The South Devon Railway Enthusiasts' site


The South Devon Railway has issued lineside permits for the benefit of photographers for a number of years. Recently the number issued has increased to the extent that a charge, currently £20, is now made for a permit, in order to cover administrative costs, mainly staff time.

From 2011 the South Devon Railway Trust introduced a Personal Track Safety scheme, comprising a course, an exam and certificate for successful candidates, for those of its paid and unpaid staff that need to be on or about the line. Clearly there is no point in having a documented scheme of staff proficient in track safety without extending the same requirement to those with lineside passes.

The PTS courses are now available at the cost of £40.  Applicants must write to or e-mail the South Devon Railway Trust at the address below to arrange a suitable date for their course.  Applicants will need to bring along two identical recent passport photographs of themselves when they attend their course.

The new lineside permits, which cost £20 and expire on 31st December 2015, are now available for those with PTS cards issued by the SDR, Network Rail or other major heritage railway.

An SDR PTS certificate will be valid for not less than three years, after which time it will need to be renewed at a cost of £20..

NB A PTS certificate issued by South Devon Railway will NOT be valid on Network Rail property, and neither is there a guarantee that it will be accepted by any other heritage railways.

Any active member of the South Devon Railway Association or other South Devon Railway approved voluntary support group in possession of an SDR or other approved PTS certificate, does not need a lineside permit for the purpose of photography.

Those wishing to apply for a lineside permit should contact the South Devon Railway Trust's Operating Manager at:

  • The Station
  • Dartbridge Road
  • Buckfastleigh
  • Devon TQ11 0DZ

Applicants with a current PTS Certificate should enclose the certificate or present their Network Rail PTS card at our offices* together with their remittance for £20, together with a stamped s.a.e. A permit will be valid from the date of issue until the end of that calendar year.

Applicants without a PTS Certificate should either acquire their own Network Rail PTS or get in touch with us to enquire about attending an SDR PTS Course.

*Please note that it is not always possible to issue a permit at short notice to those that just turn up, even if they have brought documentation with them. Those authorised to issue permits may be out of the office, or engaged on other duties.

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