The South Devon Railway Enthusiasts' site

SOUTH DEVON RAILWAY To Run Trains on Boxing Day
Boxing Day Special Timetable
Buckfastleigh dep.11.301.303.30
Staverton dep.11.451.453.45
Totnes (Littlehempston)12. 02. 04. 0
Totnes (Littlehempston)
Staverton arr.12.302.304.28
Staverton dep.12.452.454.30
Buckfastleigh arr. 1. 0 3. 04.45

With all of the pre-Christmas Santa trains expected to completely sell out this year and with only Friday 19 December left now with any available seats, volunteers at the South Devon Railway (SDR) will also be busy on Xmas Day itself preparing to run steam train services on Boxing Day for the first time in over 50 years since the line was closed to passengers by British Railways in 1958!

The scenic steam railway first planned to run services last Boxing Day, but a serious 500-ton landslip put paid to that which then closed the line for six weeks while major repairs took place during some horrendous weather that also then cut off the West Country for a time!

The extra steam train services on Boxing Day (Friday 26th December) this year are being run as a trial following suggestions from regular travellers and staff that running the trains would be popular with families and others looking to get out of their homes and take in some steamy fresh air and scenery.

And, with just a limited on-train buffet available and the SDR’s Refreshment Rooms closed until Saturday 27th December, the railway is encouraging visitors to bring along their own “Xmas Dinner Leftovers Picnic” of food and drink so that they can enjoy a festive packed lunch on the rails.

Boxing Day trains will run to a special timetable departing Buckfastleigh at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm and from Totnes at 12.15pm, 2.15pm and 4.15pm. There will be a 15–minute stop at Staverton on the first two trains returning from Totnes, where the volunteer-run station buffet coach will be open from 10.00am to 3.00pm serving hot drinks, pasties, soup and mince pies to customers.

The seven–mile South Devon Railway will have run eleven intensive days of Santa special trains during December carrying some 7,900 passengers, and just a few seats are left now on the three trains running on Friday 19 December; visit our on-line booking system for the present availability.

SDR PR & Business Development Manager Dick Wood comments: “We’ve had a tremendous take-up of our Santa trains this year following the introduction of e-ticketing which is great news and a much needed boost after an indifferent main tourist season for many attractions in the West Country.
And, after last year's landslip put paid to our plans to run on Boxing Day 2013, we decided we'd run steam trains on Boxing Day this year as a trial because we know that people are always looking to do something different and unusual at Christmas.
With almost everyone having some leftover food at Christmas, we hope the idea of enjoying a festive, on-train picnic, coupled with some great views from the comfort of a warm, steam-heated carriage, will appeal to many people as the train ambles alongside the River Dart.
And, for those wishing to beat the wet-weather blues after Xmas, there’ll still be time to see some superb Devon scenery and sample a free seasonal Mince Pie on board one of the railway’s steam trains from Saturday 27th December to New Year’s Day inclusive, and then our branch line trains up to Sunday 4th January.”

The Boxing Day and Mince Pie special trains have plenty of seats and do not need to be pre-booked.

The Expressway model railway and gift shop is fully stocked up with Xmas presents and gift vouchers for children of all ages, and is open for business every day alongside the SDR’s award-winning Refreshment Rooms. Special gift vouchers for the SDR’s Dining Train and ‘Drive a Train’ days are available on–line.

With ample car parking at Buckfastleigh on the A38 Devon Expressway, the South Devon Railway is just 25 minutes from Plymouth, Exeter and Torbay.

And, in February, the SDR is holding another of its popular half–term week galas from February 13th to 22nd 2015 with a strong British Railways (Western Region) period atmosphere.

It will feature visiting guest loco, former GWR 45xx NO. 4566, painted in BR Black livery, plus newly restored former GWR 64xx Pannier NO. 6412, painted in BR Green and fully fitted out for auto train working for the event.

Loco NO. 6412 was the first loco to run on the SDR line back in 1969 and this will be its first appearance at Buckfastleigh since 1976 when it was sold to the West Somerset Railway.

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