John Puddy, of the SS Freshspring Society, made the trip from Bideford railway station to Torrington railway station and back again on his miniature steam-powered traction engine. He set off at 10.30am with Bideford mayor Doug Bushby, carrying gifts of SS Freshspring beer for the waiting crowd at Torrington. The sun shone on the two hour journey - the first time a steam-powered vehicle has made the trip since 1965. Once they reached the Puffing Billy, they were greeted by Torrington Mayor Di Davey, who received the gift of the Freshspring beer. In return, Torrington gifted a vase made by Dartington Crystal, which Mr Bushby and Mr Puddy then took back to Bideford station for the volunteers there. The event was organised by Tarka Valley Railway and Steamship Freshspring Society. Rod Garner, of the Tarka Valley Railway, said: It is hoped that this event increases interest in, and determination to, recreate a heritage railway link between Bideford and Torrington. Both Bideford and Torrington railway groups are working to bring this to reality. It is essential that the rich heritage attractions of the area become a significant factor in local tourism The occasion also marked the laying of the first new panel of track in the Tarka Valley Railways expansion along the Trail towards Bideford. All three supporting organisations are seeking volunteers help to bring plans to fruition. Its next job will be to install a pedestrian level crossing and then three further panels of track.