31st August 2002

Pathfinder Tours
The Eden Express

Locos Used 6024 & 47760
Stock Used TSO, TSO, RMB, BFK (Mark 2A), FO x 4

1Z24 : Cardiff to Par
1Z25 : Par to Cardiff

Loco Route (1)
47760 Cardiff - Newport - Severn Tunnel Junction - Bristol Temple Meads - Weston-super-Mare - Exeter Riverside Yard
6024 Exeter Riverside Yard - Par
6024 Par - Exeter
47760 Exeter - Cardiff

(1) Route confirmation required.

Sources : Steve Robinson & Scott Spencer (headcode details)

Tour Review
(by Steve Robinson)

The tour commenced at Cardiff at 0558 with 47760 taking the 8 coach load through the Severn Tunnel to Bristol Temple meads where the Buffet car was watered, then on down to Exeter Riverside yard via Weston Super Mud. Here the steam came on as well as a paramedic! The train moved into Exeter station where the casulty was removed from the train. (She later rejoined at Plymouth on the return).

The run to Plymouth was done in fine style with the Sea Wall and the Devon Banks being stormed! After taking water at Plymouth the King then proceeded into Cornwall over the Tamar Bridge being only the second time a King has done this (they were banned in steam days - 6024 did it previously about 4 years ago on a charter to Penzance returning the next day from Falmouth. Ask Roger he remembers!).

A further bout of fine running took the train to Par where everyone detrained to go to the Eden Project or some Gardens.

The stock proceeded to St Blazey yard and shed where the King partook in the private open day being held at the depot for staff and families. It was watered and turned ready for the return journey. Meanwhile the stock was shunted from one road to another by 08798 whilst I tried to sleep!

The return journey started out badly when 6024 came to a stand on greasy rails after some over eager PW gang had greased the fishplates on the climb out of Par and left loads on the rail head! Once the climb was completed the tour made its way uneventfully to Plymouth for water.

Leaving Plymouth the driver showed he meant business by topping Hemerdon bank at 37mph narrowly missing the record for that section. It however continued on in this fashion to Exeter beating the previous record for Plymouth - Exeter with Steam by over 2mins despite a very cautious approach to Exeter. Top speed recorded was 79.8mph near Starcross.

47760 then returned the train to Bristol TM, where I left the train, and Cardiff a few mins late because of pathing problems.

Steve Robinson

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