Ian Weightman

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Trains, Boats and Plain Old Shanks's Pony

There’s going to be an entirely new way of making your way around the South Devon coastline in 2012.

Available to locals and visitors alike, the trains, boats, ferries, buses and footpaths of the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company are now offering a greener, more eco-friendly means of getting round some of the most scenic stretches of the UK’s coastline.

So confident is the DSR&RB Company about its integrated transport system, that it is not only about to launch a new Jubilee Travel Card – similar to the Oyster Card in London – but it is also urging holiday makers coming to the region to leave their cars at home.

Just as the Oyster Card took as its point of reference the Octopus Card in Hong Kong, the Jubilee Card is doffing its cap to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year celebrations, and an era when people were happy, comfortable and confident in relying on an efficient public transport system.

And fittingly, at a time when all things vintage are becoming flavour of the month, the DSR&RB Company’s new Jubilee Travel Card relies heavily on some wonderfully old-fashioned but nonetheless reliable modes of transport: steam trains, ferries, boats and even Shanks’s pony!

The innovative offer from the DSR&RB Company is only possible thanks to some aggressive expansions of its operations in the last two to three years.  New locos, ferry boats and services have been added to the overall stock; and a vision to help reduce the carbon footprint on this part of the South West coastline has been vigorously pursued.

That has all resulted in the launch of the new Jubilee Travel Card, which is being aimed not only at the holiday makers who have traditionally made such good use of the service, but also at the local population as a means of getting more cars off the roads.

While the DSR&RB website matches the current “retro” trend and epitomises ‘The Golden Age of Steam’, it has also been brought completely up-to-date to become much more user friendly in the way it enables passengers to plan and book their journeys online.

The planner itself can be found at here. Users are then encouraged to select any one of the many routes and tours listed to the right.  Further details and the fares for the chosen route can then be selected, along with an itinerary planner – depending on where you plan to join the boat, train, or bus.

From there, it’s a fast track to booking tickets.

The network as a whole, of course, makes it easy for visitors to reach the whole of “Agatha Christie’s Country".  A new halt on the steam train line, to be introduced in 2012, for example, will enable passengers to access Agatha Christie’s home of Greenway (now operated by the National Trust) via a short stroll along a public footpath.

Some of the places which can be explored using the new Jubilee Travel Card, meanwhile, include the coastal resorts of Teignmouth, Torquay, Paignton, Brixham, Salcombe and, of course, Dartmouth itself.

For more details visit the DSR&RB Company's website.

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