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“Can do better”

South Devon Railway
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The South Devon Railway is one of the West Country’s best loved tourist attractions and is the longest established steam railway in the region. The former GWR branch line runs along the stunning valley of the Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes on a 14 mile round trip. The steam trains offer a wonderful all day, all weather attraction for families and people of all ages. The railway also has a fascinating museum, gardens, riverside walk, locomotive restoration workshops, a gift and model railway shop, refreshment rooms and more. Free car parking at Buckfastleigh, just off the A38, midway between Exeter and Plymouth; Totnes is a 500 yard walk from the main line station.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Come on guys we use this on a regular basis and always take visitors on the railway as it is one of the best attractions in the area. But... this weekend was badly organised and under provided for. No information was provided for travelers and no information that the train would only go as far as Staverton with only two carriages. The train that pulled in was a "special" so we had to wait another hour. Both journeys we had to stand because there we not enough carriages, for 3 children under 7 this is unacceptable. If you are going to set up "specials" then please ensure you have enough carriages for the generalpublic service or do not try to run both. THis damages your reputation and reduces future visits. You are not a cheap attraction and unless you sort it out people will vote with their feet.

Thank Graham J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John H, Manager at South Devon Railway, responded to this reviewResponded February 20, 2013

I am very sorry that you, as a repeat customer, were disappointed by our offering on, I think, Saturday 16th February. The event had been advertised on all of our publicity material as being subject to a special timetable, copies of which were available on our websites. Additionally, as is our usual practice, each person buying tickets at the booking office was issued with a leaflet that included the time table. I can only apologise if you were not issued with such a leaflet as you should have been.
The concept of the weekend was to fulfil our charitable purpose, demonstrating branch line services of many years gone by, especially as we had the use of the unique Edwardian Steam Rail Motor, which has a very low capacity and requires a premium fare to make it viable. It takes up a "path" that could otherwise be used by a higher capacity service. Once it leaves the South Devon Railway after 24th February, it is unlikely to return again.
We suffered from being overwhelmed by the popularity of the "Branchline" concept , which has been generally well received with good attendances. Our passenger carrying capacity was further hampered on Saturday with the initial non availability of one of our locomotives, which meant that one service had to run with less than 50% of the intended capacity. The weekend's timetable had already had to be altered to provide further accommodation as one of the coaches which can be used to fulfil the branchline concept was unavailable, being withdrawn at short notice for remedial work.
I accept the shortcomings of the timetable that was in use, and whilst it will have to be in use 23rd and 24th February, we will be reviewing our ideas for future gala events to minimise or eliminate overcrowding at busy time of the day.
We hope to see you again at our next special day on 16th and 17th March when everyone may travel the length of the line all day at half price.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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853 - 857 of 1,005 reviews

Reviewed January 31, 2013

This is a lovely place to vist, the train ride takes you through wonder countryside and is great fun for all ages, young or old will just love it - if you have never done this, make a date to do it soon.

Thank Gully87654
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

The South Devon Railway runs from Buckfastleigh to Totnes along a very pictureque route. This line is probably my favourite preserved railway - but better by the smaller but expertly maintained locomotives - this line is not designed for the bigger 4-6-2s. The model shop in Buchfastleigh is immense and one of the best in the country - its right next to one of the least expensive (but v good) snackbar/cafes in the area! Kids and adults will love this attraction in any weather. Its an ideal family outing if you're in this part of Devon. As in another review of mine - I suggest donating generously if you can as its your money that helps to 'save' our heritage. Combine this trip with a visit around Totnes shops (with their own currency!) for a nice day out.

Thank thegrumpyoldgit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Great attention to detail in architecture & rolling stock.
Fantastic location running alongside the river. If you can, take the little boat trip into Totnes & walk back along the river. Magic!

Thank carol s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013

We live in the west country so we know are way about and there is so much to see and do at any time of the year.

Thank 74william
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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