Part 8 of Colins series already. We do hope you are enjoying these articles.

This week a look at some of the double headed excursion tours that have passed along the Dawlish sea wall since 2005 starting with The Staite Pullman.

This first one was a private excursion by the Railway Touring Company arranged in secrecy as a gesture of appreciation for Bernard Staite on his retirement, in recognition of all he had done in organising steam railway excursion trains plus other railway work for the company. The trip had started at Paddington behind D1015 Western Champion which handed over at Taunton for 6024 King Edward 1 & 7802 Bradley Manor to take the train on to Paignton.

Hope my wife and friends do a similar thing for me!


Next up in 2006 on April 1st “The Devonian”  Paddington to Plymouth excursion was in the hands of LMS Black 5 45407 & Standard 4 76079 for the Taunton-Plymouth-Taunton parts of the excursion and is seen here on it’s return exiting Kennaway tunnel and passing Marine Parade which is the start of the run along  the sea wall.


The Railway Touring Company this year have arranged the 9th Gt.Britain Rail Tour which will be passing through Dawlish on 26th and 27th of April.

The planned motive power will be two Bulleid pacific loco’s 34067 Tangmere with its air smoothed casing and rebuilt 34046 Braunton making one of it’s first appearances after a full overhaul at Crewe works. Fares start from £2195 for 9 days. All aboard!

Back in 2011 it was the Great Britain IV tour and on this leg of the journey from Bristol to Penzance, the tour was in the hands of Black 5 45305 paired with Britannia 70013 Oliver Cromwell.


2009 saw The Royal Duchy run from Paddington to Par on 5th April. It was steam hauled by GWR Castle 5029 Nunney Castle and Britannia 70013 Oliver Cromwell seen in the video below  which looks down from Lea Mount above the Kennaway tunnel and has a view of the line from Langstone Rock at Dawlish Warren. In the days of steam it would have been the normal procedure for the main train engine to run from Paddington to Newton Abbot solo, the second engine would then be attached to cope with the severe gradients it would meet at Dainton this side of Totnes and Rattery just beyond.


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In 2010 The  Royal Duchy was intended to be hauled by two Southern region loco’s King Arthur class 30777 Sir Lamiel and Battle of Britain Class 34067 Tangmere but in the event neither were available so it reverted to Ian Riley’s faithful  Black 5 44871 leading 70013 Oliver Cromwell seen here as they charge through the Warren station.



A much less likely combination occurred in 2012 when a superpower duo appeared on the Tamar Devonian with the unique Standard Class 8 71000 Duke of Gloucester

coupled with new build BR Eastern Region  60163 Tornado which at that time was in its late logo 1950’s green livery.



Another very unlikely pairing was putting GWR 5029 Nunney castle together with streamlined LNER 60019 Bittern with it’s extra tender for increased water capacity.

Video taken at Dawlish Warren station on 12/09/2010

And to finish one for the diesel fans. In 2011 we were lucky enough to have three double headed excursion trains pass through on their way to Penzance for the Mazey Day celebrations.

Unfortunately of late there has only been one excursion run as it proved too difficult to programme multi excursions into the timetable.

Here is a compilation of the three featuring Classes 20,37 and 31.

For anyone interested the loco’s were 20308, 20309,37409 Lord Hinton,37229,31601, 31190 (also numbered pre-TOPS D5613)



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