The Dartmouth Express offers an exceptional day out travelling by train from stations in Berkshire to Kingswear in South Devon.
We travel along the famous ‘sea wall’ from Dawlish to Teignmouth and over the ‘Heritage’ Dartmouth Steam Railway. Train fares include a return ferry crossing to the picturesque town of Dartmouth. The special train will be hauled from Bristol to Kingswear and back by either steam locomotive No. 34046 Braunton or No. 6023 King Edward II.
Our train starts from Woking in Surrey and will be diesel hauled from there to Bristol. En route, we stop at Guildford, Reading and Newbury to pick up more passengers. The route follows the River Kennet through the countryside and then runs beside the Kennet and Avon Canal for some distance before we make our final stop for passengers at Westbury. We change motive power at Bristol and a West Country class steam locomotive No 34046 Braunton will take over the train.
We shall soon be speeding along through the Somerset countryside and across the Somerset Levels to Taunton, where we make a brief stop for our steam locomotive to take on water. Our steam locomotive will be working hard as we climb to Whiteball Summit on the Somerset and Devon border before descending through the Culm Valley to Exeter.
We then follow the Exe Estuary, passing the picturesque Cockwood Harbour, and run along the famous sea wall from Dawlish to Teignmouth. This is one of the most famous and scenic stretches of railway line in Britain, which gained international prominence when part of it was washed away in the 2014 storms. After Newton Abbot, we leave the main line to Plymouth and take the Kingswear branch line to Torbay.
We pass through the famous holiday resort of Torquay and stop at Paignton where passengers, who wish to spend the time there, may alight. We then join the Dartmouth Steam Railway and our steam locomotive faces a stiff challenge as it climbs the steep gradient of 1 in 60 up to the summit of this line at Churston. The line then drops down to the River Dart and the terminus at Kingswear.
The Dartmouth Express fare includes a return journey on the ferry across the River Dart to the picture postcard town of Dartmouth. There will be ample time to explore this historic port town, set on the banks of the tidal River Dart. It has a castle; a railway station where no railway has ever run, now a restaurant; and winding narrow streets with good bistros and specialist shops.
We leave Kingswear, steam hauled, for the journey back to Bristol. From there the train will be diesel hauled to Woking. We stop at the same stations as on the outward journey, to set down passengers.
Premier Dining includes a full English breakfast and a four course dinner silver served at your seat.
First Class includes morning coffee with a Danish pastry and afternoon tea with a savoury dish followed by a selection of fancies and cakes.
Standard Class includes a reserved seat at a table for four.
A buffet car is available and serves tea, coffee, snacks and light refreshments. Tables for two can be guaranteed in first class and premier dining for a supplement of £22 per person. (subject to availability)
Approximate timings shown