the new building is partly built, and is seen in the photos where it runs next to the Miniature Railway. This was once in a cutting at this point. The site of the new building is seen from both ends: use the Lee Moor museum building as a reference point. The pile of spoil is in the middle of the building's footprint.

Dave Watkin applying the brown undercoatPhoto © JBrodribb 2017

Carriage & Wagon have continued work on 4785, with external painting in progress. The roof has been done, and topcoat is now going on the body sides. The coach is being finished in BR(W) Chocolate and Cream.

5526’s boiler is clad and then lifted into the prepared frames
Photos © JBrodribb 2017

In the workshops 5526 had its boiler and firebox insulation and external cladding fitted on Monday, with the boiler being lifted back into its frames on Thursday 16th March 2017. At last it looks like a locomotive again, so the end of its current restoration is in sight. Well done to all the staff and volunteers in the workshop.

Beattie well tank and then 6412 are positioned for transport by roadPhoto © 2017

The Beattie well tank departed back to its Bodmin home on Monday and the lorry returned the following day to take 6412 to Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway for the summer.

Best wishes

John Brodribb
SDRT Museum Curator

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© South Devon Railway Association 2017

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