This was the first of three Royal Duchy Expresses that will pass along the Dawlish sea wall this summer. It is due again next week (Sun Aug 6th) with the same locomotive at the head of it and lastly on Sept 3rd when the loco will be Southern Region West Country class 34046 Braunton masquerading as Battle of Britain class 34052 Lord Dowding.. Presumably it won’t be too long now before it reverts to its true identity. Today, unusually the “Royal Duchy” headboard was missing from the front of the loco. It had been held up at Exeter St. Davids for a late running Paddington-Penzance HST to take preference but at least this ensured some fast running as it passed Dawlish about 10 minutes late. In actuality this engine is also masquerading as 46100 Royal Scot as in reality it is 46152 “The Kings Dragoon Guardsman”. In 1933 an engine was requested to go to the USA for the “Century of Progress exposition” and the LMS decided to send a freshly overhauled locomotive but for publicity purposes wanted it to appear as the “doyen” of the class. On it’s return it never reverted back. Underneath the nameplate an addition gives details of this american visit. All members of this class were rebuilt to the current design from their original Fowler 1927 design by Stanier from 1943.
Further down the line at Totnes station Noel Downie was on hand to record its passing where it will soon be attacking the long steep Rattery incline immediately after the platform ends. Several miles of hard work for the engine (and fireman) to gain the heights of Dartmoor before being able to coast down to Plymouth. Its eventual destination is Par. The loco will use the turntable at nearby St. Blazey depot ready for the return run.