Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Sunday, August 14, 2011
south devon railway
Took a trip to the South Devon Railway last Saturday. I first visited this line in 1972 and nothing much seems to have changed! Buckfastleigh's nicely developed with plenty to do before making the return trip. At the Totnes end there's a fantastic hands-on Rare Breeds Farm.
Once a month the SDR uses diesel traction for one of its trains and we took this up, utilising the fantastic observation car, all for £1.50 extra first class.
We travelled by train from Bristol - the interchange at Totnes is about a 400 metre walk, not bad at all. SDR trains did once run into Totnes BR station, but apparently the charges were too high and in the end they built their own station at Totnes (Littlehempston) using the building from Toller on the Bridport branch.
I do feel that only heritage railways that have a network connection can survive in the long term. people are already abandoning their cars, eventually none of us will have the option. Heritage lines will also have to adapt to carry genuine passenger and freight flows. The SDR does eventually intend to return to Ashburton, which will be an excellent traffic generator for the line, so I reckon it will survive.
My first choice for last Saturday's trip was the Seaton Tramway but there's no rail connection, second choice was the West Somerset, also written off though we ironically passed its connection with the network south of Taunton - this is surely one piece of line that needs to be opened sooner rather than later?