Rare haulage at South Devon’s diesel gala

THE star attraction at South Devon Railway’s (SDR) November 3-5 diesel gala was the Diesel Traction Group’s sole-surviving Class 17 ‘Clayton’ No. D8568.

It is based on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway, but came from its Gloucestershire debut at the Dean Forest Railway’s September 15-17 event (RM November, p83), making an equally welcome debut in Devon.

A classic Dart Valley scene: No. D8568 heads 2B07, the 10.45 Totnes Riverside-Buckfastleigh at Riverford on November 4. It is believed to be the first appearance of a ‘Clayton’ in the South West. PAUL BARLOW

SDR residents due to be in operation were Class 09 No. D3721; Class 33 No. D6501, newly returned from a visit to the MR-B; Class 37 No. 6975; and Class 25 No. D7612, along with ‘bubblecar’ No. W55000.

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However, when No. D7612 became unavailable with cylinder liner problems the services of Class 08 No. 08644 from GWR, Laira Depot were called on as a welcome substitute.

The South Devon Railway’s second gala visitor was a popular choice – a Great Western Railway Class 08 shunter from Laira depot, No. 08644 Laira Diesel Depot 50 Years 1962-2012. Smartly turned out in BR Rail blue this was its first visit to a heritage railway and possibly its first passenger train workings. Double-heading 2T01, the 09.45 Buckfastleigh-Totnes Riverside, with resident Class 09 No. D3721, the TOC-owned 08 is seen at Caddaford Curve on November 3. DAVID HUNT

Everything went as planned except for late running on the first day, and No. D3721 had to be released from its booked working on the 4th to haul the Class 122 single-unit, which was in need of repairs and the arrival of the necessary components.

No. D6501 worked the first return trip to Totnes Riverside as replacement for No. W55000 on the Sunday.

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