At the end of last month, the UK government published the national strategy for recovering from the most recent lockdown. This includes some key stages that allow for the opening up of the country’s economy and for businesses to reopen.
The good news is that the South Devon Railway will be reopening this spring. We’re doing this in two stages, starting with a reopening of the Buckfastleigh station site on Monday 12th April.
This was very popular with our visitors last summer. The site, including the gardens, workshops, riverside picnic area, children’s playground, Lee Moor Tramway museum, north signal box, and the gift and model shop will be open. Many of our steam and diesel locomotives and historic coaches will be on display and, on selected days, both the miniature railway and the garden railway will be in operation.
We will be open all of week commencing 12th April for the half term holiday, then on every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday until 16th May.
Entrance is free – we just ask for a donation at the gate. There is plenty of free car parking at Buckfastleigh station too.
Then on Monday 17th May, passenger train operations begin. We can’t wait to welcome our visitors back to the railway. A timetable of four steam trains per day, leaving Buckfastleigh at 10.30, 12.10, 2.15 and 4.00 and arriving back about one and quarter hours later, will be in operation.
We are putting in a range of measures to ensure that our customers can travel in confidence and safely. This includes reduced capacity on trains, all tickets booked in advance, socially distanced passenger flow systems, hand sanitisation stations and enhanced cleaning regimes. Unless you are exempt, we are asking everyone to wear face coverings on our stations and trains.
Tickets will be available from Monday 12th April on our booking website. As further restrictions on social distancing and household mixing are reduced, we hope to be able increase the number of trains we run.
We are delighted to say that, this year, we are holding two of our hugely popular Day Out With Thomas™ events. These are on 2nd to 4th July and 24th to 26th September, so please make a date in your diaries. Tickets will be on sale soon.
Looking further ahead, this Christmas, The Polar Express™ is coming to the South Devon Railway for the very first time. Keep an eye on our website for more news: tickets are due to go on sale in June.
It has been a long time with no visitors. The whole team on the South Devon Railway is very excited to welcome you back. Please stay safe and keep an eye on our website and social media channels for updates and news.