The Torbay Express 

We regret to announce that due to the limited number of suitable steam locomotives available to haul trains in 2020 Torbay Express Limited will not be able to run a full programme next summer. However, we will be working with our sister company, Pathfinder Railtours, to produce a small series of summer steam hauled excursions to other destinations. Details of these will be posted on their website as soon as they become available.

 We are very sorry for any disappointment this causes.

Experience train travel as it used to be

Our summer Sunday steam hauled train, named after the famous train that travelled between London Paddington and Torquay, follows the route of Brunel’s picturesque Great Western Railway, speeding across the Somerset levels and around the beautiful Devon coastline on one of the most enchanting railway journeys in the world. 

Our route takes us alongside the River Exe, past Powderham Castle and Dawlish Warren, then along Dawlish's famous Sea Wall, steaming through the red sandstone tunnels and cuttings that skirt the beaches. Next we follow the River Teign and head past Newton Abbot racecourse, before passing through Torquay and on to our first destination, Paignton.  You can spend about five hours here exploring this traditional seaside resort with its sandy beach, the pier dating from 1879; there is also the renowned Paignton Zoo. Alternatively, you can stay aboard to alight at Kingswear (travelling along the privately owned Paignton & Dartmouth Railway line), where you can take the foot ferry (included in the price) to historic Dartmouth. 

A day out in our heritage carriages, with slam doors and opening windows, is a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy a rail journey from a bygone era when steam was king and everyone travelled to their summer holiday on the English Riviera aboard a train. 

Pamper yourself and travel in Premier Dining where you will be served a glass of Buck’s Fizz before your full English breakfast. On the homeward journey you will have a glass of Champagne, a four course dinner, followed by coffee (or tea) and chocolates. The catering on the train is by Frying Scotsman Catering Services led by Alan ‘Dutch’ Holland, whose extensive experience includes working on the Royal trains.

Have a look at the video of Clan Line taken in 2018 by SkyFlicks

We are happy to welcome aboard customers who have mobility equipment that requires storing on the train. As space is limited, the equipment should be foldable or demountable. We recommend lightweight equipment be brought to facilitate this. We do not carry any equipment for loan purposes on the trains.Often, we only have very limited stopping time at the stations - usually 2 to 3 minutes. Stewards are there to welcome all passengers onto the train and may not have the time to assist every individual who has equipment to manoeuvre. Travelling with a companion who can help you on and off the train would be beneficial. 

All bookings are subject to our Terms & Conditions of Booking.



We are delighted to have been awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2019!

“Loved it. Chuffed to bits you could say!”

5 of 5 stars
Reviewed June 2018

“Fabulous trip with over 200 miles behind steam!!"

5 of 5 stars
Reviewed June 2018

“Great day out"

5 of 5 stars 
Reviewed 21 August 2017

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Paignton - Spend a break of up to five hours enjoying a relaxed time in this seaside resort where you can take a dip in the sea on the magnificent sea front; try the arcades or ice cream parlours.

Dartmouth - Alight at Kingswear and take the ferry (included in the ticket price) across the River Dart to spend four hours exploring this picturesque and historic town. Local attractions include:
The nearby National Trust properties of Greenway House (former home of Agatha Christie)
Coleton Fishacre (the former country home of the D'Oyly Carte family)
The Britannia Royal Naval College (giving an insight into the Royal Navy)
Dartmouth Castle
Cruises on the River Dart (including aboard paddle steamer Kingswear Castle - the last remaining coal-fired paddle steamer in operation in the UK today - Passengers travelling on the Torbay Express will receive a discount of 20% on Kingswear Castle harbour cruises when they present their Torbay Express Boarding Passes at the Booking Kiosk on the Dartmouth side of the river  (N.B. Limited availability on a first come first served basis). 

Our steam train trips follow two different routes, both start from Bristol Temple Meads, then pick-up passengers from either:
• Bath Spa, Trowbridge and, Westbury; or
• Yatton, Weston-super-Mare;

Last passenger pick-up on both routes is Taunton. Sadly, because of time constraints Premier Dining is not available to passengers boarding here.

Departure from Bristol Temple Meads is at approximately 08:00 or 09:15 (depending on the route) on its scenic journey to the West and the spectacular coastal route skirting Torquay.  Arrival back in Bristol is at about either 20:10 or 20:55. Timings will be confirmed nearer the date of your excursion. 

If you are arranging a booking for a larger group (ten plus) please contact the Booking Office on 01453 835414 / 834477 (open Monday to Friday 09:15 to 16:45).

Passengers who book a cruise on the paddle steamer 'Kingswear Castle' direct with the operators can claim 10% discount. Please contact the Booking Office for details.

We take the safety of our customers very seriously indeed and insist that the Train Operating Companies we select for our excursions take this matter as seriously as we do. Thus we engage only reputable Train Operating Companies with a proven record of safety and reliability. The Torbay Express is operated by trusted Train Operating Company West Coast Railways. Bookings can be made in the knowledge that each train will run to the highest industry standards, with your safety and welfare as an absolute priority.