Rails & Ales

Twice a year the South Devon Railway celebrate with a feast of steam and diesel trains – and our famous beer and cider festival too!

Trains will be running all day with departures from Buckfastleigh and Totnes Riverside at frequent intervals. Totnes Riverside station is a 450m walk from the mainline station and bus stop; perfect if you are leaving the car behind and visiting us by public transport. Where possible, our train timetable is shaped around mainline connections. At Buckfastleigh we have a large FREE car park and there are nearby bus stops for routes between Plymouth and Exeter. There is NO PARKING available at Staverton so we recommend using our heritage trains to take you there.

At Staverton, the beer festival will be in full swing, offering a great selection of different ales, craft beers and ciders to enjoy from Devon Diesel Society’s award-winning bar. 

The Staverton Buffet Coach opens to serve a variety of hot & cold snacks, teas, coffees and soft drinks.

Sunday evening is usually quiz night – a just for fun general knowledge quiz.

Rails and Ales

25th - 28th August 2023

Train Services

  • Intensive steam and diesel trains operating from Buckfastleigh and Totnes Riverside stations throughout the day and in to the evening
  • Travel at 1/2 price after 18.00 when booking online using code ALES (available on Return or Single: Adult, Senior and Child tickets only. Input code at the checkout and discount will be applied)
  • Our usual range of tickes are available. Return fares to Staverton have been capped at just £10!
  • Timetable available HERE

Beer Festival

  • Entry to the platform and yard at Staverton is available with any SDR train ticket
  • Staverton Bar open between 11.00 and 21.30
  • Over 40 Real Ales
  • Up to 8 Craft Beers
  • 10 traditional and fruit ciders
  • Wine, Gin, Prosecco and PIMM’S too!
  • Outdoor and undercover seating
  • Cash and card payments taken


  • On-train Buffet on some services offering hot and cold drinks, beer, cider, wine, cakes and hot pasties
  • Staverton Buffet Coach open between 10.00 and 16.00, serving pasties, cakes and hot & cold drinks
  • Festival BBQ open between 12.30 and 20.00 (excluding Monday)

Live Music – New for 2023

For the first time, we will be hosting live music at the festival during the evening.

  • TRAPS – Friday 
  • STRYDES – Saturday

Music will kick off at 19.00 and finish at 21.00.

Join us on Sunday from 19.00 for our famous pub quiz! 

Future Rails & Ales Festival, Spring 2024

Details of our 2024 festivals will be posted here.