September looks to be a good month for rail tours passing the cameras so now could be the perfect time to subscribe to Dawlish Beach for the live action.  We start this weekend with a bumper set of three tours.

First to pass the cameras is the Northern Belle. Top and Tailed by class 68’s 005 Defiant and 017 Hornet the set of pullman coaches is running from Birmingham International to Penzance. Timings are available on RTT

The Northern Belle is due to pass the cameras around 0934 on Saturday morning with the return booked for 1855 with full timings on RTT here

Class 68’s on the Northern Belle. One of Colin’s pictures.


Next up on Saturday is the wonderful Cathedrals Express with LMS Coronation Class 4-6-2 no 46233 Duchess of Sutherland again on duty. The tour leaves London Paddington at 0709 and makes it’s way to Bristol Temple Meads under Diesel power. The Duchess of Sutherland will then take over to bring the train to Devon and our wonderful patch. Due to gauging issues, the Duchess of Sutherland will be taken off at Newton Abbot where Diesel will again take over for the final leg to Kingswear, The Duchess will run down to Plymouth where she can turn at Laira triangle before returning to take the Cathedrals Express back to Bristol Temple Meads. The extra action at Newton Abbot should give a good opportunity for those photographers making there way over. The cathedrals Express is operated by who have supported Dawlish Beach with wonderful prizes over the last few years. If you want to book a tour then do look at what they offer. Have a look at this from our competition winner Angie who had a wonderful day on board.

The Cathedrals Express is due to pass Dawlish at 1233 with full timings available at RTT

The return is booked for 1805. Full details again at RTT

The timings for the Duchess of Sutherland returning to Newton Abbot and waiting are available here which gives ample opportunity for those wanting to take pictures.

The Duchess of Sutherland passing San Remo working the Royal Duchy last month.

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The third special of the weekend comes on Sunday with LNER A1 Class 4-6-2 no 60163 Tornado leading the Torbay Express from Bristol Temple Meads to Kingswear. Due to pass the cameras at 1129 this is a repeat performance for this magnificent Locomotive. Full timings on RTT

The return is due to pass us at 1742 giving the last chance of the weekend for catching a few photographs.

There is still time to book seats for this year or if you want to get ahead for next year their website is

Tornado on an earlier visit with the Torbay Express caught at Teignmouth by Nick Campbell.

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Looking further forward, and we know how quickly things can change but, at present this is how things are looking –

Sunday September 11th we have the Torbay Express with 34046 Braunton – Now updated to Tornado

Saturday September 17th Pathfinder Tours – The Cornishman with D1015 Western Champion

Saturday September 17th The Cathedrals Express to Cornwall Day 1 with 6201 Princess Elizabeth

Sunday September 18th Railway Touring Company – the Royal Duchy with 34046 Braunton or 70000 Britannia or 46100 Royal Scot

Tuesday September 20th The Cathedrals Express to Cornwall Day 4 with 6201 Princess Elizabeth

Saturday September 24th The Cathedrals Express Banbury to Kingswear with 34046 Braunton

Sunday September 25th Railway Touring Company – The Royal Duchy – Locomotive TBC

Do remember that these can all change or be cancelled but fingers crossed for a busy month on the rails.

One of Colin’s Western Photographs.

Western Champion scan

Braunton pretending to be Lord Dowding

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