Sunday 3 April 2016

A Happy Easter

688 passengers joined us for our first event of the year: a free heritage bus service to compliment the South Devon Railway's Easter Gala.

As in previous years, our services connected Buckfastleigh with Ashburton and Staverton, following the course of Western National Service 169, the rail replacement service which ran when the Ashburton branch line was closed temporarily for works and, ultimately, by Dr Beeching. In addition, we introduced a new route connecting Staverton and Landscove, recreating a portion of Western National Service 165.

Bristol H5G 137 (FJ 8967) was in use throughout the three days, accompanied by a second vehicle that varied each day.

On Saturday, Bristol SUL 420 (270 KTA) was used for Ashburton runs in the morning. Its (7'6") width allowed it to relieve the 'H' on the Landscove route in the afternoon, making for this pleasant Spring scene at the terminus.

On Easter Sunday, Ashburton services were provided through the day by Bristol LWL5G 1613 (LTA 772), a regular performer on our South Devon Railway Gala services.

On Easter Monday, Bristol FLF6G 1969 (468 FTT) made its first appearance at an SDR Gala, again for use on Ashburton runs. Here it is seen pausing at Buckfast Abbey on its outward journey to Ashburton.

Despite mixed weather the services proved popular, with some near-full loads on the 'H'. Our next collaboration with the South Devon Railway will be their 1940s Festival on July 2 and 3. See you there?

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