South Devon Limited – Breakfast Special

On Sunday 7th April, we are pleased to announce a special Breakfast train departing Buckfastleigh at approximately 09:30 for a return trip to Totnes Riverside. We will be offering a Full English Breakfast served at your seat along with a tea or coffee, orange juice and a selection pastries.

This is a first come first served basis and is limited to 40 spaces. Please note that the formation of seating on the train is fixed and comprises seats in groups of 2 or 4 around a table. You may be seated with other diners.

Your on train breakfast will cost £12.00 per person and you can purchase yours here.
You will need a valid train travel ticket for this service.

Golden Anniversary Gala Diesel Driver Experience

We are pleased to offer an exclusive opportunity to take to the controls of our new resident Class 25, D7535. This will be the first chance you will get to drive this particular locomotive on the SDR, under the watchful eye of our experienced loco crews. Your journey will begin at Buckfastleigh hauling a typical British Railway Goods train for a return trip to Staverton. During your experience you will be able to observe the passing of trains at Bishop Bridge Loop from a vantage point only available to a few. You will also get the chance to carry out small shunting activities and learn how to uncouple/couple the locomotive to your train.

Furthermore your ticket entitles you to all day travel on our other services that day.

These are available on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th April departing at 12:45 & 15:00 and the cost is £100.

To book your place click here.

• Participants must be over the age of 18, and be fit and healthy and able to climb from ground level.
• We advise all participants to wear old clothing that covers arms and legs & stout shoes.
• DO NOT report for the course under the influence of Drugs or Alcohol. The host will refuse your participation if they believe this to be the case.

9466 visit SDR for 50th Anniversary Celebrations


9466 – Photo Sam Hooper

The South Devon Railway is pleased to announce that GWR designed 0-6-0 Pannier Tank 9466 is to visit for the attractions 50th anniversary celebrations between the 6th and 14th April 2019. The locomotive is appearing courtesy of Gwyneth Maude, the sister of the late Dennis Howells MBE who sadly passed away in August 2018. The locomotive, which appears in British Railways Black livery, will look at home in the Great Western Railway setting and will be paired with traditional carriages and wagons of a similar era. Nick Crook, of 9466 Locomotive Group, said “we are really looking forward to visiting the South Devon Railway and taking part in their 50th celebrations”. Although 9466 has travelled between Totnes and Buckfastleigh in September 2010, It is thought that this is the first time it, or indeed any member of the 94xx class, has hauled trains along the branch.

The South Devon Railway will be celebrating 50 years of the preserved line, which runs between Buckfastleigh and Totnes in the Dart Valley, by holding a Golden Anniversary celebration between the 6th and 14th April. Other visiting locomotives confirmed for the event are Auto Tank 1450 and Pannier Tank 6430, which were previously based on the Devon line.

South Devon Railway Gift Vouchers now on sale

South Devon Railway Gift Vouchers are now on sale on our website.
Vouchers can be used to pay for (in full or part) train tickets, meals on our dining trains and driver experiences.
They’re valid for a year from the date of purchase.
They cannot be exchanged for cash and any money remaining on the voucher once you have purchased your tickets can be used in your next transaction.

Simply go to our website details 

buy the gift voucher and have it emailed to the lucky recipient.
Once they have the email, they simply follow the link and spend the gift voucher on the steam railway experience.
Vouchers have to be used to buy tickets online. They cannot be used at our booking offices.
Vouchers cannot be used to buy tickets for “Days out with Thomas” and cannot be used in our shop or cafe.
Gift vouchers are not valid tickets for train travel.
All tickets bought on line have to be exchanged for travel tickets at our booking offices.

Boxing Day and Mince Pie Trains

After a day of turkey, trimmings and telly why not take a train trip along the beautiful Dart Valley on Boxing Day. Our steam hauled services operate at 11:30, 13:30 and 15:30 from Buckfastleigh (where there’s free parking) and return from Totnes at 12:15, 14:15 and 16:15.

We’ll also be running our popular Mince Pie Trains again this year from 27th December through until 1st January inclusive. Every passenger gets a complimentary mince pie and our on-train buffet car service will be open for teas, coffees, wines and beers. Trains leave Buckfastleigh at 10:45, 12:30 and 14:30 returning from Totnes at 11:30, 13:15 and 15:15.

Download Boxing Day and New Year Public Time Table as PDF


Visiting loco 41312 welcomed

We are delighted to report that we have a visiting locomotive until 14th October.

Ivatt Class 2MT 2-6-2T No 41312 is visiting us from the Mid Hants Railway.

41312 was once shedded at Barnstaple Junction while working on BR’s Southern Region and this is its first trip back to Devon since those days. It is also the first time a member of this class of locomotive has ever visited our line.

The Ivatt is due to be working every day up to and including 14th October.

41312 was built in May 1952 at Crewe locomotive works and spent her entire working career on the Southern Region of British Railways. The class was nicknamed ‘Mickey Mouse’ tanks as, when Southern Region route indicator discs were placed either side of the smokebox, they looked looked like ears.

41312 was first based at Faversham, then Ashford in June 1959, before being moved to Barnstaple Junction where she worked over the Torrington branch, putting in some appearances on the Ilfracombe and Exeter line.

In March 1963 she was reallocated to Brighton. In 1964 she moved to Bournemouth were she worked over the Swanage and Lymington branches.

41312 performed the last steam service on the Lymington branch in April 1967. The last three months of her career were spent at Nine Elms acting as a station shunter for Waterloo. She was finally withdrawn from service on 3rd July 1967.

Driver for Armitice

Your chance to drive a steam locomotive on the South Devon Railway – in aid of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

Your hand can be on the regulator of one of our steam locomotives for a trip of approximately one mile from Buckfastleigh to Caddaford and back, for only £11.11!

Please ensure you wear sturdy shoes and clothes that you don’t mind getting sooty. Gloves and overalls will be provided. You must be at least 18 years old to take part in Driver for Armistice.

This event is now SOLD OUT

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!

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