The South Devon Railway (SDR) has announced a record year.
It carried 112,000 passengers in 2010 - the highest number in its 19-year history.
In December alone, 10,000 passengers rode on the "Santa, carols and mince pie" steam trains, setting a new record for winter traffic.
The railway has also secured its future by purchasing the freehold of the seven-mile (11km) track between Buckfastleigh and Totnes.
Dick Wood, manager of the trust which runs the railway, said success had been achieved by broadening the "nostalgic" appeal to people of all ages and providing improved visitor facilities.
"We know that our visitors come back again and again to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of steam in the Devon countryside and to soak up this nostalgic and most relaxing form of transport," he said.
2010 will mark the 20th anniversary of the SDR trust taking over the Dart Valley Railway.