South Devon Railway Engineering Ltd, incorporating R K Pridham Engineering, specialist boiler makers and repairers  

In the summer of 2010, South Devon Railway Engineering Ltd acquired the business of R K Pridham Engineering, one of the country's premier steam boiler specialists, with over 30 years' experience of manufacturing and repairing boilers for railway locomotives and traction engines.

SDRE Ltd, incorporating R K Pridham Engineering, specialises in the manufacture and repair of locomotive and traction engine boilers, with emphasis on quality and maintaining authenticity. Continuing the Pridham tradition, we pride ourselves on the standard of our work and our ability to tackle most jobs, be it a firebox repair or the building of a new boiler from scratch. Our construction methods will wherever possible adhere to the original design and methods.

As Pridham's, we were pleased to have been host to some very well known names in the heritage railway industry and took a pride in helping to keep them running for future generations to enjoy. Boiler work has recently been completed on Severn Valley Railway-based Southern Railway West Country Pacific class No 34027 Taw Valley and the National Railway Museum's Southern Railway 4-6-0 No E850 Lord Nelson (below).

R K Pridham Engineering started life in three tin sheds, formerly Pridham's garage and charabanc depot in the village of Lamerton, West Devon. In 1985, the original site was demolished and further land purchased to make way for a new purpose built 4000 sq ft workshop on the same site. In 2005 with space sorely lacking, we purchased a 2 1/4 acre site on a new industrial estate near Tavistock. After an 18 month building project R K Pridham Engineering moved into its new 9500 sq ft unit in Tavistock.
When Roger Pridham retired in 2010, the business was acquired by South Devon Railway Engineering and moved to the railway's extensive engineering workshops in Buckfastleigh.
We offer a full range of services, from manufacturing a completely new boiler from scratch using existing patterns or drawings, to carrying out repairs to existing boilers or supplying customers with parts and guidance to enable them to carry out the work themselves. 



Boiler repairs


Bottle ends  


Contact us 

Traditionally, the majority of Pridham's customers are heritage railways and societies. Quarries, hospitals, breweries and even a monastery have also used Pridham's services, extending the client base throughout the UK and beyond.

Now SDRE continues to offer a very high class of engineering excellence and we shall continue to pride ourselves on the levels of after sales service for which R K Pridham were well known.


All of the works undertaken are under constant scrutiny by various bodies, including national rail authorities, to ensure high standards. Parts are produced in an authentic fashion, utilising modern techniques to ensure optimum results. We are continuing to grow and evolve to suit customers' needs and are always looking for new skills and equipment to stay ahead of the field.

Please note that all the photographs shown on these pages were taken at R K Pridham's works in Tavistock. The machinery is being moved to Buckfastleigh during September 2010.