The SR Rebuilt Bulleid pacific 34052 Lord Dowding made a fine sight today as it sped along the sea walls of Dawlish and Teignmouth with the Royal Duchy express.
It had taken over from the diesel that had brought the train from Bristol and was bound for Par in Cornwall. The locomotive which is in fact 34046 Braunton and has kept its current identity which was done as part of the Battle of Britain celebrations last year. It is currently based on the West Somerset Railway and will be available to power the last “Duchy” of the season on !6th September. Next Sunday the 9th September will be the final Torbay Express of the year and the ever popular “Clan Line” is the locomotive to power the express. The picture below from Nick shows the express thundering through Teignmouth station.
Thanks to Noel Downie for this picture as it powered through Totnes station ready to attack the long and steep Rattery incline after which it will be able to coast down to Plymouth for its next water stop.
The return run was sadly cut short for the steam at Plymouth. Rumour has it that a lack of coal was the issue and Braunton (Lord Dowding) will be staying at Laira for the night with it’s support coach. To cover this, 37668 was sent from Taunton to Plymouth, Light Engine, to take the tour back to Bristol Temple Meads. On the plus side, we got a fantastic two tone as the 37 thundered past the Blenheim and it even set off a car alarm on Marine Parade!