• TODAY'S OPENING TIMES

    All Facilities
    10am to 5pm

    Family Entertainment at the Top Spot Marquee from 2.30pm

  • DIRECTIONS TO EX12 3NA

    BY CAR:

    Follow the brown official Tourist Board direction signs indicated with a train symbol for ‘Pecorama Pleasure Gardens’ from the A3052 towards Beer.

    BY BUS:

    The X52 service travels from Exeter through to Bridport via Lyme Regis, stopping off at Beer Cross which is a 10 minute walk from Pecorama. This service is currently disrupted due to industrial action by First Group Dorset until at least 10th September 2016.

    The 9 / 9A service runs hourly from Exeter to Seaton / Lyme Regis and the 20 service travels from Taunton, via Wellington and Honiton, to Seaton where there are bus services to Beer. Both of these services are offered by Stagecoach.

    There is also a bus service from Sidmouth to Seaton, AVMT service 899. This route passes just outside Pecorama and will stop on request.

    For full details please telephone Devon Bus Service on (01392) 382800, Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 or any of the bus service providers.

    BY TRAIN:

    The nearest train station to Pecorama is Axminster, on the London Waterloo – Exeter, West of England main line. The station is approximately 9 miles from us. The 885 AVMT bus service travels to Seaton, where a connection via the 899 bus service to Beer is available. Alternatively, taxis from the station can be booked in advance – Axminster Taxis 01297 34000.

  • Information Line

    9.00am – 5.30pm, Monday – Friday

    10.00am – 5.00pm, Saturday & Sunday

    Alternatively email: pecorama@pecobeer.co.uk

  • Check the weather

    Pecorama is located high on the hillside, less than a mile from the sea and often seems to have its own micro-climate. Therefore, if you are planning a visit and the general forecast is not that good, why not telephone us for an up-to-date report of what is actually happening here at Pecorama – the chances are we are having a lovely day!

    Call us on 01297 21542

  • TRIPADVISOR

BHLR Rolling Stock

Dickie

Delivered in 1976 and built by David Curwen of Devizes, Wiltshire. An 0-4-2 tender engine, the design is based loosely on the famous Douglas locomotive which operates on the Talyllyn 2ft 3in gauge railway in North Wales. The loco has 9 inch driving wheels with two outside cylinders, a bore of 3½ inches and a stroke of 4 inches, with Walschaerts valve gear. The boiler has a diameter of 10¾ inches and it works at a steam pressure of 100lb per square inch. “Dickie” was named by the comedian Richard Murdoch and having been re-boilered in 1992, has seen continuous service for the past 30 years.

Thomas II

Built in 1979 by Roger Marsh of Coventry. An 0-4-2 ST plus tender locomotive, following the general appearance of Quarry Hunslet loco’s with 3½ inch bore by 4¼ inch stroke cylinders, 9½ inch driving wheels, Walschaerts valve gear and a 10¾ inch diameter boiler. “Thomas II” was named by the well-known West Country band “The Wurzels” (of which Thomas Banner is a member!) on one of the busiest days the railway has ever seen. The loco’ became the prototype of what has now become a class of engine popular with 7¼ inch gauge railway operators, ensuring many further examples being built since 1979.

On the occasion of the 2009 Garden Open Day for Charity, July 19th, Paul Atterbury of Antiques Roadshow fame re-dedicated Thomas to the railway. During the winter of 2008/2009 Thomas had a major refit and a fresh coat of paint – well deserved after 30 years’ service.

Linda

Built by John Clarke of Denbigh, date unknown. Rebuilt by TMA Engineering, Birmingham in 1983 and delivered to Pecorama the same year. A 2-4-0 ST plus tender locomotive which started life as a scale model of the Ffestiniog Railway’s Linda, with 3¾ inch bore by 4 inch stroke cylinders, inside Stephensons valve gears 8 inch diameter driving wheels and 10 inch diameter boiler. The prototype of this engine was built as an 0-4-0 ST for use on Lord Penryn’s extensive slate quarry railway system in North Wales and was named after one of his daughters.

Mr P

Designed and completed in 1997 by John Macdougall, Chief Engineer on the Beer Heights Light Railway. A 2-4-2 tank and tender engine with 3¼ inch by 4½ inch cylinders, 10 inch driving wheel, Walschaerts valve gear and 12 inch diameter boiler which employs the gas producer combustion system. This loco is named after the late Mr S C Pritchard, founder of the PECO group of companies as well as the BHLR. He was affectionately known to his staff as “Mr P”. The engine has become the mainstay of the fleet and operates over 1000 miles each year. It is finished in Midland Railway livery.

Claudine

Completed in August 2005 and named during the railway’s 30th anniversary celebration weekend by T.V. celebrity and rail enthusiast Pete Waterman, Claudine is a unique 2-4-4 single Fairlie tank locomotive. B.H.L.R. Chief Engineer John Macdougall designed and built the loco which has an articulated power bogie and rear truck making her eminently suited to the line’s sharp curves and steep gradients. The boiler, motion and cylinders are all the same as those on “Mr P” except, in this case, piston valves have been employed on the slightly inclined cylinders. Claudine is named after the late Sydney Pritchard’s wife who was a co-founder of the Peco group of companies in 1946, and is finished in L.B.S.C. “improved engine green”; livery (yellow ochre).

Otter

Built by Western Narrow Gauge and delivered in 2004, “Otter” is privately owned by one of the drivers and is permanently based on the BHLR.  The 2-4-2 tender loco with 3¼  by 4½ inch cylinders and a 12 inch diameter boiler is similar mechanically to the successful “Mr P” design but with a higher cab plus tender cab which gives the driver full weather protection.  The loco is finished in West Midlands peacock blue livery.

Gem

0-6-0T + 4 wheel Tender (Engerth arrangement). Built in 1999 by John Denslow / B.H.L.R. This is a heavily modified ‘Romulus’ design with cylinders 2¼ inch bore x 3 5/16in stroke, 6 ⅝ inch diameter driving wheels, Baker valve gear, 8 inch O/D boiler barrel, 52 sq.inch. grate area. Named ‘Gem’ by local Radio Gemini presenter Tim Schofield, No. 8 is turned out in Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway lined black livery.

Alfred

Alfred is a tram style electric locomotive which is powered by two pairs of on board traction batteries driving four powerful motors. Built in 2003 by John Macdougall and his assistant Carolyn Nation, Alfred can occasionally be seen operating the new “Beer Mine Shuttle” down the steeply graded branch line to Wildway Down Station, usually hauling one or two trailers. Alfred was officially named by Alan Gardiner, Managing Director of the nearby Seaton Tramway, in memory of Carolyn’s grandfather to whom she attributes her fascination with all things mechanical.

Jimmy

Built in 1986 by Severn Lamb, Stratford-On-Avon and named that year by comedian Jimmy Cricket, Jimmy is a bogie diesel hydraulic locomotive equipped with a Kubota 2 cylinder engine. Originally intended for use as a standby loco’ during quiet periods of operation, this engine is increasingly popular with the younger generation (some think it resembles “Mavis” from the Reverend W. Awdry’s “Thomas the Tank Engine” storybooks) and can often be seen hauling specials on the line. It is also extensively used for winter works trains, being quicker to “fire up” than a steam loco!

A major overhaul was given to Jimmy in 2016 – 30 years after being built. Jimmy is now running again with a replacement engine that was donated by an enthusiast. With the addition on Ben, our diesel locomotive, this means that for the first time in the railway’s 40 year history, 2 internal combustion locos can run alongside the fleet of steam locos.

Ben

Ben was designed and constructed by Chief Mechanical Engineer John Macdougall and named by BBC News correspondent Ben Ando during the railway’s 40th Anniversary Celebration in August 2015. Powered by an 998cc petrol engine from a Mini, Ben is quieter and more comfortable to operate than our ageing ‘Jimmy’ and offers some protection for the drivers in bad weather. The chassis is fabricated from 3″ x 1½” channel and bogies are all 12mm plate bolted construction to aid removal of the gearboxes if necessary.

Samastipur

A recent addition to the Beer Heights fleet, this is a 0-4-2 side tank built by the Exmoor Steam Railway, North Devon in 1999. This short but very powerful tank engine is now owned by the BHLR after being on long-term loan. Having spent some years working on a private railway in the Isle of Man, the owner moved to East Devon and has enjoyed the occasional drive on his loco here. Samastipur is named after a large railway junction in India, which once hosted an annual gathering of highly decorated steam locomotives! Samastipur is currently receiving a major overhaul and will not be running during the 2016 season.

Guest Locomotives

Throughout the year we invite numerous guest locomotives to run on the railway. Often this coincides with Special Events, such as the annual PECO Loco Week and August Bank Holiday Railway Gala. These locomotives come in all shapes and sizes and from up and down the country.

Beer Belle

The first coaches to run on the BHLR were supplied some 36 years ago by Cromar White Railways. There were ten of these two compartment sit-in type bogies coaches which, although well engineered, were rather narrow. Newer vehicles have now superseded all of these.

A second set of carriages, built in the railway workshops using bogies supplied by John Milner, is called the “Beer Belle”. These coaches are similar in design to the original Cromar White vehicles but are somewhat wider and more substantially built. They are turned out in Full Pullman livery and bear the names of coaches which once ran in the famous “Golden Arrow” Pullman train, including “Orion”, which is now preserved and open to visitors at Pecorama. This set is normally run in a rake of eight with one spare.

Silver Jubilee Limited

The “Silver Jubilee Limited” is the name given to a newer set of coaches that entered service in the year 2000, to commemorate 25 years of operation on the BHLR. Uniquely, at the time, this rake of eight is made up of two sets of four permanently articulated coaches, or ”double quad arts” as they are known. They were designed and built by BHLR Chief Engineer John Macdougall and considered by many to be the smoothest riding minimum gauge railway coaches in the country. They are turned out in Crimson Lake livery with gold leaf lettering.

Canopies have now been added to half of these carriages, to provide shelter in wet weather.

MK 4’set

Completed just last year in the BHLR workshops, the newest set of coaches on the line are mechanically similar to the ”Silver Jubilee” set but with different body styling. This new set is made up of two, four car permanently articulated units with fail-safe vacuum brakes on all wheels and is finished in 1950’s British Railways eye catching carmine and cream livery.  The signwriting, which is all applied in traditional style, employs genuine gold leaf lettering. Currently known as ”MK 4’set”, these coaches were officially named by the Rt. Hn. Ann Widdecombe on Peco Open Garden Day , Sunday 17th July 2011.

Wagons

The BHLR also has in its fleet a growing number of purpose-built wagons.  Given the location of the railway on a steeply sloping hillside, there is no direct road access to the lines, sheds, workshops and main station terminus.  Therefore, materials regularly needed for use by the railway, such as coal, ballast, steel and any building materials are loaded onto wagons at a level crossing beyond the tunnel and brought in by train – just like the real thing years ago!