Rails & Ales, August Bank Holiday Friday 23rd - Monday 26th August 2013

This August's bank holiday weekend will feature our well established Rails and Ales gala.

The event, which is popular with both railway enthusiasts and fans of real ale, features a mix of classic rail travel, including the use of both steam and heritage diesel locomotives, plus a real ale festival serving a variety of traditional ales and ciders.

As in previous years, the festival will be held at Staverton Station and is again being run by the SDR based Devon Diesel Society. Proceeds will be used to help maintain the Society’s three vintage diesel locomotives including the ongoing restoration to working order of the 117 ton giant, English Electric Class 4 (Class 50) No. D402, which is part way through an extensive restoration programme. 

The festival, which has been recognised by the local branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) will offer around 60 ales and traditional ciders from both local and national brewers. Some of the ales, such as the RCH brewed Steam Festival have obvious railway connections, however there are a number which feature an eclectic mix of names such as Cosmic Unconsciousness by B&T brewery and Backscratcher from Long Itch brewery. See the list of ales here.

The resident station group will be selling a range of non alcoholic drinks, pasties and other light refreshments throughout each day, and on Saturday and Sunday evening there will also be a barbecue in the adjacent station yard from 6 p.m. until 8.30 p.m. Sunday night also sees a 'just for fun' quiz starting around 8 p.m.

Visitors are advised to travel by the frequent train service to the festival from Buckfastleigh, where there is a large free car park. Click here for the timetable.



D402 - proceeds from the festival will go towards this loco's restoration. It is pictured some years ago shortly after arrival on the SDR.


There will be a mixture of steam and diesel hauled services throughout the four-day event, with the majority of services steam hauled except on the Saturday when the heritage diesel fleet see more use. Locomotives in use will include GWR 0-6-0 No 3205, London Transport liveried pannier tank no. L.92, English Electric Type 3 No D6737 and English Electric Type 1 no. D8110.

In addition to the festival, all the usual SDR attractions will be open, including the museum at Buckfastleigh, the workshop viewing gallery and the recently re-opened miniature railway. 


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