Departing From

  • Solihull,
  • Dorridge,
  • Warwick Parkway,
  • Leamington Spa,
  • Banbury,
  • Oxford,
  • Swindon,
  • Chippenham,
  • Bath Spa,
  • Bristol Temple Meads

We recreate one of the classic steam hauled holiday trains of the golden age of railway travel for a journey around the beautiful Devon coast with time available to discover the many charms of maritime Plymouth. The train is diesel hauled from Solihull to Bristol and then departs double headed with two of our famous steam locomotives for the journey across the lush Somerset levels, then through the remote Blackdown hills and down the Exe Valley to Exeter, before heading along the estuary with its pretty fishing boats and stunning views across to Exmouth and the Jurassic coast. Continuing past Powderham Castle and along the famous sea wall line we race through tunnels and cuttings of red rock and beside beaches and coves with the sea keeping company with the train.

At Newton Abbot we join the steeply graded main line over the Devon banks where our engines work hard to haul the heavy train over Dainton, Rattery and Hemerdon with gradients as steep as 1 in 36. There are spectacular views of Dartmoor as we descend through Ivybridge to Plymouth for an afternoon break.

 

With its rich maritime heritage and status as the regional capital for culture, Plymouth is one of the most dynamic and fascinating places to visit in Devon. Why not visit Plymouth Hoe where Sir Francis Drake played bowls before defeating the Spanish navy and there are incredible views of one of the world’s most beautiful natural harbours from Smeaton’s tower. Take a walk down to the Barbican, a bustling array of specialist shops, restaurants, cafes, and National Marine Aquarium – not forgetting the historic Mayflower steps where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for the New World in 1620.

Our train departs for the return journey in the late afternoon with the engines working hard to haul the heavy carriages over the taxing and twisting Devon banks and the run along the sea wall through Dawlish and beside the pretty River Exe with the setting sun casting a golden glow over the Jurassic coast.

The train is steam hauled from Bristol by two of our immaculately restored pool of engines including: the world famous LMS Royal Scot Class, No.46100 ‘Royal Scot’ – West Country Class, No. 34046 ‘Braunton’ – Britannia Pacific Class, No 70000 ‘Britannia’ – LNER A4 Pacific No 60007 ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’

 

TRAVEL TIMINGS*

STATION DEPARTS RETURNS
Solihull 06.00 21.30
Dorridge 06.10 21.15
Warwick Parkway 06.15 21.05
Leamington Spa 06.25 20.50
Banbury 06.45 20.30
Oxford 07.15 20.00
Swindon 07.55 19.20
Chippenham 08.10 19.00
Bath Spa 08.25 18.40
Bristol Temple Meads 09.00 18.00

PLEASE NOTE *
All timings shown above are approximate and may be subject to change.

Classes of Travel

Standard Class (non-dining) - £99

Reserved seating is arranged around a table of four with bookings for two persons seated side by side with one window and one aisle seat whilst bookings for one person are normally allocated an aisle seat. Toilet facilities are available in each carriage and a buffet bar is available throughout most of the journey for the purchase of hot & cold beverages, snacks, sandwiches, and alcoholic drinks.

First Class (non-dining) - £165

Reserved seating is arranged around a table of four, or table of two offering additional legroom, wide cushioned seats, curtains, and large picture windows. Toilet facilities are available in each carriage and a complimentary service of tea/coffee & biscuits are included in the price and a buffet bar is available throughout most of the journey for the purchase of hot & cold beverages, sandwiches, snacks and alcoholic drinks.

Covid-19 Social Distancing Seating – Bookings of two passengers will be seated together at a ‘guaranteed window table for two’ with a mandatory supplement of £35 per person charged. Bookings of three or four passengers are seated at a shared table and charged the normal per seat price, with the adjacent table remaining out of use. (Minimum Booking 2 persons)

First Class Compartment (non-dining) - £999

Enjoy the exclusive use of a private compartment containing a maximum of six first class seats – Included in the price is a complimentary service of tea/coffee, biscuits, and Smoked Salmon Blinis on the outward journey, whilst on the return journey you will be welcomed on board with a chilled glass of champagne and sumptuous Afternoon Tea of finger sandwiches, scone, preserves, clotted cream and cake followed by tea and coffee.

Premier Dining - £320

Includes the service of full English breakfast, morning tea/coffee & biscuits and four course dinner. Seating is arranged the same as First Class around a table of four or table of two laid with crisp linen and dressed in the finest crockery, fresh flowers, and glassware. Meals are prepared on board by our chefs and served at your reserved seat by liveried stewards. A full wine & drinks list is available with an ‘at seat’ service during the meals.

Covid-19 Social Distancing Seating – Bookings of two passengers will be seated together at a ‘guaranteed window table for two’ with a mandatory supplement of £35 per person charged. Bookings of three or four passengers are seated at a shared table and charged the normal per seat price, with the adjacent table remaining out of use. (Minimum Booking 2 persons)

English Riviera Express

My partner and I travelled on Sunday 26th July from Bristol Temple Meads station, hauled by the steam train 'Royal Scot' with Premier dinning. Prior to commencing our journey in the weeks before, I was very impressed with the information provided on you web site with regards to the safety measures for Covid 19 which where put in place within the coach, and through out the train as this gave us both peace of mind for the journey ahead.

Before stepping onto the train we were greeted by staff who where most courteous, and professional in their duties explaining everything we needed to know with regards our boarding. Once on board we where introduced to the train managers James and Sandra, settling us into our table along came the stewardesses Emma and Joanna who looked after our needs serving at table throughout the journey to a very high standard.

Nothing was to much trouble, for all the staff that we came in touch with.

After our fantastic journey with the footplate staff doing their bit in getting us there and back, a big thank you to them goes without saying. Our compliments which we asked to be passed onto the Chef Nick Allen for the suburb meal that he and his staff conjured up. It was a most enjoyable experience and one that we will defiantly be doing in the near future. I cannot thank you enough for making a perfect day trouble free especially in these troubled times, may you continue to strive to keeping an excellent service even better.

Fantastic Journey – Colin & Trish Bristol

July 26, 2020

The Fellsman

My wife and I had the pleasure of travelling on "The Fellsman" on the 15th July 2020. This was the first outing for Saphos trains after the COVID-19 lockdown, and if I'm honest I was a little apprehensive about social distancing and the knock on to the steam experience, especially as this was my wife's treat to me for a significant birthday. We needn't have worried. All of the measures Saphos Trains have put in place are both discreet, effective and did not affect the outing. The day was an absolute delight. As the BR Standard Pacific "Britannia" rolled into Crewe station with a floral arrangement for a head plate we knew we were info a great day. Travelling in Premier Dining the Train Manager's and Stewards provided a service second to none and were full of information about the trip, the train itself and the company ethos. They were clearly delighted to be back to work after having been furloughed. It was also an excuse to dress smartly for the day and that added to the class the whole day took on. The dining on the train was exceptional. The full English breakfast was the best I've had in ages and I'd love to know who supplies their black pudding as it was the best I've ever tasted. The route included the internationally renowned Settle to Carlisle line. I've walked in the Yorkshire Peaks a number of time, so was interesting for me to get a different perspective of the area, particularly through Ribblehead. The time in Carlisle was judged nicely with enough time for a leisurely visit to the attractions the city has to offer. Again dining on the return was superb - a four course dinner dinner to savour - those working in the Kitchen carriage are culinary masters! The wine list also needs a mention. The company has a very good wine buyer and we've subsequently gone to find where we can purchase more bottles of the Shiraz and Rose they had on offer. A very nice touch was a complimentary glass of champagne from the company to celebrate this being their first train in 2020. I must mention the rolling stock which was of a very high standard. A fellow traveller commented that you won't find better restored carriages anywhere in the UK. So whether you are a steam enthusiast, a foodie or just like a fine day out, The Fellsman had it all. How good was it? We're now looking for the next Saphos Train we want to travel on. Enough said!

Don C – Steam and Dining at its best!

July 15, 2020

The White Rose

Yesterday six of us went on a Premier Dining experience from Crewe to York on the White Rose Steam Train. This is an experience that you must put on your to-do list!
The Company operates to a very high standard and the both the coaches and the locomotive looked as if they had left the works, new just days ago.
We were welcomed aboard by lovely hostesses who looked after us throughout the day with coffee. Breakfast was served an hour into our journey and it was perfect.
The real white rose on our table just added to the feeling that Saphos wanted our day to be perfect. The booklet gave details of the staff looking after us and gave a detailed description of our journey with minute by minute timings. Such was the precision of the trip that I could check our location just by looking in the booklet and a look out of the window would then confirm the station name we were flying through.
Our afternoon in York was lovely as always with a visit to our all time favourite tea shop Bettys. The sun shone and the crowds were out but York never disappoints.
Back on the train and the warmth of our welcome matched the warmth of the carriage as we sped back across the snow capped Pennines. Dinner was exquisite and matched by a lovely bottle of Malbec wine. When I marveled at the beautiful way the silver service table was laid with napkins folded like a starched white shirt our hostess showed me the secret to folding it and at my request showed me how to fold a napkin like an opera house or a lily. Such friendly service is rare today and the whole experience from stepping aboard until saying 'Good Night' back in Crewe was just wonderful. I can't wait to book again with some more of my friends so that they too can share this experience.
Loved every minute of it, and now it's my favourite UK restaurant.

Gerald – The Best Restaurant in The UK

March 7, 2020

Pennine Moors Christmas Explorer

We took the Royal Scot from Crewe and were in first class carriage with amazing service from Sandra and James and their excellent team. Great singers for entertainment and the train was immaculate and fascinating to see all the train spotters watching as we chugged through the countryside. I would highly recommend this for a special experience.

Susy R

December 7, 2019

North Wales Coast Express

Celebrity service, really tasty food and comfy chairs! Completely exceeded my expectations, a really special day. Thanks Saphos Trains

Jodie

February 1, 2020

The White Rose

What a tremendous day out. We used premier dining and paid for a table for two. The carriage was class and so comfortable. I did note the cheapest accommodation was similar bit without food!
We went from Warrington to York via the Peak District and returned via Calderdale. On boarding the train manager presented with a booklet about the places were going through. There were timings for each place mentioned so it was most informative. The food was fine dining which included breakfast and five course dinner on return including £19 towards drinks. The management and staff were excellent - pleasant and efficient. We loved this journey and will repeat it despite the cost.

David Littlewood

March 7, 2020
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