About the South Devon Railway Opening Weekend
The village of Buckfastleigh is situated in Devon just off A38 (Devon Expressway), about halfway between Exeter to the northeast and Plymouth to the southwest. It holds the 'distinction' of having the longest name in England with no repeated letters. That, in itself, is no reason to celebrate, but when March arrives, the South Devon Railway Season Opening Weekend is two days of fun for the whole family.
Seven trains will run each day of the weekend from Buckfastleigh to Totnes. Big deal, you might think, but you’ll jump for joy when you realise that the fare is one-half the standard weekday fare.
Enjoyment can be found without even boarding a train. Those with an interest in Railroad modelling can browse the Expressway model railway and gift shop and enjoy quality food and drink in one of the Refreshment Rooms. Once on the train, the wonderful scenery of the valleys by the River Dart in Devon will calm your soul and make you forget your problems. If you are a 'hands-on' individual, you can get those hands dirty as one of the many volunteers who help keep the trains on the track for all to enjoy.
South Devon Railway Trust
Here is a brief history of the South Devon Railway (SDR): It opened the 1st of May in 1872. The Great Western Railway took over in 1876. All traffic on the railway stopped on the 7th of September in 1962, and it was re-opened as a preserved steam line on the 5th of April 1969. The South Devon Railway Trust took over the running of the line on 1st January 1991 and 2019 was the 50th anniversary year.
Entry To The Event
On days when the trains are not running, the Gift Shop, Museum, and Refreshment rooms are open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. For the train ride the everyday fare schedule is £16.00 for adults, Children age 3 to 15 is £9.00, Senior Citizen enter for £15.00 and a Family of 2 adults and 2 children is £45.00. Children under 3 are free and your dog will need to beg you for £1.00 to sit next to that cute poodle that entered with the previous family. Remember that ½ price fares are in effect for the Season Opening Weekend.
Somewhere to Stay in Devon
Lodging can be a problem for some events, but for this one, there is a listing of hotels, B&Bs, Guesthouses and 'self-catering' sites for Caravans on the SDR website homepage under the heading 'Where to stay locally'.
Getting To South Devon Railway Trust
Drivers will approach the South Devon Railway from the A38 (Devon Expressway) from the south by taking the left lane exit onto the B3380 just after passing the Point-To-Point Racecourse. Stay on the B3380 and make the first right turn after passing a Gulf petrol station that will lead to the station entrance. From the north exit left from the A38 onto the A384, cross over the River Dart to a roundabout. Take the 2nd exit to the A3380 and make a left turn just before reaching that same Gulf petrol station.
Other Things To Do Around Buckfastleigh
Weekend visitors looking for added fun away from the trains will want to visit Torquay and travel the Agatha Christie Mile, a short tour that honors the life and works of one of Torquay’s most famed citizens. Torquay is about 15 miles east of Buckfastleigh. After Torquay head about 11 miles south along the coast to Dartmouth and the Dartmouth Museum. You’ll get to know Dartmouth’s famous sons, like the 18th-century inventor of the first practical steam engine, Thomas Newcomen.
Dogs are welcome but will need that £0.50 to enter the trains. Wheelchair users are advised to measure the width of their chair to see if it will fit through the train doors. The maximum overall size for wheelchairs is: length of 47 inches (1200 mm), width of 27 inches (700 mm), and weight of 500 lbs (230 kg). You can even try driving the train as long as you have avoided beer on the on-train buffet.
When is the next South Devon Railway Opening Weekend?
The South Devon Railway Opening Weekend is planned to take place at South Railway Trust, The Station, Buckfastleigh, , Devon, TQ11 0DZ, Saturday 14th March, 2020. This is a Weekend Heritage Gala.
0843 357 1420
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