Trago Mills Steam Railway

Trago Mills , Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 6JD

01626 821111

Steam Train with steam engine No.24Steam engine Alice on the turntable

The Trago Mills Steam Railway is also known as the Bickington Steam Railway after a local Devon village. The steam railway started life at Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire in 1978 and was built by Brian Nicholson the then headmaster of nearby Waterhouses school. After a couple of years he  moved to the Suffolk Wildlife Park. Finally the railway and family relocated to Trago Mills in Devon in 1988 where it has remained.

The railway is a complex layout with the original circuit plus the recent addition of a half mile extension. Its best described as a circle with a tail attached. The original station is at Trago Central to the East of the main shopping centre and is on the original circuit.. The new station Riverside is to the west of the centre next to the main car park. A new halt was added next to another car park and near some of the kiddies rides.

The train ride is 2.25 miles and exceptional value as it twists and turns around the trees and past the kids attractions at Trago. Its one of the UK's top miniature railways and well worth a visit. Trago Mills is a shopping centre with a superb new garden centre attached as well as a wide variety of children's amusements and attractions. the railway runs Santa trains in December which are very popular due to their excellent value for money.


The railway runs at weekends year round and daily in the summer and school holidays. If in doubt ring Trago to check times and details

Trains run half hourly or hourly from 11.00am

Fares are 2 for a day rover or as part of the Trago Mills pass with 7 other rides for 4.95. This is exceptionally good value for a 2 mile trip.

Rolling Stock



The railway has 4 steam locomotives although normally only 3 are available at any one time

They are:

No1. E. R. Calthrope a 2-6-4 tank engine  model of the Leek & Manifold Valley Light Railway locomotive. It was built in 1974 by Coleby Simkins and is mainly used as a standby engine. It visited Rudyard Lake Steam Railway again in 2004 and 2007.

No.1 E.R. Calthrope

No.1 E.R. Calthrope at Trago Mills

Steam engines Alice and E.R.Calthrope

Alice & No.1 The difference in size can be seen clearly

750 Blanche of Lancaster is a 4-4-2 atlantic type tender engine built in 1948 by David Curwen. It has been out of use for some years but is slowly being rebuilt with new motion and valve gear to replace the somewhat fragile originals.

Alice 2-6-0 tender engine of narrow gauge proportions built in 1984 by Simkins and Vere. The works plate reads "Makers of Amusing Machinery" . This engine is a mainstay of the line and often in use. Painted in a dark Green livery its a very attractive and unusual engine with outside valve gear. In early 2012 a new boiler has been made and fitted and the engine is running again.

raising steam outside the shed

No.24 Sandy River 2-6-2 tender engine based on the Sandy River and Rangley Lakes railway in New England.  built by Clarckson, Vere & Nicholson and completed in 1991

steam train with no.24 Sandy Riversteam engine 'Sandy River' No.24

No. 24 Sandy River is one of the most powerful locomotives of this gauge


D5905 is a Bo-Bo diesel built by David Nicholson in 1987

token exchange as diesel leaves single line from Riverside station


There are 3 rakes of 4 articulated coaches plus some service vehicles.

The railway has a very well equipped workshop to maintain the railway and its equipment. It constructed a half size GWR pannier tank for the garden centre at Trago.

More Information other similar railways

Its one of Britain's Great Little Railways and has friendly links with  Rudyard Lake Steam Railway , Staffordshire another of Britain's best small railways.

Exmoor steam railway in Devon builds new steam locomotives, The Ashorne Hall railway was a similar railway to Trago


Trago Mills is just off the main A38 trunk road from Exeter to Plymouth. Exit at the A382 junction and turn towards Newton Abbot. At the first roundabout follow the signs for Trago Mills. The railway is easy to find from any of the free car parks.

Trago Mills Telephone 01626 821111  www.

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