Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The Budleigh Salterton Railway’s colourful past


Budleigh Salterton railway station in action. The branch line between Exmouth and Sidmouth Junction closed in 1967 after 70 years

Can anyone tell me who owns the copyright for this fine colour photo of Budleigh Salterton railway station which I’ve just bought?

My fellow-trustees at Fairlynch voted me the job of reprinting a charming little booklet The Budleigh Salterton Railway which has been a popular item in the Museum shop over the years. Sadly there are no more copies.  

However our excellent printer Ben Noyes at Copyrite in Exmouth quoted a good price for an all-colour production, so I’m on the hunt for as many suitable images as possible.   

Wikipedia provided this drawing of what it describes as a “US-style railroad truck with journal bearings in journal boxes.” Lots more railway terms that I’ve never heard of.

I’ve never considered myself to be a trainspotter. I’m pretty ignorant about bogies, angle cocks, decapods and all the other things that the true railway nerd lives for.

But with the new edition of the railway booklet in mind, my friend Annie and I decided to visit Agatha Christie’s former home, Greenway, near Paignton. You can get there by ferry across the River Dart from Dittisham – locals call it Ditsham – but we decided to go by train. 

By real train of course. We took the diesel from Exmouth to Paignton, and there was the magnificent steam locomotive ‘Dinmore Manor’ no 7820, pictured above, waiting to take us to Churston Station, from where a shuttle bus delivers you to Greenway.   

One of the carriages was even named after my daughter Emily

Useful Wikipedia tells me that it’s a British Railways locomotive, part of the Manor Class. It is one of nine locomotives preserved from the class, which originally numbered 30. It’s named after the ancient 12th century Knights Hospitaller preceptory Dinmore Manor in Herefordshire, and was built by British Railways in 1950. It was withdrawn from service in 1965 and moved to Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales… 

There’s a lot more information there, which I expect the anoraks know off by heart, but Wikipedia didn’t tell me that the locomotive has been lent this year until September to the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company. 

The train trip was great. Too short, but I’m looking forward to meeting more steam locomotives in the future.  

I thinking I’m going to be regularly blogging about the old railway in the months ahead.   


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