Dartmouth Steam Railway steam trains travel seven miles along the South Devon coast and into the Dart Valley with stations at Goodrington Sands, Churston (currently non-stopping) and the beautiful village of Kingswear which sits opposite the pretty Port of Dartmouth. Dartmouth River Boats operate on the River Dart offering daily scheduled services to the historic town of Totnes (nine miles upriver) and 1-hour circular river cruises operate daily from Dartmouth plus day trips from Torquay to Dartmouth (including some which offer return by steam train).
Our famous Round Robin is an award-winning full day excursion – a steam train journey, ferry crossing, river cruise and bus ride. This ticket is a favourite with all ages where you can just sit back and enjoy the scenery. There are many different options available each day so you can choose the itinerary that suits you best, spending time exploring the towns along the way.
2013 brought a local initiative stirring fond memories in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The River Dart, which for centuries provided a transport highway up and down this Devon waterway, regained the last coal fired paddle steamer carrying passengers in the UK, the Kingswear Castle. She was built in 1924 at Philip & Son of Dartmouth, and returned home after an absence of 47 years. In her heyday the impressive ship was the life blood of the river Dart, carrying almost 500 passengers between Totnes and Dartmouth until 1965 when she was purchased by the PSPS (Paddle Steamer Preservation Society) and left the Dart in an era when diesel engines and propellers were favoured over paddles. Her own engines date back to 1904.
The business that is in operation today is running due to the efforts of the Dart Valley Railway PLC over the past 30 years. It is a commercial company with a board of directors, enthusiast shareholders and the dedicated staff who run and maintain this heritage railway. The company was founded in the 1960’s and within a few years the Paignton to Kingswear line was threatened with closure by British Railways. It was then that the Dart Valley Railway acquired this section of line and started train services in 1973. The Paignton to Kingswear line is fully up to main line standards and is able to carry the largest and heaviest locomotives in Britain.
In 1999 the Dart Valley Railway had the opportunity to acquire ‘The Red Cruisers’; they already owned Dart Pleasure Craft so it was a natural progression to buy ‘The Red Cruisers’. The boats were then known as River Link.
In 2010 the two companies merged to form the company as it is today – the Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company.
Steam trains run from February half term to the end of October (plus Christmas Train of Lights experience in November and December).
River trips operate February to December inclusive and sea trips operate from April to October.