Imagine a steam train covered in thousands of fairy lights chugging through a forest at night — and that’s the Train of Lights.

This was introduced last year as an attraction by a heritage railway, and so hugely popular was it that not only are they back again this winter, but tickets go on sale later this month.

It looks utterly magical to this old man, so imagine how your kids will squeal in delight when they see the glowing steam train.

Harry Potter has nothing like this!

Once on board the Train of Lights, you will be propelled through the 450-metre Greenway tunnel that leads you to the enchanted forest which will be transformed by a multitude of lights and feature displays. The show ends as you leave the forest only to be greeted by the twinkling lights of Dartmouth reflected on the river Dart. After a turnaround at Kingswear and with the opportunity to disembark and take photographs from the platform, you will be on your way back to Paignton to experience the spectacle from a different direction.​

All this takes place on the Dartmouth Steam railway in Paignton, near Torquay, which is about 2.5 hours from London, and a cursory check online at train tickets suggests that £40 return is not unreasonable.

As the special steam Train of Lights runs in the dark, unless you catch the 4:45pm service, then you will need a B&B overnight as well, as the last train back to London leaves before 8pm.

So start planning a winter weekend in Torquay, and while there, pop over to Paignton for the Train of Lights.

Tickets go on sale on Monday 29th April 2019 here.


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  1. JP says:

    It’s blummin marvelous.
    Such a simple idea produces a stupefying amount of smiles from everyone on board.
    String a few LED ropes under the carriages a la boy racer, around the windows so passers-by get the benefit too and trackside.
    As the train leaves the Greenway tunnel, it breaks a beam like a home security light and starts a fully sequential show. Once down the track, the lighted trees, colour-washed fauna and other Christmas-related surprises switch off. Thereby saving the planet and not annoying the real deer &c. who live there everyday.
    Finally, not wishing to denigrate the hospitality and facilities provided by the good people of Paignton and Torquay; if you can arrange to stay where the train stops in the picturesque Kingswear or better still take the ex-GWR ferry to Dartmouth station ~ unique on the planet for never having had a train call, or track laid there ~ then the fairytale continues. Twinkling boat lights, higgledy-piggledy streets, the Mayflower’s pit-stop harbour (200th anniversary next year) and loads of accommodation from the swanky to the spooky.
    I don’t work for the tourist board, I have been gratefully devouring Dartmouth’s delights for forty years and more!

  2. Bob McIntyre says:

    Ever heard of Blackpool illuminations?

    • ianvisits says:

      Yes – but when did they put them on a steam train ride through a forest?

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