Plym Valley Railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Plym Valley Railway
Steam locomotive Albert at the Railway
Locale Devon
Coordinates 50°23′42″N 4°04′59″W / 50.395°N 4.083°W / 50.395; -4.083Coordinates: 50°23′42″N 4°04′59″W / 50.395°N 4.083°W / 50.395; -4.083
Commercial operations
Name Launceston Branch Line
Built by South Devon and Tavistock Railway
Original gauge 7 ft 14 in (2,140 mm)
Preserved operations
Length 1 12 miles (2.4 km)
Preserved gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Commercial history
Opened 1859
Closed 1962
Preservation history
2008 Re-opened
2012 Extended to Plym Bridge
Headquarters Marsh Mills

The Plym Valley Railway is a 1 12-mile (2.4 km) heritage railway based on what was once a part of the now-closed South Devon and Tavistock Railway, a branch line of the Great Western Railway in Devon, England.


The line was originally part of the South Devon and Tavistock Railway, a 7 ft 14 in (2,140 mm) broad-gauge railway linking Plymouth with Tavistock in Devon, England. This opened in 1859, was converted to 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) in 1892 and closed in 1962.

Local enthusiasts set up a group in 1982 to restore part of the line as the Plym Valley Railway. The first section re-opened in May 2008 when trains could operate over 34 mile (1.2 km) of track as far as Lee Moor crossing, the site where the 4 ft 6 in (1,372 mm) gauge Lee Moor Tramway (now the West Devon Way cycle path) used to cross the line on the level. A new station was constructed just north of the site of the original Marsh Mills railway station as that site is occupied by a line that serves the Marsh Mills china clay plant. The new station was provided with a shop, buffet and small museum.

The preserved line was extended to Plym Bridge on 30 December 2012, bringing it to 1 12 miles (2.4 km) in length.

The 0-4-0ST steam locomotive "Albert" returned to service in December 2007 after receiving major repairs to its boiler. Albert has operated on all passenger trains and diesel No. 13002 has been used regularly on engineering trains. In 2009 preparation work commenced on returning 0-6-0ST "Byfield" to steam, seeing the locomotive stripped down to its main components for assessment.


Plym Valley Railway
GWR to Tavistock
1.00 Plym Bridge Platform
Plymouth and Dartmoor Railway to Lee Moor
0.00 Marsh Mills
GWR to Plymouth

The Plym Valley Railway is based at Marsh Mills which is close to the A38 road near Plymouth. It operates trains as far as Plym Bridge.

Locomotives etc.[edit]

Steam locomotives[edit]

  • Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST "Albert" built in 1948 – undergoing overhaul in 2016

Albert was built for the British Sugar Corporation, and worked at their Worcester & Somerset plants. She has been at the Nene Valley Railway and East Kent Railway before being privately purchased and coming to the Plym Valley Railway in 2004. She was sent to Portland for repairs, and returned in 2007.

"Albert": Barclay, Works No. 2248 Built in 1948 by Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd. at Kilmarnock, Scotland. Works No. 2248 Wheel arrangement: 0-4-0 ST Boiler pressure: 160 psi Weight: 35 tons approx in working order Tractive effort: 19,430 lbs at 85% boiler pressure Cylinders: 16"X24" Wheel Dia.: 3' 7" [1]

  • W.G. Bagnall 0-6-0ST "Byfield" No. 2 built in 1941 – undergoing overhaul in 2016

Byfield No. 2 was built in Bagnall’s, Stafford in 1942. It was constructed to help with the war effort in ironstone quarries around Northamptonshire. The steam engines worked in the area until 1965. In 1944 Byfield was transferred to Banbury and was there until 1947 when it was transferred to Kettering where it was renamed ‘Loddington No. 2’. The locomotive remained in the area for many years until it was sold to Hunt & Co at Hinkley in 1970 which gained it a new livery, blue. Byfield was rescued from Hinkley by enthusiasts for restoration and use on the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway in the 1980s. It was withdrawn after its boiler expired in 1990. Byfield was then purchased by the Plym Valley Railway and moved to marsh mills in 2002. It is currently having a complete overhaul before it can be used again.

Name/Number: Byfield No. 2 Built:: 18th February 1942, Bagnalls, Stafford Works No: WB2655 Arrived at PVR: 7th September 2002 Weight: 38 Tons 10Cwt Tractive effort: Approximately 19,000lb Boiler Pressure: 175psi Cylinders: 15x22 inch Wheel Diameter: 3ft 4½ inch Wheel Arrangement: 0-6-0ST [2]

  • Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST "705" built in 1937 – undergoing overhaul in 2016

No.705 was built by Andrew Barclay& Sons Co. at their Caledonia works in 1937 works number 2047.The locomotive was built for "The Clyde Valley Electrical Power Company" and was based at the "Yoker Power station" as locomotive number 4, near Glasgow beside the Clyde river. It spent its entire working life at this location shunting coal trucks to feed the Power Station until withdrawn in the 1970s. Later in the 1970s it was sold to a company who planned to build a railway on the Orkney Islands but this scheme failed,the locomotive remain stored at the Strathspey Railway until it was purchased by the previous owner who moved the locomotiveto the East Somerset Railway where they finished its restoration and returned the locomotive to operations in 1994. The Swansea Harbour Trust Railway had similar locomotives which were absorbed into GWR stock in 1923,the previous owner decidedto paint the locomotive into this 1923 GWR livery and numbered it 705 which was the next vacant number in the GWR series.The locomotive ran in GWR Green until its next overhaul in 2000 when again the East Somerset Railway restored the locomotive but this time in BR black which was kept until withdrawn in 2007. The locomotive was offered for sale and it was purchased by a PVR member in June 2011, the restoration started during 2012 work to date has included turning the tyres, machining the journals, new foundation ring, full re-tube, new lower section of outer firebox restoration is proceeding at a good pace and it is anticipated that the locomotive will enter service on the Plym Valley Railway in the Easter of 2016. [3]

Diesel locomotives and multiple units[edit]

  • Class 03 0-6-0 D2046 – undergoing mechanical overhaul in 2016

D2046 was built at Doncaster in 1958 and worked in the North East of England before being withdrawn at Thornaby in 1971 before receiving a Class 03 TOPS number. The locomotive was sold to Gulf Oil and was used at Waterston Refinery, Milford Haven carrying ‘No. 2’ The locomotive was then moved to Pembrokeshire and then to Merthyr Tydfil in 200 where it was repainted and prepared for sale. By March 2006, D2046 had been moved to Goodman’s Yard, Sutton Coldfield and it was then purchased privately andf moved to the Plym Valley Railway. The locomotive is currently under restoration. D2046 BR Class 03 Built: Doncaster 1958 Withdrawn: Thornaby, 1971 Weight: 30 Tons 17Cwt Tractive Effort: 15,300lb Driving Wheels: 3’7” Wheelbase 9’ Engine: Gardner 8L3 Gearbox: Wilson- Drewry CA5 Engine Power: 204hp at 1200 r.p.m Maximum Speed: 28.5mph [4]

  • Class 08 0-6-0 13002 – operational in 2016

The ‘08’ arrived in an operational condition at the Plym Valley Railway in 1982 and for many years was the only operational engine on the railway. The locomotive was constructed in 1952 at Derby (the third Class 08 to be built) and served Bristol St Philips Marsh and Bristol Bath Road depot until 1972.

The locomotive was then sold to Foster Yeoman Ltd and moved to Merehead Quarry where it shunted stone trains. The locomotive became surplus to requirements in 1980 so was stored at Gloucester depot and was then sold to the Plym Valley Railway.

The locomotive is currently painted in BR Black livery in ‘As built’ condition and displays 13002, the number given before receiving D3002. The locomotive was withdrawn from BR service before the TOPS classification so did not receive an 08XXX number.

Built in 1952 at Derby Wheel arrangement: 0-6-0 Weight: 50 tons[5]

  • Class 117 DMU T304 (51407+51365) – undergoing overhaul in 2016

The Class 117s commenced work for British Rail in 1959-60 and were based all around the UK. In our case, cars No. DMS 51407 & DMBS 51365 (plus TC 59517 as a three car set) were based at Southall and worked Paddington- Slough- Reading local services. In 1984 they were transferred to Bristol as set B427 and worked on the surrounding branch lines. However, this was only short lived and two years later, as L427, the set was transferred back to London and based at Reading depot. Finally, the set was transferred to tyseley, Birmingham in 1989 as T304 and was subsequently withdrawn from service in 1992. However, the set, minus its centre car was put back into service to replace Class 142s in the SW until Class 150 and 153s became available. The unit travelled on many branch lines in the region as it was based at St Blazey until being purchased by the Plym Valley Railway in 1995. The set is currently under both an internal and external restoration.

51402 (Driving Motor Second (DMS) Built: Pressed Steel, Linwood, Scotland,- 1960 Seating: 89 51365, Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) Built: Pressed Steel, Linwood, Scotland,- 1960 Seating: 65 Weight: 36 Tons, each car. Engines: Two B.U.T (Leyland) 680 6 cylinder horizontal diesels per car Power: 150 h.p per engine Body: 65ft 0in x 9ft 3in Coupling Code: Blue Square Maximum Speed: 70mph [6]

  • Plymstock Cement Works 0-4-0 Diesel Hydraulic 'Vanguard' shunter – operational in 2016

Worked at Plymstock cement works until 1988 then came to Plym Valley Railway in 1990. Currently in use at PVR on works Trains and Shunting duties.

Diesel Hydraulic " Vanguard" shunter Built in 1963 at Thomas Hill, (Rotherham) Ltd. Vanguard works, Kilnhurst, Yorkshire Weight: 29 tons Engine: Rolls Royce 6 cylinder diesel Power: 125hp Wheel arrangement: 0-4-0 chain drive Wheel Dia.: 3' 7" [7]

  • Sentinel 0-4-0 10077 "Sidney" – operational in 2016

The ‘Sentinel’ arrived in an operational condition at the Plym Valley Railway on 1st April 2015. The locomotive has had a life in Yorkshire and after being released into traffic by Rolls Royce, Shrewsbury on 11th July 1961 it was transported to Raisby Tarmac Quarry, Coxhoe, County Durham. The Durham Locomotive Preservation Group purchased the locomotive who moved the locomotive to the Weardale Railway in 2002. Under the same ownership the locomotive was moved to the NRM at Shildon during 2011 before being sold and moved to the Wensleydale Railway in March 2014. The locomotive was purchased privately and has moved to the Plym Valley Railway for restoration which will then lead to it standing in for the ‘Vanguard’ locomotive on Brake Van Rides and the works train which will enable ‘Vanguard’ to undergo maintenance. The long term plan for the locomotive is to fit vacuum brakes to the engine so that it can work our full passenger train, of which the locomotive is more than capable of. The locomotive will be repainted into an undecided livery over the summer.

10077 Sentinel Industrial Locomotive Built: Shrewsbury 1961 Weight: 34 Tones Tractive Effort: 21600lb Engine: Rolls Royce C6 Engine Power: 230hp Maximum Speed: 18mph [8]

Former Plym Valley Railway locomotives[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Albert". Plym Valley Railway. 
  2. ^ "Byfield". Plym Valley Railway. 
  3. ^ "705". Plym Valley Railway. 
  4. ^ "D2046". Plym Valley Railway. 
  5. ^ "13002". Plym Valley Railway. 
  6. ^ "Class 117". Plym Valley Railway. 
  7. ^ "Vanguard". Plym Valley Railway. 
  8. ^ "10077". Plym Valley Railway.