The Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat (DSRRB) Company, which operates Kingswear Castle on our behalf, have won the 2021 Heritage Railway Association award for the outstanding visitor attraction. Awards were announced via an online ceremony and presentation on April 28th where nine categories each containing between three to five nominees were in the running to receive one of the awards.
The trophy was awarded to the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company after being recognised for its outstanding visitor experience.
Other categories included Most Innovative Fundraising Idea, The Morgan Award for Preservation, HRA Award for Communications, The Lord Faulkner Young Volunteer Award, HRA Award for Small Groups, HRA Award for Large Groups, The HRA Award for Diesel Locomotion and The Coiley Locomotive Engineering Award.
In a post addressing their win on Facebook, the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company said:
We’re so happy to announce that we have won the 2021 Heritage Railway Association award for the Outstanding Visitor Attraction. We have won this for the pioneering and enterprising way in which we worked against the clock to break new ground in readiness for the resumption of summer services following the lifting of the first Covid-19 lockdown.
We’re so thankful for this award and blessed to be working in such a lovely industry with a raft of other brilliant railways – good luck everyone for the rest of 2021 and beyond!
Since reopening after lockdown, the company have added extra measures to ensure their attractions are Covid-safe for visitors. Over 200 bespoke Perspex screens have been installed to allow for distancing, extra train coaches have been added and a fog machine to spray a sanitising solution has been installed.
The Heritage Railway Association or HRA is a voluntary run trade association representing Heritage & Tourist railways, related Museums, Tramways, Cliff Lifts, Railway Preservation Groups and related organisations.
Kingswear Castle returned to service in 2023 after the first part of a major rebuild which is designed to set her up for the next 25 years running on the River Dart. The Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust is now fund raising for the second phase of the rebuild. You can read more about the rebuilds and how you can help if you can here.