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Plym Valley Railway

plym valley railway

All Aboard the Plym Valley Railway

Journey back in time aboard the vintage locomotives of Plymouth’s Plym Valley Railway. This heritage line allows you to experience the sights, sounds and steam engines of rail travel gone by as you meander through the beautiful Plym Valley countryside.

From driving your own steam train to afternoon cream teas in the quaint tea rooms, a day out on the Plym Valley Railway promises nostalgic fun for the whole family. Here’s your complete guide to planning a visit.

plym valley railway

Getting There

Plym Valley Railway runs between Plymouth, Plympton and Plym Bridge along a 4 mile section of old railway line. The main entrance and parking is at Coypool P&R on the A386 in Plympton, around 3 miles north of Plymouth city centre.

By Car

Driving to the station only takes 10 minutes from central Plymouth. Simply follow signs for Coypool Park & Ride and turn into Plym Valley Railway’s dedicated entrance. Parking onsite is free.

By Bus

Frequent bus services run from Plymouth city centre to the Coypool P&R bus stop just metres from the station entrance. Services include the 50, 51, 21 and 8.

Opening Times and Tickets

Plym Valley Railway runs regular steam and diesel trains on weekends and bank holidays from March to October, plus Wednesdays during school holidays. Trains run hourly from 10:30am to 4:30pm.

Fares are:

  • Standard return ticket – Adults £10, Children £7
  • 1st class – Adults £12, Children £9
  • Driver experiences – £25

Special event days and dining services run year-round – check the timetable online for details.

plym valley railway train

The Steam Train Journey

Your time-warp begins as puffs of steam and the shriek of the whistle announce the vintage train’s arrival. Climb aboard traditional compartments with sliding doors to embark on a nostalgic journey:

  • Steam engines – Ride behind heritage locomotives pulling wooden carriages.
  • Countryside views – Trundle through idyllic Plym valley landscapes.
  • Stylish interiors – Brass fittings, lamps and period ad posters recreate the vintage era.
  • Photo opportunities – Capture your rail adventures to share.

The gentle pace allows you to admire the scenic surrounds as the train cuts through forested areas and over babbling brooks.

Get Hands On

For an even more immersive experience, you can take the controls yourself on a 15-minute driving session:

  • Driver experiences – Have a go firing, steering and controlling a live steam engine. Guidance provided.
  • Footplate rides – Experience the trackside view standing with the driver on a journey.
  • Signal box visits – Learn how signals are operated in this important rail job.

With supervision, you’re able to enjoy the workings of a steam locomotive from the other side of the tracks.

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Santa Specials

The Santa Specials at Plym Valley Railway are a beloved holiday tradition that brings the magic of Christmas to life for families and train enthusiasts alike. The railway transforms into a winter wonderland during the festive season.

The Santa Specials offer a unique and enchanting experience for visitors of all ages. Families can climb aboard beautifully decorated vintage carriages, pulled by a steam or diesel locomotive adorned with seasonal decorations, and embark on a delightful journey through the scenic Plym Valley. As the train chugs along, passengers are treated to stunning views of the frosty countryside, creating a perfect backdrop for the season.

The highlight of the journey is, of course, the visit from Santa Claus himself. With a hearty “ho, ho, ho,” Santa greets each child with a special gift and shares warm and memorable moments with them. The joy and excitement on the children’s faces are heartwarming.

To enhance the festive ambiance, there’s often onboard entertainment, such as carol singers and storytellers, adding an extra layer of enchantment to the experience. Hot cocoa, cookies, and other treats are often available for purchase to keep passengers warm and satisfied throughout the journey.

santa train at plym valley railway

Station and Tea Rooms

The Plym Valley Railway station recreates the vintage era with its quaint ticket booths, luggage scales andwaiting rooms. The Tea Rooms on Platform 1 serve hot meals, cakes and refreshmentsin a traditional dining room setting.

The Shop sells rail-themed gifts and souvenirs for train enthusiasts. Toilets and baby changing facilities are also available at the station.

With its beautiful valley surrounds and classic steam engines, the Plym Valley Railway delights history lovers of all ages. It’s a nostalgic step back in time to simpler railway days.

plym train

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Plym Valley Railway? – The track is 1.5 miles long

Does the Plym Valley Railway connect with the mainline? – No, it does not connect with the mainline as it is a heritage line only

Are dogs allowed on the trains? – Yes, well behaved dogs on leads are welcome on the railway

Nearby Attractions

There are many other great attractions in this area of Devon, including:

  • Dartmoor Zoo – Small zoo focused on conservation and education. Get close to endangered animals like jaguars, snow leopards and sun bears.
  • Plymouth Aquarium – Family friendly aquarium housing over 40 exhibits showcasing local and exotic aquatic life. See sharks, rays, fish and more.
  • Saltram House – Elegant Georgian mansion with impressive interiors and gardens designed by Capability Brown. National Trust property.
  • Buckfast Abbey – Working Benedictine monastery with medieval church, monk’s herb garden and grounds. Shop sells homemade produce.
  • Plymouth Boat Trips – See the sights of Plymouth from the water including the breakwater, harbour, and Mount Edgcumbe.
  • Devonport Dockyard – Historically important Royal Navy dockyard. Home to the Submarine Museum, ships and historic boatyard buildings.
  • Tinside Lido – Iconic art deco outdoor swimming pool on Plymouth Hoe offering scenic swimming with a cafe onsite.
  • Royal William Yard – Grade I listed former Royal Navy yard transformed into shops, restaurants and galleries.
  • Mount Edgcumbe House – Scenic country house with impressive grounds, gardens and orangery set across the River Plym.

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