The South Devon Railway Enthusiasts' site

The London Group

The London and Home Counties Group has been one of the most active of the Area groups of the South Devon Railway Association.
We have been responsible for building the Totnes Riverside Station, acquiring the former GWR South Lambeth goods yard water crane now at Buckfastleigh and a similar one from Chesham on London Transport (now located on the Paignton and Dartmouth Railway).
We were also responsible for acquiring a number of wagons and more recently two former GWR coaches: 276 and W2180.
276 is a 1945 Hawksworth adaptation of a Collett Baggage van and was originally built as a passenger brake van, but was converted in 1947 to a Parcels Train Brake Van for the Wolverhampton and Plymouth route.
The van has been rebuilt back from a bare shell to its 1947 condition although it is currently in 1950's livery.  Since it only carries one passenger (the Guard) we have discretely modified it to increase its revenue earning potential.  Anyone sampling our Santa trains will find that Santa has set up home in the coach !
W2180 is best described as a "failed project".  The previous owner intended to rebuild it into a composite, but due to a change in personal circumstances decided to sell.  We have started working on W2180 but being yet another brake coach we too will not rebuild it as original.  W2180 will become the buffet and wheel chair coach for the GWR coach rake.

Recently the London Group finished rebuilding a 1917 built GWR Box Van 95979 rescued from the Port of London Authority (where it was PLAA73) to its former glory.  This was so we could empty W2180 and start on its rebuild to a buffet car.
In association with the Diesel Groups we have repainted 276 as W276 in Carmine and Cream because the GWR Chocolate and Cream had become patchy due to paint adhesion difficulties.

At the end of 2004 the London Group were successful in their bid to preserve a London Transport Routemaster 'bus for use, as required, by the Railway on the   The vehicle (RM1872) is available for private hire and makes an ideal accompaniment to the Railway's Dining Train service since it too can accommodate 64 passengers.  For more details on the vehicle, how it was returned to revenue earning service and our progress on the more detailed restoration click here.

The London group appear to be the railway electricians with a speciality in carriage wiring and charging circuits.
Recently we converted the Yorkshire shunter from dynamo to alternator for battery charging and low voltage supplies.  Given that the Railway doesn't have a wiring diagram for the "Half Janus" we did quite well and when it didn't move we learnt even more!  The Yorkie was last reported chasing sheep......
We fully rewiring the Trust's coach 1645. The wiring on this coach was in poor condition and had been "repaired" rather badly so a full rewire was necessary.  The oportunity was taken to put a mains bus through the coach to save the unsightly external cables and the PA was installed.

Another wiring job was for 4802 which has been rebuilt as a mini buffet with wheelchair provision.  This coach is the BR Mk1 varient whereas W2180 will be the GWR version.

Earlier London Group Activities:

Toller as found Toller as found
Toller Station as found in 1981 Toller Station as found in 1981
Dismantling Toller Click for larger picture
The London Group dismantling Toller Station Toller Building being rebuilt for Totnes Riverside
Click for larger picture Toller from the GWR main line
 Finishing the Clerks Office chimney (April 1987) Toller as rebuilt to form Totnes Riverside
Painting Toller Topping out ceremony
Restoration in progress The "Topping Out" Ceremony in 1991
Toller nearly complete as Totnes Riverside Axbridge canopy being rebuilt at Totnes Riverside
Totnes Riverside approaching completion Axbridge canopy during re-erection
The complete Totnes Riverside 1420 using Totnes Riverside
Totnes Riverside as it looks to-day complete with the Axbridge Canopy, Bovey Hut and the new Toilet Block (Bulliver) Autotrain arrives at Totnes Riverside 1997
BG W276 W2180
Former GWR built Hawsworth/Collett BG 276 Former BR(W) built Hawksworth brake third W2180
GWR Box Van 95979 RM1872
Former GWR box van 95979 of c1917 Former London Transport Routemaster RM1872

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