Looking back over this series I realised that although I had done a feature on the GWR locomotives there were a lot of photographs in my collection of Western engines that I didn’t have space for in Sea Wall 12 so here are a further selection mostly gained from scanned photographs.
Furthest picture back in time was taken in 1985 when the Great Western Limited specials were run as part of the GWR 150 celebrations.
It was the GWR tradition to lead a double header with the most powerful engine and here we have 6000 King George V with the bell that was presented to it when it visited the USA in 1927 by the Baltimore & Ohio railroad. Behind it is 7819 Hinton Manor and they are entering the sea wall section at Teignmouth.
6000 is currently a static exhibit in the GWR museum in Swindon and is very unlikely to appear out on the main line again.
On 1st September 1985 another 150 celebration tour found 5051 Drysllwyn Castle and 7029 Clun Castle racing along the Dawlish sea wall with the return run of a Bristol-Plymouth special.
Next there was the Dawlish Donkey specials featuring Collett 0-4-2 tank engine 1450 which ran between Exeter and Newton Abbot in 1998
The picture was taken at Shell cove which is between the Clerk’s and Parson’s tunnels
Here 1450 is entering Dawlish station with the lower picture taken between the Warren station and Cockwood harbour.
7th April 2001 and the Double Duchy Birmingham to Penzance special with 5029 Nunney Castle and 4936 Kinlet Hall piloting. It was intended to be two Castle class loco’s but 5051 was unavailable. The pair are seen at the start of the sea wall at Dawlish Warren.
On 6th March 2002 with The Torbay Ltd was hauled by 4965 Rood Ashton Hall and 4936 Kinlet Hall from Gloucester to Kingswear. The return run was diesel hauled and here we see the two Halls and their support coach on their way back to their base running along Marine Parade.
Two months later on the 4th May 2002 saw double headed Castles 5029 Nunney Castle leading 5051 Drysllwyn Castle on “The Penzance Castles” special here passing through Dawlish station and onto the viaduct.
5051 only carried that name from it’s introduction in May 1936 until it was renamed Earl Bathurst in September 1937. It seems that the Earl names were allocated to a new class of small branch line suited engines but the nobility strongly objected regarding it as an insult and demanded the names be put on more impressive locomotives! There were 21 Earl names allocated to Castle class locomotives. However much later the name of Drysllwyn Castle was allocated to 7018 which was built in 1949. The Welsh castle itself is but a crumbling ruin. The locomotive is based at Didcot and is awaiting a long term overhaul in a queue behind 4079 Pendennis Castle which was rescued & brought back from Australia.
It was seen along the wall several times in the early years of this century.
GWR 3440 “City of Truro”sometimes ran as 3717 it’s original number. It headed an “Ocean Mail 100” tour in May 1904 to celebrate when it “unofficially” reached a speed of 100mph. This record has always been in doubt and the officially recorded occasion of the first locomotive attaining 100mph is held by the loco presently much in the news “Flying Scotsman”.
“City of Truro” is pictured here on the Dawlish Sea Wall passing under the Rockstone footbridge on it’s way to Kingswear.
The return run two days later seen here entering Newton Abbot with it’s seven coach train.
4936 Kinlet Hall was a frequent visitor during the early part of this century and is seen here piloting 6024 “King Edward I” on it’s way west with another steam special skirting the River Teign and about to pass under the Shaldon Bridge from where the photograph was taken.
The bridge over the Exminster by-pass is a good spot for photographing engines at speed. Here we have 5051 Earl Bathurst and 4936 Kinlet Hall powering west having just passed under the end of the M5 motorway.
After passing under another bridge which leads to farmland the engines next travel through the Exminster marshes heading for Starcross.
Rounding the bend at Langstone Rock are 4965 Rood Ashton Hall and 4936 Kinlet Hall. The leading loco has an interesting past as Tyseley puchased it from Barry scrapyard thinking it was 4983 “Albert Hall” but on stripping it down discovered that all the parts fitted on the frame were stamped 4965. In 1962 both engines were in Swindon works at the same time and it was surmised that Swindon workshops made one good engine out of the two, swapped number plates and names and sent what appeared to be Rood Ashton to be be scrapped when it was in fact Albert Hall that was cut up!
The King Class were one of the most powerful steam loco’s on the British Railways and here we see 6024 “KIng Edward I” putting it’s 40000 lb of tractive effort to good use in restarting it’s train from the Dawlish Warren stop with the “Royal Duchy” to Par in Cornwall. Back in BR time the Kings were banned from crossing the Tamar and into Cornwall on Brunel’s Royal Albert bridge at Saltash because of their weight.(135 tons Inc tender)
Video taken of picture above!
Here at speed passing the Rockstone footbridge on Dawlish sea wall, this time on the Torbay Express which runs from Bristol to Kingswear
6024 bursting out of Kennaway tunnel and onto the Dawlish sea wall along Marine Parade with the return run to Bristol.
There’s that extra bit of excitement seeing a steam express at speed passing in the hours of darkness. On 6th December 2008 a Yuletide Torbay Express was trialled but unfortunately has never been repeated. Perhaps there weren’t enough shops at Kingswear to satisfy the ladies!
Video of Yuletide Torbay Express.
A relatively new kid on the block has been double chimney castle class 5043 “Earl of Mount Edgcumbe”, the pride of the Tyseley workshop in Birmingham which has been putting on some really good performances since being completely overhauled from scrap condition. The works are expecting to complete the overhaul of their identical locomotive 7029 “Clun Castle”by the end of this year. There is bound to be a big demand for them to double head day tours next year, hopefully some down here in Devon.
The fitting of a four row superheater and the rather ungainly looking double chimney made these engine’s performance good enough for them to attain the magic “ton”, i.e.100mph in service.
Unfortunately all steam trains are currently limited to 75mph. The brass nameplate is enormous as can be seen when compared to the six foot eight and a half inch diameter driving wheels.
I only wish I had been there when these pictures of 5043 were taken by a friend on the Rattery incline just beyond Totnes when it was really working hard. To climb the gradient,
which lasts for over 4 miles beginning at 1in 45 and never less than 1 in 90, is quite a challenge for a load of around 400 tons.
5043, (as with 5051 Earl Bathurst that had it’s name changed), was originally named Barbury Castle for it’s first year in service before being renamed Earl of Mount Edgcumbe.
I’ll finish with a couple of pictures of the diesel that was brought in after the relatively unsuccessful Warship diesels that took over from steam. On introduction of the Class 52 Western Hydraulics various colour schemes were trialled and all went through the BR Rail Blue livery in the later sixties. In preservation D1015 Western Champion reverted to the “Golden Ochre” it had at the start of it’s life in 1963. Seventyfour engines were produced and all were given names of various types of noble leader preceded by the word Western.
More recently it has donned the maroon livery that became standard in the mid sixties before the rail blue came in.
Finally a video of D1015 Western Champion masquerading as D1040 Western Queen on “The Cornishman” passing through Teignmouth station, followed by it paired with
40145 “.East Lancashire Railway” on Dawlish sea wall.
Video of Western at Teignmouth + Dawlish sea wall.