On 21 May 1969 Dr Richard Beeching officially reopened the railway between Buckfastleigh and Totnes in south Devon as the Dart Valley Railway. This former GWR branch line had been closed by British Railways in 1962, although the passenger service had disappeared in 1958. The railway was only the fifth heritage railway in the country to be reopened and, though volunteers were involved, the owning company had shareholders and was run as a commercial undertaking. The author was one of those early volunteers who worked to make the railway physically fit to carry passengers again. In the intervening fifty-odd years since, the line has had its highs and lows, has come close to closing, has been taken over by a registered charity and now seems to be much more assured in its future direction. Many of the images in this account have never been published before and give a fascinating insight into the early years of the infant heritage railway.