Our Visitor Centre is based at Kingswear station and is situated alongside the platform - in an old railway carriage!
We have installed a timeline of our railway line showing the history of the Paignton-Dartmouth line together with related parallel events - from Thomas Newcomen building the world's first successful working steam engine in 1712* right through to 2012 when the paddle steamer Kingswear Castle came home to her home waters as we chartered the vessel from the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society for service again at its birthplace up and down the Dart (from 2013).
The journey takes you though 300 years of history from the first steam engines through the trials of Stephensons & Sons' Rocket engine, the opening of the Isambard Kingdom Brunel atmospheric railway to Newton Abbot, the River Dart steamers connecting the villages of the Dart from Totnes to Dartmouth to the birth of Agatha Christie and the opening of hte Britannia Royal Naval College. And more! This area, and this line in particular, have a wonderful and fascinating historical heritage and we hope you enjoy browsing and sharing it with us.
*At Dartmouth TIC you will find a working model of one of the first atmospheric steam engines – invented here in Dartmouth by Thomas Newcomen c 1712. This engine was used by the Coventry Canal Company for pumping water into the canal at Hawkesbury Junction, Warwickshire and was brought back to its birthplace in 1963 by The Newcomen Society.