Santa and the West Country's biggest plum pudding!

Santa Claus came early to the South Devon Railway last weekend on 7th and 8th December, but he was so impressed by the smart maroon-coloured steam engine pulling the line’s special trains that he decided the loco’s steam dome looked just like a huge plum pudding and he just couldn’t resist pouring some seasonal white sauce over it. 

Now, it looks like the West Country's biggest Xmas pudding and even has a sprig of holly and berries on the top to complete the scene! 


The ex-Great Western Railway 57xx pannier engine, which normally runs as plain old No. 5786, has been repainted into bright London Transport colours by its owners, the Worcester Loco Society, this year in order to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the opening in London of the world's first underground railway in 1863. 

Santa Claus will be resting his sleigh and stepping aboard his specially decorated grotto trains from Buckfastleigh. The man in red will be handing out presents to children as they travel along the scenic rail route, and parents aren’t left out either as there’s mulled wine and mince pies for them to enjoy too! 

All the trains are steam heated which is very warm and atmospheric, so it’ll be a great experience whatever the weather, and this is a great time of year to see the beautiful valley of the River Dart.

There’s plenty of car parking at Buckfastleigh, where all the journeys start, at 10.00, 12.30 and 3.00pm.

And, whilst the South Devon Railway’s Santa by Steam special trains are always very popular, seats are still available in the run up to Christmas on Wednesday 18th, Thursday 19th and Friday 20th December. 

Advance booking is essential and anyone wishing to do so should ring 01364 644370 or, to check availability, go to

For further information about the South Devon Railway or to arrange interviews, photography or filming, please contact SDR Senior Manager John Haslam or Commercial Director Neil Smith on 01364 643536, or Dick Wood, mobile 07711 552947,e-mail: .

We can supply photographs if required on application to Dick Wood. 


Issued 9th December 2013