This Diesel Special was made more interesting to the rail fans as it brought a new class of locomotive to this area in that it is bi-mode like the new Hitachi IET 800’s whose primary power source comes from overhead electricity with a lesser powered diesel engine. The Class 88 shares the same body shell as the Class 68 but is equipped with a pantograph in a roof recess. The down run had DRS 88003 Genesis leading with 68034 which will be named Victorious in the near future. They had started from Tame Bridge Parkway and went to Penzance which coincided with the GWR Long Rock Depot’s open day. The destination break time was only two and a half hours with a little over eight hours each way to travel. The video below starts as the special passes Long Rock Depot on the way in to Penzance and continues as it passes through Teignmouth station and then along Dawlish sea wall. At Dawlish it was 25 mins late after a protracted break at Plymouth where the loco’s had to detach from the train and go to Laira Depot to refuel. The video continues with a look at the GBRf convoy the previous day as it was making its way from Eastleigh to Penzance for display at the open day. The charity the day was for the Penlee lifeboat and it was fitting that GBRf provided 66714 named Cromer Lifeboat for the occasion. Also in the convoy was Electro Diesel 73107 named “Tracy” which was believed to be the first time one of this class of 73’s had ever been as far west as Penzance before. It looked very smart in the new livery for GBRf and matched with the two Class 50’s 50049 Defiant and 50007 Hercules masquerading as 50014 Warspite on one side! The day was fine and sunny but a very cold southeasterly wind played havoc with the recordings and later in the evening nearly froze me to death on Dawlish sea wall for the return!
Picture below taken as the special passed Sprey Point on the Teignmouth sea wall. Thanks to Tom Pearce for the photograph.
A frame taken from the video as they passed Long Rock.
At speed along the Dawlish sea wall.
The return of the GBRf convoy to Eastleigh on Monday 15th April