Hopefully good news that two Steam Specials have been announced that are intended to run in August 2020. The first is a Saphos tour from Cardiff to Plymouth double headed by a streamlined A4 pacific and with the other loco to be announced later. The A4 will be the return visit of 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley after its lengthy complete overhaul at the National Railway Museum in York. It was previously seen here at Dawlish on a celebration run over the repaired sea wall in 2014.This tour is scheduled for Wednesday Aug 12  This locomotive is credited with the post war speed record of 112mph whilst hauling an enthusiasts special back to London from Doncaster in 1959.

The second tour on Aug 31st will be hauled by LNER Class B1 4-6-0 61306 Mayflower and is part of the 400th Anniversary celebrations of the Pilgrim Fathers voyage to settle in America, Mayflower having being the name of their ship. 61306 has inherited the name of Mayflower whilst being a heritage locomotive The name was originally carried by class member 61379 in British Rail times when there was an American Pilgrimage to Boston in Lincolnshire in 1951 when the locomotive was fresh from the works of the North British Railway Company in Glasgow. It named at Kings Cross station in London.

Of interest last week was  when the Night Riviera sleeper train from Penzance to Paddington failed near Ivybridge. Fortunately the Rail Head Treatment Train was following and was commandeered to haul the sleeper back to Plymouth station where the passengers de-trained to an Hitachi IET to get them up to London. The sleeper stock was needed back at London for the next night and the unusual sight of back to back HST’s 43040 & 43198 towing the set, including the failed loco 57605 Totnes Castle up to the Traincare depot at Reading. The video below shows the start of my set of disasters when a shower of rain started just as it came into sight and got progressively heavier. More nameplates are appearing on the Castle HST sets but the sun reflected too much to see it properly on the video at the Warren station. Next failure for me was when recording the RHTT the wind it created when passing blew my camcorder and tripod off the wall and when I was recording another Castle Class starting away from Dawlish station the RHTT photo bombed it but this time I made sure I had hold of the camera though it still made it wobble!

The RHTT taken just before the video camera departed!
The nameplate on 43153 Chun Castle. The actual castle was built about 2500 years ago and is the remains of a hill fort near Penzance. It seems a little strange to be chosen as it consists of two upright stones at the entrance to a circular ring of loose stones beyond not looking like a castle at all. All of the nameplates have an outline of the castle it is named after but in this case it takes a bit of imagination to find it!