This week a look back a few years for locomotives and railcars that we no longer or rarely see on the sea wall.

The Class 20, invariably in pairs linked nose to nose, very occasionally appear on railtours and at one time on stock movements.

Popular with enthusiasts because of their noisy exhaust when working hard.


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The Class 31††BrushType 2 . 263 were built between 1957-1962† and having a 1470 hp rating were used on work that had been done by the likes of Black 5’s, B1’s and Halls.

A few remain in main line use by private operators†and Network rail have four which are in yellow livery. There are currently 26 loco’s on preserved railways.


The first picture shows a pair hauling Sea cow ballast wagons rounding the bend from Teignmouth station and out onto the sea wall.

2x31 sea cows

Next is at around 4am at Newton Abbot station with the morning’s newspapers. This service was discontinued in the 1980’s.

31 Newspaper train N. Abbot

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One of Network Rail’s† fleet of four†31285 running westward along the Dawlish sea wall.


A never to be repeated “special” was the appearance of† Robert Maxwell’s Daily Mirror touring advertising train. It was headed by a 31 and a 47 for it’s sojourn to the West country.

Seen here passing Sprey point on the Teignmouth sea wall. Obviously not much polishing on the 47!

Maxwell's train

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Another fast diminishing class is the Class 33.††Ninetyeight †were built in 1960-2 by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company using Sulzer 1550hp engines and Crompton Parkinson electrics. The pet name for the class has always been “Cromptons”

The picture shows a railtour passing through Teignmouth station working “wrong line” during an engineering line closure with 33055 leading a class 47 namer.

33055 + 47 Teignmouth station

The Classes 44,45†& 46 were known as Peaks as the forerunner Class 44 engines were all given names of British mountains. Almost 200 were built at Derby Works between 1959-63.

All had Sulzer engines, the earlier ones having Crompton Parkinson Traction motors and the later Class 46’s having Brush ones. Basically used in the Midland region and North east region for the major part of their life they most frequently appeared on the sea wall on cross country trains from the north.

However the first picture shows one on a more menial duty†about to enter Teignmouth with the River Teign estuary, obviously at a very low tide, on the right and the Rugby Club on the left.

Peak 5 T'mouth Rugby Club

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More usually seen on express turns from the north here heading out of Starcross skirting the Exe estuary.

Class 46 Starcross

This last one must have been one of their final duties on a clay train waiting for the road at Plymouth station.

45 on Clay Plymouth

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English Electric†Type 4 number 40145 is one of†the seven remaining†locomotives from an original class of 200† that were produced in 1958-1962 and rated at 2000hp. They proved barely equal to the steam express engines that were available at that time but the modernisation plan had to be implemented so steam was eradicated. After evaluation on the East coast Main line

more were refused and they waited instead for the Deltics to be delivered. They did however fit in on the West Coast main Line where they climbed Camden bank out of Euston without difficulty.†Seen here passing Cockwood harbour with the large logo and nameplate “East Lancashire Railway” neither of which it ever carried in BR ownership.


And here again on a Pathfinder railtour proudly displaying The Class 40 Preservation Society headboard who own the locomotive. Class 40’s nickname is “whistlers” because of† the high pitched noise from their exhaust and turbo charger.


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Video 1††††The Whistler†The first part of this video taught me, with my first camcorder, not to put the tripod on a footbridge abutment as the train passing vibrates it too much.

Also to try not to stand near anybody with a whingey child!

Another rarity in Nov 2011 was when a rake of disused “silver bullet” clay wagons was sold to a company in France and are seen here on the sea wall having just passed Dawlish station.

The Class 56 tucked in behind the 47†is in the short lived livery of Fastline. Hard to imagine that when these wagons were new they were a very shiny stainless steel

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Another wagon you don’t see too often is the nuclear waste ones that run from Devonport to Sellafield. Here the loco is a DRS Class 57 with a couple in tow. I wonder if the group of Ramblers would have shown a little more interest if they had known the wagons contained radioactive material.


It’s not often we see a Yeoman class 59 on a rake of autoballasters and even more unlikely now Colas have the lions share of the work.


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Another rarity is to see Class 59’s away from their stone work and pulling coaches but this was a works outing to Penzance from Westbury. Must be a profitable business!

2x59 Hanson Staff Jolly

Another sight we are unlikely to see again is a Class 58.

Here 58021 in Mainline livery†is on a Pathfinder tour and seen passing Langstone Rock and about to run along the Dawlish sea wall.

58 Red Rock

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Now on to DMU’s.† This first one is a Hastings Unit and was built with a narrow body for use on the London to Hastings line where tunnel widths are very restrictive.

Built at Eastleigh in 1957 it looks very much like a southern electric unit but is totally diesel powered. Known affectionally as “Thumpers” because of the noise they make when running.

This was an enthusiasts railtour to Devon as can be seen by the amount of heads out of the windows! Note the old footbridge on Dawlish station.

Hastings Unit

The Cardiff-Paignton service used to be run by BR before privatisation under the Alphaline banner using Class 158 DMU’s.† A pleasure to travel on compared to the nodding donkey Class 142’s that were the normal fare around south Devon.


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Down here we always get the cast off’s from other regions. This one was a Central trains 158 before it got reliveried into First western colours.


Wessex Rail tried a bit of advertising with this Class 153 to promote the St Ives Bay line that starts from St. Erth down near Penzance. They were certainly more comfortable to travel in than the 142 unit it is coupled up to.


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I always thought the Wessex Trains picture units were an attractive livery. Here a Class 150 is heading out along Marine parade after it’s station stop at Dawlish.


Finally I couldn’t resist a picture of a Deltic, my favourite of all the preserved diesels. Back in the 1970’s I lived near Newark and a frequent trip out of an evening was to go to the Gt. Northern Inn just off the A1 north of Newark where the pub was where†Carlton station used to be. Nothing could be better than sitting out on the concrete base of the long demolished goods shed with a pint and a pie and listen to the noise of a Deltic hum from at least 5 miles away before it rushed past at 100mph. I reckon that’s what sold my son Nick,† who takes video’s for Dawlish beach, on his enthusiasm for railways.

Two pictures, the first in the original two tone green livery and the second in Rail Blue. Of the 22 produced 6 have been preserved of which 3 are main line registered.

On introduction the 22 loco’s replaced 55 Eastern Region Pacific Express engines.

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To finish a compilation of three video’s featuring Deltic railtours on Dawlish sea† wall.

Video 2†† Deltic music

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