29th April 1978
The Western Ambassador Railtour
|Locos Used||33059, 33118, D1013, D1062 & 47540|
Route : 1Z35 throughout
|33118 + 33059||London Paddington - Reading - Basingstoke - Salisbury - Yeovil Junction - Exeter Central - Exeter St Davids|
|33059 + 33118||Exeter St Davids - Newton Abbot - Paignton|
|D1013||Paignton - Kingswear|
|D1062||Kingswear - Paignton|
|47540 (1)||Paignton - Newton Abbot - Exeter St Davids - Bridgwater - Bristol Temple Meads - North Somerset Jn - Chippenham - Swindon - Didcot - Reading - London Paddington|
(1) Should have had same 33's on return leg but they were "borrowed" by BR to rescue a failed train. The train ended up with 47540, though attempts were made to get a pair of 50's from Bristol.
Source : Gary Thornton (on the train throughout)
(by Gary Thornton)
D1062 "Western Courier" at Kingswear on the T&DR (photo : Maurice Orme)
Although this was only my third railtour, it was the second occasion on a tour I was to reach Paignton! The previous time being only a couple of months earlier with a somewhat more rateable form of traction on the front (Deltic 55003 "Meld"). We had been denied "Western" haulage on that visit because the T&DR preserved railway was shut owing to bridge damage caused by thawing snow.
New track a lot of the way for me as we went via Basingstoke & Yeovil to Exeter - I recall standing in the front vestibule with a couple of friends enjoying the thrash from our pair of "shredders".
This visit was more successful and D1013 "Western Ranger" and D1062 "Western Courier" were both sampled for haulage (one out for one back). One of my friends Fathers knew the owner of D1013 and we were armed with a letter permitting us a visit to the cab - no cab ride but we did "cab" D1013 at Paignton.
Our tour stock re-appeared with a 47 on the front - it seems British Rail had taken our 33's to rescue a failed train! Rumours of a loco swap at Bristol to a pair of 50's was promising but in the event we had to make do with the 47 all the way back to London.
Timings : Booked (& Actual)
(by Gary Thornton/John Clifford/Clive Barlow)
|Reading||08.38a ~ 08.43d||08.40 ~ 08.45|
|Basingstoke||09.04a ~ 09.06d||09.04 ~ 09.06|
|Salisbury||09.39a ~ 09.48d||09.39 ~ 09.48|
|Chard Jn||10.58a ~ 11.03d||10.49 ~ 11.03|
|Axminster||11.10a ~ 11.20d||11.09½ ~ 11.20|
|Exeter St Davids||11.55a ~ 12.05d||11.50 ~ 12.09|
|Newton Abbot||12.28a ~ 12.30d||12/30|
|Paignton||12.45a ~ 18.00d||12.43 ~ 18.00|
|Newton Abbot||18.15a ~ 18.17d||18/13|
|Exeter St Davids||18/40||18/34|
|Cowley Bridge Jn||18/42||18/36|
|Bristol Temple Meads||19.58a ~ 20.00d||19.45 ~ 19.58|
|North Somerset Jn||20/02||20/01½|
|Reading||21.23a ~ 21.25d||21.15 ~ 21.17½|
|Churston||11.43a ~ 11.53d||13.13a ~ 13.23d||14.43a ~ 14.53d||16.13a ~ 1623d|
A : hauled by D1062
B : hauled by D1013
Back to "The Railtour Files - 1978"