20th April 2002

Past Time Rail
The Western Sunrise

Locos Used D1015 'Western Champion' & D7535
Stock Used 1813+3144+3133+3132+1671+3131+35469+4949+4946+4996+4916+5008

Route :
1Z52 : London Paddington to Paignton
1Z15 : Paignton to London Paddington

Loco Route
D1015 London Paddington - (via GWML) - Reading - Reading West - Southcote Jn - Newbury - Westbury - Castle Cary - Cogload jn - Exeter St Davids - Newton Abbot - Paignton
D7535 (1) Paignton (Queens Park) - Kingswear
D7535 (1) Kingswear - Paignton (Queens Park)
D1015 Paignton - (reverse of outward route) - London Paddington

Notes:
(1) Not strictly part of the railtour but Past Time had arranged for a special round-trip on the P&DR with the railways class 25 for those choosing to pay an additional 7.50 on the day.

Source : Gary Thornton (on the train throughout)

Tour Review
(by Gary Thornton)

Railtour number two since the return of D1015 'Western Champion' to the mainline. Having been on the first back in February I was looking forward to this one too. An early start was required and four of us headed from Northampton direct to Paddington by car. Whilst expensive to park there for the day (14) split four ways the fuel and parking worked out a lot cheaper than using public transport (and probably a sight more reliable too!).


D1015 makes a fine sight at London Paddington (photo: Roger Geach)

This was a straight out-and-back run for 'Champion' with pick-ups en-route. Our group was sat in coach C, the second from the front (no coach A in the formation) on the outward journey. Departure, like on February 23rd, was quite subdued but after Old Oak Common the driver got D1015 wound-up as we headed along the down slow line towards Slough, the first pick-up after Paddington.

Timed for an hour for the 36 miles between London and Reading...we took 63 minutes! This being on account of following various Thames turbos on the slow line no doubt. Our route on was via the 'Berks & Hants' with a further pick-up at Newbury. Not much to tell you about other than we were having a superb time at the front listening to D1015 going through her paces up to 90mph.

Highlight of the outward journey was, without doubt, thrashing along the sea wall at Dawlish. I don't normally condone people hanging out of windows on trains but I don't think one single window was empty as we sped along past countless photographers and quite right too, this was something to be savoured, the first '52' along the sea wall under its own power in over 25 years! The driver of the Western put on a good show too with the loco being under power most of the way.

All to soon we were at Paignton. Many chose to fill their time here by taking a trip over the preserved line to Kingswear - Past Time having arranged a special train hauled by the lines class 25 (D7535) which was available for 7.50 for a return ticket. Many of us took advantage (I certainly did as I required the 25 for haulage!). The local ferry company did good business when we arrived as most of the participants piled on to 'Dartmouth Princess' for the short sailing over to Dartmouth.

I like many, found a pub to while away an hour....nice sunny weather, a nice small pub and good beer...what a decent day out it was!

D7535 took us back to Paignton and there was time enough to walk to the sea front as well as grab a bite to eat in one of the many typical fish-and-chip cafes near the station.


D1015 'Western Champion' waits to leave Paignton on the way home
(photo: Gary Thornton)

For those of us now at the back of the train the return working was pretty quiet. D1015 performed well all the way and, had it not been for staggering around Reading and into Paddington, an early arrival would have happened. as it was we got back to Paddington bang on time.

Verdict : D1015's second outing was, if anything, better than the first. Loads of high speed running combined with a fair amount of mid-speed thrash...absolutely brilliant :-)

Gary Thornton.

Timings (Booked & Actual)

Miles Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual Miles
0.0 London Paddington 08.39d 08.41   22.14a 22.14 202.0
2.0 Ladbroke Grove 08/42 08/45   22/11 22/07 200.0
5.0 Acton West 08/46 08/47   22/08 22/04 197.0
9.1 Southall 08/51 08/51   22/03 22/01 192.9
11.2 Airport Jn 08/53 08/53   22/01 21/59 190.8
18.5 Slough 09.00a ~ 09.04d 09.01 ~ 09.04   21.51a ~ 51.52d 21.50 ~ 21.52 183.5
24.3 Maidenhead 09/13 09/14   21/41 21/44 177.7
31.1 Twyford 09/24 09/21   21/36 21/39 170.9
36.0 Reading 09.40a ~ 09.46d 09.44 ~ 09.47   21.26a ~ 21.28d 21.28 ~ 21.33 166.0
37.8 Southcote Jn 09/49 09/50   21/19 21/18 164.2
53.1 Newbury 10.07a ~ 10.09d 10.08 ~ 10.12   20.52a ~ 21.03d 20.51 ~ 20.59 148.9
66.4 Bedwyn 10/23 10/26   20/40 20/38 135.6
78.9 Woodborough 10/33 10/36   20/29 20/28 123.1
88.1 Lavington 10/40 ??/??   20/21 20/21 113.9
94.6 Heywood Road Jn 10/47 10/48   20/15 20/15 107.4
95.6 Westbury 10c49a ~ 10c51d 10.51 ~ 10.53   20c10a ~ 20c12d 20.08 ~ 20.12 106.4
97.1 Fairwood Jn 10/45 10/56   20/04 20/01 104.9
100.3 Clink Road Jn 10/57 11/00   20/00 19/57 101.7
102.5 Blatchbridge Jn 10/59 11/02   19/58 19/54 99.5
115.4 Castle Cary 11/08 11/13   19/46 19/44 86.6
137.9 Cogload Jn 11/24 11/30   19/26 19/26 64.1
142.9 Taunton 11/29 11/35   19/24 19/22 59.1
157.1 Tiverton Parkway 11/42 11/45   19/12 19/11 44.9
172.5 Cowley Bridge Jn 11/56 11/55   18/58 18/58 29.5
173.7 Exeter St Davids 11.58a ~ 12.01d 11.58 ~ 12.04   18.35a ~ 18.55d 18.35 ~ 18.55 28.3
184.2 Dawlish Warren 12/11 12/17   18/25 18/24 17.8
193.9 Newton Abbot 12/21 12.29a ~ 12.32d   18/15 18/14 8.1
199.9 Torquay 12/31 12/43   18/05 18/05 2.1
202.0 Paignton 12.37a 12.48   18.00d 18.00 0.0


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