Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride has congratulated the South Devon Railway in Buckfastleigh for hitting a major milestone in a vital fund-raising drive. One of the major tourists attractions in Mr Stride's constituency, the railway runs for seven miles along the former Great Western Railway branch line between the town and Totnes. As a result of suspending its services because of the coronavirus pandemic, the SDR is set to lose out on around £500,000 in revenue. An article on their website explains: 

    "Despite having our services suspended, there are still bills to be paid and vital work required to protect our railway to keep it alive for generations to come. We are reliant upon the income generated by running trains and special events to build up our cash reserves to allow us to invest in the maintenance of our track, structures, buildings as well as our locomotives and carriages during the winter."

    In response to the crisis the SDR has launched a major fund-raising drive to recoup these losses, with the appeal having just hit £200,000 - 40% towards their half a million target. 

    Mr Stride, who has visited the railway several times over many years to lend his support to various initiatives, said:

    "In addition to preserving an important part of Buckfastleigh's history, the South Devon Railway is a hugely important attraction that draws people to our beautiful part of Devon, benefiting other local businesses. I would encourage anyone who loves the railway and is in a position to support its fund-raising appeal to do so by visiting"

    Photo: Central Devon MP Mel Stride during a previous visit to the South Devon Railway.