Winter Steam Gala

Friday 30th December, Saturday 31st December 2022 and Sunday 1st January 2023

The South Devon Railway Winter Steam gala returns for this festive period, with not one but two visiting steam locomotives in use, plus a locomotive from the South Devon Railway home fleet. Trains will operate to an intensive timetable, giving plenty of opportunity to travel behind these heritage locomotives.

The middle of winter is a great time to travel on our Great Western branchline, as the lack of greenery on the trees allows for some stunning views of the river and hills as the train meanders down the valley of the river Dart, travelling between Buckfastleigh and Totnes. Our trains are also cosy and warm, being heated by steam from the locomotive hauling your train.

Our buffet carriage will be serving hot and cold drinks, light refreshments and snacks (including mince pies!) on some services.

Our standard fares apply for this event, making it even better value!

There is a large free car park at our Buckfastleigh station, and our station at Totnes Riverside is a 450-metre walk from Totnes National Rail station, which has paid parking and rail and bus links. See the How to Find Us page for more details.

Locomotives in Use

Visiting thanks to our friends at the Mid Hants Railway, this event sees a return to the South Devon Railway for popular “Ivatt” tank No. 41312, which last visited us in 2018.

41312 was built at Crewe in 1952 and worked at various locations for British Railways, including being based nearby at Barnstaple Junction from 1960 to 1963.

It arrived at Barry scrapyard in South Wales in January 1968 and stayed there until August 1974 when it was acquired by the Caerphilly Railway Society. The locomotive was later sold on and moved to the Mid Hants Railway, finally steaming for the first time in preservation in 1998.

Photo copyright R. Sherwood 2018

British Railways built 78xx Class locomotive No. 7820 Dinmore Manor makes a return visit to the SDR, courtesy of owning group Dinmore Manor Locomotive Ltd and home-railway, the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway.

After being in use on our Polar Express services, Dinmore Manor will have a final 3 days operating on the SDR (in original guise without cow-catcher and bell!) over our Winter Steam Gala. A very popular locomotive, this is a rare chance to ride behind the engine on normal services on the SDR.

The first Manor entered service in 1938, and the design proved successful with 20 of the locomotives being in service by 1939. A further batch of locomotives was delayed due to the war effort, however British Railways were allowed to order another 10 in 1950, and Dinmore Manor was the first of those built for British Railways, being completed in November 1950.

Photo copyright R. Sherwood 2021

GWR 64xx Class Pannier Tank No. 6430 recently joined the South Devon Railway home fleet in 2021, where it is under a hire agreement with its owner Hugh Shipton. 6430 was originally purchased by the Dart Valley Railway (the company that first operated the now South Devon Railway), with the locomotive arriving here in 1966.

6430 was only intended to be used as a source of spare parts for other class members 6412 (also based at the SDR) and 6435, however current owner Hugh Shipton purchased the locomotive in 1989, and after a painstaking thorough restoration 6430 finally moved under its own steam for the first time in preservation in 2003.

6430 is now a firm favourite at the SDR and has been busy hauling our trains for the last year, and its appearance at our gala will complement the two visiting locomotives operating.

Photo copyright R. Sherwood 2019.



The working timetable, with details of locomotive and carriage allocations, is available to download for those who would like further information – CLICK HERE.


Our standard fares (shown opposite) are valid on all days of our festive services, including the Winter Steam Gala. Please note that return tickets offer travel for one return journey, whereas Ranger tickets offer unlimited travel all day. Single fares are also available.

The usual membership and shareholder discounts (HRA/SDRA/PRIV) are available on return fares for this period (when purchased from our booking offices). No discounts are offered on Ranger tickets.

Child (3-15)£16
Child (0-2)Free
Senior Citizen£22
Family Super Saver Bundle (1 adult & 2 chuldren)£50
Family Super Saver Bundle (2 adults & 2 children)£69
Disabled / Carer£11.50