Dartmouth Steam Railway

Dartmouth Steam Railway

© Copyright Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Paignton & Dartmouth Railway is a Standard Gauge Heritage Steam Railway running from the Seaside Town of Paignton to Kingswear on the River Dart.

Route

The route traverses some magnificent scenery Coastal and Inland over is seven mile length from the Coast at Paignton to the banks of the River Dart at Kingswear!

Paignton

Paignton Station has recently undergone a full refurbishment, almost a complete Re-Build! A new entrance, very in-keeping with with Steam as opposed to the old station. A rather grand entrance leads through the booking office onto the platform with new GWR style Wood panelling and canopy.

Although some enthusiasts would still argue it’s not authentic, the PDSR although using traditional colours have a very unique colour scheme of its own.

Paignton Station decked out in very solid variations of GWR Chocolate and Cream, a more yellow’y colour than Cream I suppose! (Trying to write this while not sounding like an interior designer!)

There is a Shop here selling various Railway items, including Thomas merchandise, Ticket Office, Cafe etc!

Locos Coal and water up here.

Sometimes you may have to wait a while for the train here as every so many runs, they wash the coaches to stop them corroding from the Sea air.

Goodington Sands

This is more of a Halt than a Station, but never the less trains stop in both directions.

This little single line station is situated just 200 yards out of Paignton Station, the station serves the Beach and Water park.

Upon Leaving Goodrington the locomotive has to tackle Goodrington Bank, a 1 in 40 climb nearly all the way to Churston!

Between Goodrington and Churston there are some wonderful views along the Coast, crossing viaducts, through Cutting etc.

Churston

This is the Halfway point on the line. Upon entering Churston you pass several sidings and the railways Turntable, which is frequently used by Mainline specials.

The railway also has it’s workshop and Engine shed facility’s here!

On two train operation trains also pass here!

Between Churston and Kingswear, the train passes through Greenway Tunnel, over more viaducts and you can get some great views of the River Dart from here!

Greenway Halt

A new addition in 2012, located just before the Northern entrance of Greenway Tunnel!

Built to serve the Greenway Estate, the former holiday residence of Dame Agatha Christie and family!

The house is now owned by the National Trust, and is open to the Public on certain days through the year, the house still houses the original family collection of the Mystery Writers famous novels!

The house and gardens are a 30 minute walk through picturesque woodland.

Kingswear

This is the Eastern Terminus of the Line.

This is the Original Station, including the Overall roof at the Far end.

There are two platforms here, the Bay Platform used mainly for Mainline Special, leaving the main platform free for P&DSR Trains to still operate!

There is a Cafe, Gift ship etc here.

Upon leaving the station you can follow the Walkway down to the Jetty where you can hop aboard a foot-ferry and visit Dartmouth!

From Dartmouth you can take a cruise around the Harbour or up the River Dart.

NEW for 2013! Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle returns to South Devon! [Link]

Kingswear Castle used to operate on the Dart from Kingswear. After negotiations with the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, KC is returning to her proper home from Chatham Docks where she’s been running since preservation!

She’ll be operating cruises along the Dart and also Evening Picnic Cruises during July and August!

TV

The Dartmouth Steam Railway has appeared in several TV Shows, most notably, Poirot.

Motive Power

The railway in main operates former GWR locomotives Although not in traditional liveries (With the exception of Lydham Manor which was painted in BR lined Black in 2011.).

Current operational flee consists of two GWR 2-8-0Ts and Lydham Manor with former BR Standard 4 4-6-0 No.75014 Braveheart due back in service sometime in 2013.

Current out of service locos are two GWR Prairie  tanks. Nos. 4555 and 4588.

These locos have been out of service for several years and are considered a bit small and currently surplus to the railways needs.

Personal Visits

The P&DSR has never strike’d me as an Enthusiast friendly Railway, however, the line is now under new management, and I can report that my visit in 2013 was far better than previous visits, the staff were more friendly and the railway has a better look to it, massively improved by the new Paignton Station alone. I’d say it’s still not a railway aimed at Enthusiasts, more tourists though.

Website: http://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk/

Operating dates: See Website

Line Length: 7 miles

Operational Locomotives:

  • 4200 2-8-0T No.4277 Hercules
  • 5205 2-8-0T No.5239 Goliath
  • 78XX “Manor” 4-6-0 No.7827 Lydham Manor
  • BR Standard Class 4 4-6-0 No.75014 Braveheart (Out of service, undergoing overhaul)
  • 4500 class 2-6-2T No.4555 Warrior (Currently out of service, currently surplus to the railways needs)
  • 4575 Class 2-6-2T No. 4588 Trojan (Currently out of service, Surplus to the Railways needs)
  • BR Class 25 Bo-Bo No.D7535 Mercury

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