The Tarka Valley Railway is looking for new volunteer as it works on laying track on the old Torrington to Bideford line.

Volunteers are invited to join the next big push to extend Torrington’s heritage railway.

The Tarka Valley Railway charity has the ultimate aim of reopening the old line from Torrington to Bideford, working from its base on the platform of Torrington Station, next to the Puffing Billy.

By the end of this year and subject to negotiation of a lease with Devon County Council, it is hoped to lay another 300 yards of track towards Bideford.

But even a small heritage railway operation needs dozens of volunteers to carry out all manner of tasks.

These include maintaining and restoring the railway’s 1945 Fowler diesel locomotive – which laboured at the Peters Marland clay works – as well as helping out with sales in its restored 1955 carriage.

The extension project will need many more helping hands. Part of it will see the Tarka Trail moved over so cyclists and walkers can still use it as normal.

Chairman Rod Garner said volunteer numbers had increased quite a bit, but there was still a constant need for people to help out with maintenance and administration duties.

“It’s rewarding; you get to do something positive that’s ultimately for the benefit of the community,” he said.

“You also get to meet and work with a grand bunch of people.”

The group meets at the station every Thursday and anyone is welcome to go along and find out more. Alternatively, email tarkavalleyrailway@gmail.com or call 07881 905260.

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