New Carriage Installation

In mid March 2006, the two fully refurbished bogies were transported overnight from London to Babbacombe. The first day’s six-hour installation went well and to plan Torbay Seaways crane lifted the 3.2 tonne bogies off a flatbed lorry onto the track.

However, on the second day whilst winching one of the bogies broke free and collided into the bottom boarding station causing extensive framework damage to the bogie and had to be sent back to London for repairs. There were no visible signs of damage to the bottom station a structural survey to find out the cause and extent of the damage was carried out. The London experts assessed the damaged bogie was extensive and repairs would take time therefore the railway was not ready for the celebration on April 1st 2006.

Fortunately, a full risk assessment for all involved in the lifting operation and precautions were in place no one was hurt. The many inbuilt safety devices ensure when functioning under normal operation this would have been impossible. The railway has been running 80 years and there has never been a serious accident. A major disappoint and setback for all. One of the newly refurbished carriages with some of the original vertical poles and handgrips restored and retained was on show for the April celebration day.

25th May 2006 again the weather changed from previous days of rain and wind the conditions were perfect. The lorry with its loads had to reverse down the cliff road into position near the bottom station a tricky manoeuvre to undertake.

Torbay Seaways lifted the bogie onto the track the lorry then left to collect the second carriage upon returning with its load it was placed into position on the bogie.