Page Last Updated 16th April 2019


Branch organisers: Jonathan Collinge & Rupert Dove-Medows
Email: wofe.branch@swissrailsoc.org.ukThe branch normally meets at 11:15 on the second Saturday of the month from October to April, with a summer outing.
Venue: The Keyberry Hotel, 17, Kingskerswell Road, Newton Abbot,TQ12 1DQ.


May / June 2019 – Annual outing.  A behind the scenes tour of the South Devon Railway – date to be confirmed. There are no meetings during the summer so the next one will be October 12th 2019.



Photo: Maurice Criddle

 The 2016 Branch Annual Lunch took place on Saturday January 9th at the Passage House Hotel near Newton Abbot, where it is has been held every year since inception many years ago.  Pre-lunch drinks were taken in the conservatory lounge looking out over the river Teign on it’s way to the sea at Teignmouth.  The weather was duller than last year’s brilliant sunshine but at least it was thus cooler to some extent under the glass.

 In the dining room, which we decorated with Swiss flags, bunting made up of triangular Swiss flags, and large Swiss pictorial posters, a three course lunch was  enjoyed by all the members and their ladies.  The excellent food and drinks were greatly appreciated and thanks were expressed to Rupert for organizing the successful event.

 Conversations around the dining table continued well into the afternoon until it became necessary to disperse to enable the members from all over Devon and Cornwall to reach home at a reasonable hour.



Branch visit to Seaton Tramway


Members and wives enjoyed a most enjoyable day on the tramway which runs on part of the trackbed of the former Southern Railway Seaton Branch between the town and the former now preserved Colyton station three miles inland. The low lying area besides the Axe estuary boasts two nature reserves with the corresponding range of wildlife easily visible from the upper deck.

Our tram on the outward leg was No.8 supporting a pristine Bristol livery. It was this tram that ran the first public service from Seaton to Bobsworth Bridge in 1970 towing a battery truck prior to the installation of the catenary. Todays tramway started life as a 2ft. gauge operation in Eastbourne but its success made that site unsuitable.(I actually rode on the trams while at the Eastbourne site)No.8 was actually built at Eastbourne in 1968 to 2ft. 9ins gauge that is todays standard. The final section to Colyton was opened in April 1971 and the catenary energised in 1973.

The sea front offers panaromic views Eastwards to Portland Bill, and Westwards to the towering Beer cliffs and beyond to Peco a name that needs no introduction to Model Railway enthusiast.

The return leg was on tram No.12. Built in 1966 at Eastbourne, since when it has had two rebuilds at Seaton the last in 1999 to resemble the London “Feltham” more enclosed design of the 1930s.

Good use was once again made of the station restaurant prior to departure to our homeward destinations in still perfect weather conditions.