Overnight Running at 2019 Steam Gala


We are delighted to announce that there will be overnight running on Saturday 6 into Sunday 7 April 2019 as part of the Golden Anniversary Steam Gala!

Steam will operate between Buckfastleigh at Totnes continuously from 10am on Saturday until 6pm on Sunday.

As part of this there will be some good opportunities for night-time photography on the line (from public areas) and also on the shed, where, in the evening, supervised groups of photographers will be able to take photos of the engines from within the yard and running shed area. More details of this will be announced later.

Food will be available overnight to keep everyone’s energy up, and ticket options to allow visitors from either the day before or the day after to take part in the overnight trains are detailed below.

2019 Golden Anniversary Tickets

Direct link to Overnight Tickets page

More details of the 2019 Golden Anniversary Steam Gala

Overnight Tickets:

  • Saturday (6 April) rover tickets are valid until 7pm on Saturday 6 April.
  • Sunday (7 April) rover tickets are valid from 7am Sunday 7 April.
  • Passengers wishing to ONLY travel on the overnight trains, from 7pm Saturday 6 April to 8am Sunday 7 April, may purchase an ‘overnight only’ ticket for £15.
  • A discount for holders of Saturday tickets, who may extend their ticket to be valid until 8am Sunday 7 April, by purchasing an ‘overnight supplement’ for a reduced rate of £7.50. (Please show BOTH your Saturday ticket and your overnight supplement to the ticket inspector.)
  • A discount for holders of Saturday tickets, who may extend their ticket to be valid from 7pm Saturday 6 April, by adding an ‘overnight supplement’ for a reduced rate of £7.50. (Please show BOTH your Sunday ticket and your overnight supplement to the ticket inspector.)
  • Passengers with a Saturday rover ticket AND a Sunday rover ticket (ie a two-day rover, or two one-day rovers, etc) may travel overnight at no extra cost, ie, from the start of the service on Saturday to the end of the service on Sunday. (Please show BOTH your Saturday and Sunday tickets to the ticket inspector.)

2019 Golden Anniversary Steam Gala Tickets on Sale


Some early tickets for 2019’s steam gala are now on sale!

6-14 April 2019 will be a very special gala to mark 50 years since the preservation of the line with nine fantastic days of steam in the Valley of the River Dart. See our website for full details of this exciting event.

There will be visiting locomotives (1450 and 6430 already confirmed, more to follow!) as well as SDR home fleet, a grand re-opening ceremony re-enactment with celebrity guest, a re-enactment of first trains, locomotive parade, dining options for breakfast, lunch and evening meals, footplate experience, drive-a-train experience, SDR Association Day, re-union for all former staff and volunteers, heritage buses, 7¼” railway and much much more!

Tickets are available now, including multi-day rovers.

We are pleased to say that the round trip is priced at the ‘normal’ (ie, £9 for children, £16 for adults, £15 for senior citizens, £45 for a family). Rovers tickets are also available and are valid all day on the stated date/s (does not have to be consecutive) for anything between 1 and 4 days, then a “5+ Day” rover is valid for ALL NINE DAYS of the gala!

  • Joint tickets with Totnes Rare Breeds Farm and/or Otters & Butterflies available at normal prices. Valid for one round trip on the train.
  • Children age 0-2 travel free.
  • Tickets for members, shareholders, etc, are available by ringing up to book (not online).
  • HRA passes, BR Priv, SDR Free Travel Vouchers NOT valid on this event.
  • Working members of other heritage railways with which we have reciprocal travel arrangements pay the SDR members’ fare.

We look forward to seeing you there!

1450 Confirmed for 50th Anniversary Celebrations



We are delighted to announce that GWR Collett 0-4-2T no 1450 will be visiting the SDR in April 2019 as part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations!

Originally numbered 4850, the loco was built in 1935 to lot number 288 and first entered service at Oxford in July 1935. She was re-numbered 1450 by the GWR in 1946 and re-allocated to Slough in April 1951. A return to Oxford in September 1959 was followed by further re-allocations to Exeter (July 1962), Taunton (November 1963) and Yeovil Town (October 1964) before a final move to Exmouth Junction in February 1965. 1450 was finally withdrawn from service by BR in May 1965, after a working life totalling 823,012 miles.

1450 spent her early life in preservation at our line (the then Dart Valley Railway). She was eventually purchased from here and re-located to the Dean Forest Railway, and then the Severn Valley Railway in March 2014. Over the winter of 2017-18 the loco was returned to GWR livery, for the remainder of its current boiler ticket.

1450 is often paired with the same owner’s autocoaches, nos 178 and 238, which are also resident on the SVR. We are delighted to say that chocolate-and-cream liveried no 178 will be joining 1450 at the SDR for the duration of its visit, brining us a step closer to the ambition to operate a 4-coach auto train as part of the 2019 celebrations!

1450 will be joining 6430 from Llangollen, as well as the SDR home fleet. Keep your eyes glued to SDR news for further announcements in future!

Thank you to everyone who has worked hard to arrange the attendance of 1450 to the SDR, including our friends at the Severn Valley, and we are all looking forward to seeing 1450, a loco with a lots of SDR heritage, at Buckfastleigh next year!

[Photo above by Rob Sherwood at 1450’s last visit to the SDR.] Text edited from SVR Wiki

Rails & Ales Timetables Published

This August Bank Holiday, come to the South Devon Railway for a feast of steam and diesel trains – and our famous beer and cider festival too!

We’ll be running trains all day with departures from each end of the line (Buckfastleigh and Totnes) at frequent intervals throughout the day.

At Buckfastleigh, our London Transport Routemaster bus will be running trips to Buckfast Abbey and along to Ashburton, the original terminus of our line, the garden railway and all our usual attractions, from the museum to the gardens and gift shop, will be open.

At Staverton, our midway point on the line, the beer and cider festival will be in full swing from 11.0am until late (6pm on Monday), offering a great selection of different ales, craft beers and ciders to enjoy from Devon Diesel Society’s award-winning bar.

In addition, there will be:

– a barbecue on Friday & Saturday evening

– buffet car serving a variety of hot and cold foods and soft drinks
– a ‘just for fun’ quiz on Sunday evening.

Check out the timetables

L92 back into traffic

We are pleased to say L92 is back in traffic as of today, so the normal two-steam train service will run tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone who has worked hard to bring L92 back into use.

Many thanks

Danny S.

England Team’s Railway Win

Good luck to the England football team tomorrow as they play against Croatia in the World Cup semi-final.

And guess what, if they win – SO DO YOU!

If the England team beat Croatia tomorrow and make it to the World Cup final :

– All children visiting the SDR on Saturday 14 July showing their support for the Final the following day by wearing any THREE LIONS insignia clothing can travel for THREE POUNDS! Shirt, hat, socks, shoes, scarf, shorts – anything with three lions on it counts, whether official or home made, just show your support at the booking office and travel for £3, provided England make it through tomorrow!

– PLUS….. for Dads….. the best Gareth Southgate lookalikes on Saturday 14 July, as judged by our talent scouts on the day, will receive a free family ticket for their next visit! Waistcoats, ties and beards at the ready! (Mums and children are welcome to take part too!)

Note, children must be accompanied by a fare-paying adult and are age 3-15. Under 3s travel free.

Step Back to the 1940s This Weekend


Get your glad rags ready – and Step Back to the 1940s next weekend!

We have military and civilian displays, vintage vehicles including Lorries, jeeps, motorbikes, plus trade stands, live entertainment and costumed re-enactors who will be reliving the wartime story. We would love to see as many of our visitors in 1940s gear as possible too.

We are also pleased to announce that a full size replica Spitfire is set to attend the event for the very first time!

Book your tickets here

Altered workings tomorrow (Friday)

Tomorrow’s beer festival evening trips will be steam-auto-operated instead of the booked DMU. That’s the 7.40, 9.05 and 10.20 from Buckfastleigh, and the 8.20, 9.40 and 10.50 from Totnes.

The 6.45 from Buckfastleigh and 7.40 from Totnes will be DMU-worked instead of steam auto.

Fun and games

Spitfire attending 1940s Festival – 7 & 8 July

HOT OFF THE PRESS!

1940s Festival (7 & 8 July)

We are pleased to announce that a full size replica Spitfire will be attending our ‘South Devon 1940s Festival’ on the 7 & 8 July!

The Spitfire is modelled on EN398 which was the Personal Aircraft of British Flying Ace W/Cdr Johnny Johnson D.F.C. It has a complete original cockpit and a working WWII Rolls Royce engine which you will be able to hear start up at regular intervals throughout the event.

Pre book your tickets for this event.