The Dartmouth Steam Railway, formerly known as the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway, is a 6.7mi heritage railway on the former Great Western Railway branch line between and in Devon, England. Much of the railway's business is summer tourists from the resorts of Torbay who are transported to Kingswear from where the Dartmouth Passenger Ferry takes them across the River Dart to Dartmouth.The line is owned and operated by Dart Valley Railway plc. This also owns Dart Pleasure Craft Limited which operates the Dartmouth Passenger Ferry as well as river and coastal cruises. The railway and connecting boat and bus services are jointly promoted as the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company.It is unusual amongst heritage railways in that it is a commercial operation so does not rely on volunteer labour or charitable donations, although a few volunteers help at Churston railway station.HistoryKingswear branchThe line was built by the Dartmouth and Torbay Railway, opening to Brixham Road station on 14 March 1861 and on to Kingswear on 10 August 1864. The Dartmouth and Torbay Railway was always operated by the South Devon Railway and was amalgamated with it on 1 January 1872. This was only short-lived as the South Devon Railway was in turn amalgamated into the Great Western Railway on 1 February 1876. Brixham Road became a junction and was renamed "Churston" on 1 January 1868 when the independent Torbay and Brixham Railway opened its short line.
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