Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boats
Trains have been running through South Devon since 1848 when the first section of the Torquay line opened. A great many things have changed since then but there is still a route running through Teignmouth, Newton Abbot, Totnes, and South Brent which ends at Plymouth. Torquay is on a branch line from Newton Abbot.
Have you ever been on a train? If you have never experienced the thrill of a train ride, now’s the time to give this once essential mode of transportation a serious try. The Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boats tours include train rides originating in Paignton, Dartmouth, Totnes, Torquay, and Brixham.
It’s about more than trains – you can have the complete experience with the Round Robin tour. A steam train will take you to Paignton, Dartmouth and Totnes then you will switch to a river boat trip and then to a bus. The train and bus portions are about 30 minutes long each while the river boat trip is a 90-minute venture. The Round Robin tour comes with commentary and spectacular scenery.
You can get on board at any one of the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boats stations but Queens Park Station is the main station. It’s in the centre of Paignton – a mere 400 yards from the seafront. The other stations are on Tanners Road in Goodrington, off Brixham Road in Churston, just a short walk from Galmpton Touring Park and The Square in Kingswear.
While there are assorted trips you can take through Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boats, the Round Robin timetable is a good example of the flexibility of the Dartmouth tours. You can begin the Round Robin at any one of five locales – Paignton, Totnes, Dartmouth, Torquay, and Kingswear Castle.
The mode of transportation is pulled directly out of history. The steam locomotives include the 4277 Hercules built in 1920 and the 5239 Goliath built in 1924 to haul coal from the Welsh valleys. The Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle built in 1924 at Philip & Son of Dartmouth is the last of the coal-fired paddle steamers in the UK. These classics have been restored to their full former glory.
The steam boats are running right now and the steam trains will be back on track on February 14, 2015. Meanwhile, the 2015 Dartmouth River Cruise takes you on a round trip where you can see Bayards Cove, Kingswear and Dartmouth Castles, Britannia Royal Naval College, Dittisham Village, Sir Walter Raleigh’s Boathouse and Greenway Quay, the Estate of the late Dame Agatha Christie.
While you are at Paignton Station, drop in at the Head of Steam café for a great cup of coffee and a bacon sandwich. If you happen to be at the Kingswear, check out Belle Bistro’s home made cakes and cream teas.
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