Bickington Steam Railway
The railway gives a real value for money ride as it tours the whole complex. © Copyright Neil Kennedy and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Technical – Track length 11⁄2 mi (2.4 km)
Track gauge – 10 1⁄4 in (260 mm)
Located at Trago Mills Regional Shopping Centre, Newton Abbot, the 10 1⁄4 in (260 mm) minimum gauge Bickington Steam Railway was opened in 1988, using equipment recovered from the Suffolk Wildlife Park, which itself was taken from Rudyard Lake. It was built by Brian Nicholson, the headmaster of Waterhouses School in Staffordshire. Waterhouses was the junction for the Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway. After being thwarted in an attempt to rebuild a portion of the Leek and Manifold Valley railway, Nicholson moved his railway, via Rudyard Lake and Suffolk, to Trago Mills.
A narrow gauge railway with steam hauled trains is one of the attractions within the popular Trago Mills shopping complex. © Copyright Richard Dorrell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Originally the railway was a 1 mile (1.6 km) double loop around two lakes with one station, ‘Trago Central’, but in 2006 the railway grew over 1⁄2 miles (805 m), with an extension taking it to Trago’s front car park. A three-track terminus and turntable was built and named the ‘Riverside Station’. A third station was added in 2008, located at the far end of the Trago site on one of the original sections of line; this was named ‘Goose Glen Halt’. This was constructed in the hope that shoppers would use the ride to return to their vehicles, a near half-mile uphill walk from the main shopping complex.
A two loco service for trips to Santa’s Grotto. The line has both steam and diesel miniature locomotives. The diesel was sharing with the US style steam locomotive No. 24. © Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Over a section of this line, the railway climbs one of the steepest inclines for any non rack railway in the UK. The railway is a member of Britains Great Little Railways
An excellent live steam experience with a two mile run, three stations, lots of scenery and a hop-on hop-off all day ticket is £2. Very popular on this particular day. The loco is one four steam engines – No.24 Sandy River 2-6-2 tender engine based on the Sandy River and Rangley Lakes railway in New England. Built by Clarkson, Vere & Nicholson and completed in 1991. See – Link © Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.