50th Anniversary Gala at The South Devon Railway

South Devon Railway, The Station, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0DZ

Tel: 01364 644370

South Devon Railway


It’s exactly 50 years since our line reopened to run steam trains and our gala is going to a big one with an array of visiting locomotives lined up, and a few surprises too. Keep an eye on the website for more details. This is an event not to be missed.

Our Golden anniversary steam gala to celebrate this milestone -- as the oldest heritage railway in the South West and one of the oldest in the whole country -- will run from Saturday 6 to Sunday 14 April 2019 inclusive.
There will be many activities and events going on throughout the nine days, and it promises to be one of the best the SDR has ever put on! There will be a number of visiting steam engines and a busy and varied timetable to suit all interests and tastes.
For the duration of the event, a large marquee at Buckfastleigh will house themed displays celebrating '50 years of Preserved Steam in the Dart Valley'; a souvenir stand selling an assortment of '50th Anniversary' goodies; private locomotive group stands, and also provide a warm, undercover seating area for visitors.
Light refreshments, including hot and cold drinks, will also be available and a bar will be operating everyday except Monday 8th April. 
Children’s activities will be available on both weekends of the event, including:
• Face painting, circus skills, balloon modelling, games, magic tricks and candy floss in the marquee at Buckfastleigh.
• An 'I Spy' type trail with a free gift for children upon completion.
• Our Miniature Railway, the Garden Railway and a Vintage Fair Ground will be open in the Gardens at Buckfastleigh.

Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th
Our opening Gala weekend will feature a re-enactment of the first passenger train operated by the Dart Valley Railway which took place in April 1969 during the Saturday, and it will run at 11.15 -- around the same time as it did 50 years ago.

On Saturday evening at Buckfastleigh, we will also be celebrating the 50th birthday with musical entertainment from DJ Dave and Go Tell Alice.

Monday 8th – Friday 12th
During the week, Great Western and British Railways period branch line themes will set the scene on individual days. Opportunities to drive a diesel locomotive hauling a goods train have been made, plus a chance to ride on the footplate of a steam engine at Buckfastleigh. And, for the professional or amateur photographer, keen snappers can enjoy one of our morning photography experiences.

Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th
And to close the Golden Anniversary event, we will celebrate the Inaugural Special train of May 1969 where Dr Beeching officially re-opened the railway by using a similar steam loco to that used in 1969 in former Great Western Railway 45xx No. 5526, plus a special VIP guest who will send off the train at 14.30 on Saturday 13th April. More details to follow next week!

Tickets for our Golden Anniversary Gala are available from our Ticket Website.



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