PTS courses and photographers' lineside permits

All persons going onto the lineside or on or near the line for the purpose of photography must obtain a Lineside Photographer’s Permit (LPP). 

The LPP is yellow and certifies the holder as having completed and passed a Personal Trackside Safety (PTS) course and having paid their fee for the Lineside Permit. 

LPPs are only available to users age 16 years or older. 

Application Process 

Applicants for a LPP must be made using the application form which is available by emailing us

Applicants must successfully complete a Special PTS Course for Lineside Photographers, at which they must, to the satisfaction of the course leader, engage in the discussion and activities of the course. They must also pass the written test at the end. Two passport sized photographs will be required.

Candidates are also issued with a set of written guidelines regarding conduct on the lineside. 

Candidates must sign a form to confirm they have been briefed, completed the course, been issued with the guidelines, and agree to abide by them all. 

All successful candidates will be issued with a credit-card type permit which includes their name, photograph, the date it was issued, the expiry date and the issuing office. 


LPPs are valid for two years from the date of issue. 


To renew an LPP the same process as initial application must be followed. Candidates must attend the PTS course every two years in order to ensure their competence is retained. 


A fee shall be payable by the applicant for the combined PTS course and two years’ access. 


Photographers must wear, as a minimum, a full-size HV vest. The vest must be approved by the PTS course leader. 

Stout footwear must be worn when on the line / lineside. 

Wearing red or green clothing should be avoided. 

PTS From Other Railways 

The SDR does not accept PTS qualifications from other railways. 

SDR Working Volunteer

SDR working volunteers who hold full SDR PTS are still required to obtain an LPP, but need not attend the Lineside Photographer’s PTS course. 

The LPP will only be valid for as long as that person’s PTS is valid AND they remain a working SDR volunteer. 

No fee will be charged. 


40 years ago - Steam into Summer

This is a link to the BBC's website and is an affectionate and excellently produced look at our line filmed back in 1979 (when we were called the Dart Valley Railway) and broadcast nationally on BBC2 that year. It records a day in the life of the line through the eyes of the volunteers and the staff who ran it. Three decades later, whilst some familiar faces have since passed on, it is remarkable to see how many people who were volunteers then are still working on and supporting the South Devon Railway today.