Heritage Transport Gala & Behind the Scenes. Part of Heritage Open Days. 12th - 13th September.

Over the weekend of Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September, we are holding our popular annual Heritage Transport Gala.

All of the line's operational steam and diesel locomotives will feature, running frequent passenger and demonstration freight trains on both days, and many vintage cars and other road transport vehicles will also be joining in the show and on public display.

The event also offers a chance to see 'Behind the Scenes'  on the SDR as part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days event which provides a great opportunity to find out how the railway is run as well as enjoying the sight of vintage vehicles and different train types all day long.

'Behind the Scenes' activities will take place up and down the line over the weekend:

At Buckfastleigh

• SDRT Museum tours.

• Buckfastleigh's original signal box, from the days when the line ran through to Ashburton: open continuously on both days, 10am to 4pm.

• SDR Engineering workshop and boiler shop tours.

• Parks & Gardens tours. Buckfastleigh station has superb gardens which won a Britain in Bloom award in 2014 and we are up for another award this year.

• Heritage diesels on display.

• SDRA Recruitment: Join the supporters' Association in Expressway Models. A recruitment stand is also on site.

• Miniature Railway and workshops with visiting steam loco 'Otter' from Pecorama, plus miniature and full size traction engines.  

• Traction engine.

• Lee Moor Tramway collection open continuously 10am to 4pm.

• Stanley steam car rides around the site on both days.

• Various classic cars and motor bikes on display in the grounds.

At Staverton

The Permanent Way (PW) depot, where the SDR keeps all of the line's impressive track maintenance machinery, will be open continuously between 10am and 4pm. A varied selection of PW on-track machinery and plant will be on display, including the tamper, TRAMM, and Wickham trolleys. It is also hoped to have demonstration runs with a Wickham trolley. Staverton's new café coach will be open, where you will also be able to learn about volunteering and becoming a member of the railway.

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At Totnes

Guided tours of the various restoration projects are taking place at Totnes and there will be supervised tours of the booking office in the station building there, which was rescued from Toller on the Bridport branch: Saturday only at this time. 

At Ashburton

The South Devon Railway once ran a further two miles to Ashburton in GWR and British Railways days, but in 1972, the A38 was built over the trackbed. So, people can catch our big red, double-deck Routemaster Bus to Ashburton to see what is left of the old terminus.

Heritage Open Days

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Heritage Open Days is the largest heritage festival in the country; in 2014, over 4,600 events welcomed around three million visitors across England. Heritage Open Days operates as part of the National Trust with funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Historic England.

Heritage Open Days is co-ordinated and promoted nationally by the National Trust and run locally by a large range of organisations and enthusiatic volunteers.