Rails & Ales

Twice a year the South Devon Railway celebrate with a feast of steam and diesel trains – and our famous beer and cider festival too!

Trains will be running all day with departures from Buckfastleigh and Totnes Riverside at frequent intervals. Totnes Riverside station is a 450m walk from the mainline station and bus stop; perfect if you are leaving the car behind and visiting us by public transport. Where possible, our train timetable is shaped around mainline connections. At Buckfastleigh we have a large FREE car park and there are nearby bus stops for routes between Plymouth and Exeter. There is NO PARKING available at Staverton so we recommend using our heritage trains to take you there.

Entry to the beer festival is only available to those with railway tickets – we are offering a great value £10 return ticket for travel between Buckfastleigh or Totnes and Staverton, perfect for getting to and from the beer festival in comfort.

At Staverton, the beer festival will be in full swing, offering a great selection of different ales, craft beers and ciders to enjoy from Devon Diesel Society’s award-winning bar. 

The Staverton Buffet Coach opens to serve a variety of hot & cold snacks, teas, coffees and soft drinks.

Sunday evening is usually quiz night – a just for fun general knowledge quiz.

Rails and Ales

Spring Rails & Ales - 24th to 27th May 2024

Train Services

  • Intensive steam and diesel trains operating from Buckfastleigh and Totnes Riverside stations throughout the day and in to the evening
  • Travel at 1/2 price after 18.00 when booking online using code ALES24 (available on Return or Single: Adult, Senior and Child tickets only. Input code at the checkout and discount will be applied)
  • Our usual range of tickets are available. Return fares to Staverton have been capped at just £10!
  • Timetable available below, including working timetable for enthusiasts including locomotive allocations.

Beer Festival

  • Entry to the platform and yard at Staverton is available with any SDR train ticket – please note that it is not possible to access Staverton station without a train ticket.
  • Staverton Bar open between 11.00 and 22.00 (18.00 on Monday)
  • Over 40 Real Ales
  • Up to 7 Craft Beers
  • Up to 10 Traditional and fruit ciders
  • Wine, Gin, Prosecco and PIMM’S too!
  • Outdoor and undercover seating
  • Cash and card payments taken


  • On-train Buffet on some services offering hot and cold drinks, beer, cider, wine, cakes and hot pasties
  • Staverton Buffet Coach open between 10.00 and 16.00, serving pasties, cakes and hot & cold drinks
  • Festival BBQ open between 12.00 and 20.00 (excluding Monday).

Live Music and our famous Quiz Night

Continuing for 2024 due to popular demand, we will be hosting live music at the festival during the evening.

  • The Banned Brothers (upbeat popular covers) – note this is a late notice change from the advertised Firebird, due to illness – Friday 
  • THE STANDBYS (80s Covers) – Saturday

Music will kick off at 18.30 and finish at 21.00.

Join us on Sunday from 18.30 for our famous pub quiz! 


Our standard fares apply during this event.

Return tickets offer one return journey on your booked trains.

Ranger tickets offer unlimited travel on all train services all day, and are our best value ticket.

Travelling after 18.00? Use discount code ALES24 for 50% the advertised ticket price on single and return tickets!

Our price cap for return fares to Staverton has been held at 2023 rates – only £10 for a return between either Buckfastleigh or Totnes and Staverton – perfect for travel to and from the beer festival.

Entry to Staverton station (and hence to the beer festival) is only possible with an SDR train ticket. For those who are going to the beer festival at Staverton direct and not catching our trains (please remember there is NO public parking at Staverton), you will need to purchase a ticket to enter the station.

PRIV, HRA, SDRA, Disabled/Carer, SDR Shareholder and other applicable discounts are valid on return tickets during this event. They are not available for use with any other offer or discount.

Child (3-15)£13£17
Child (0-2)FreeFree
Senior Citizen£18£23
Super Saver Bundle (1 adult & 2 children)£40.50£53
Super Saver Bundle (2 adults & 2 children)£56.00£73

Train Timetable

Locomotives and rolling stock are subject to change in the unlikely event of a failure or operational requirement. Enthusiasts can download the Working Timetable, including locomotive allocations and empty coaching stock movements, here.

Beer and cider list

Summer Rails & Ales - 23rd to 26th August 2024

Our second Rails and Ales event for 2024 takes place over the late August bank holiday weekend, between Friday 23rd and Monday 26th August. This will also feature an intensive timetable of train services, with the usual excellent beer festival and entertainment at Staverton. More details will be posted here soon!