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The Royal Duchy 2021

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by LittleRedTrain, Jul 5, 2021.

  1. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Even when you adjust that time to allow for the fact that this was not a start to stop time, about 61 min adjusted is still pretty good for a load of 10 and maybe one of the quickest.
     
  2. Romsey

    Romsey Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I guess I provoked the bad luck by saying it was an easy operation
    :oops::Eggonface:

    Neil
     
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  3. alts1985

    alts1985 Member

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    Speeding past Dawlish and Totnes today...

     
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  4. Hemerdon

    Hemerdon Member Friend

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  5. No.7

    No.7 New Member

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    Very fine run by Tornado yesterday, 4th fastest climb in preservation of Dainton Eastbound, easily the fastest with load 10 (4m 0.67 sec) and 2nd fastest from passing Exeter to Whiteball (17 m 15.6 sec).

    Load 10/363/386

    Thanks to all who made it happen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2021
  6. banana patch

    banana patch New Member

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    Disappointing day with delays,rain and football but more than made up for with Tornado's magnificent performance!
     
  7. KristianGWR

    KristianGWR Well-Known Member

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    My footage of yesterday's run in all its dampness. Filmed at Ash Bridge, Rattery and Hemerdon. Enjoy! :)
     
  8. alts1985

    alts1985 Member

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  9. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    So what a short thread and so little information, pictures and filming from what was an exhilarating day out with the magnificent 60163 after what was a disastrous start on the down relief west of Taunton. From the snippet of inforamtion from No.7 you might have gathered there was some more than decent bank climbing and as fast running as the line speed permitted.

    So here's a bit of a write up on what was quite a special day out with Tornado.

    Royal Duchy 11th July 2021

    To be honest I dislike the 2021 format of the Royal Duchy. No steam until Taunton meant we had to take a car to Taunton risking the M5 on a summer Sunday. Then 60163 Tornado not being attached in the station but on the down relief alongside Fairwater Yard denied the paying passengers opportunities to take pictures and to chat to the crew. Experience has shown that there's always the potential for mishaps with locomotives having to cross both running lines to get to the stock and having to rely on points guarding a freight yard.

    What happened on the day sort of bore out our worst fears. John, another fairly serious timer, drove down from Newport where we left our car on Dave's drive. The M4, M49 and M5 were very quiet for a Summer Sunday and we rolled into the new multi storey car park alongside Taunton station in a little over an hour. We had the normal fight with a new ticket machine but managed to pay and met up with John and Judith who'd gone down to Taunton on Saturday and spent the night in a Premier Inn. The Dashi was open on the station so we got excellent coffees there.

    The train was showing on time on the board and duly rolled in to pick up 70 odd passengers. We boarded and John and I were left to ourselves in the 4 on the milepost side for the day. We rolled out of the station and cut off onto the down relief alongside Fairwater Yard. The blue Class 47, 47831? detached and left for Plymouth. Rather than 60163 backing on, a Colas Class 70 came past on our inside and curiously nothing happened for quite a while. Then Les, our train manager, came through looking a tad furious. The Class 70 was detached from its train by the Shunter and signalled to move forward to access the down relief to run around the wagons to the Taunton end of the freight consist as it was returning to Bristol.

    The driver contacted control and told them there was a bit of a problem - a set of carriages were on the down relief - us. Well control sorted it so they thought but the points in front of us failed, set to allow the Class 70 to leave the yard. Oh joy, a points failure on a summer Sunday. Well Les had a couple of exchanges with control about why on earth the locomotive exchange was being made on the down relief as we'd always made the exchange in the station on numerous trains over the years; never on the relief. He got nowhere and was eventually told the MOM was being called to assess the situation and authorise a solution that we expected to involve manually moving the errant point work and clipping them in place for 60163 to attach and take us onward to Plymouth.

    The MOM was attending to another points failure in Barnstaple that had halted all trains on the branch. No quiet Sunday for him. So we had a beer or two and ate crisps and biscuits while pondering what time we'd get to Plymouth. We had a table booked in the Rockfish at 1415 and obviously weren't going to make that. Time passed but the MOM did his thing and 60163 backed on to the train 1310, some 105 mins down. We got the road and hoped we'd get a non-stop run to Plymouth as there weren't any service trains in our way according to RTT. That could be fun if it happened.

    So off to attack Whiteball in the rain - yup, if we'd left on time at 1131 we'd have had a dry climb. The big loco slipped twice coming out onto the main but Andy Taylor soon recovered from the slips and we could hear quite a racket from up front in the middle of Coach 9. On the gentle gradients to Victory LC, 2 miles out, we were up to 45 and looking promising for a good climb. Steady rather than spectacular acceleration on the close to 2 miles averaging 240r to Bradford on Tone LC, passed at a bit of a disappointing 54.5, but it was still raining and we had a pacific with big wheels on the front. We always hope to pass Wellington at 60+ to get a high 40s/low 50s run into Whiteball Tunnel. We passed mp170 1/4 on the 288r at only 58 with a lot of noise drifting back.

    Over the mile of 90r speed fell back to 50.5 as we passed mp171 1/2, the change to the 86r. There was a right old racket from the front keeping us awake in Coach 9 but speed fell over the 3/4 mile of 86r to 46.6 at mp172 1/4. From there it's the steepest part of the climb, just over a half mile of 80r. The quiet loco really made its presence known but speed fell to 42.4 as we passed mp273 where the grade eases to 127r. 60163 charged into the tunnel at 42.3, a bit disappointing but fine considering the loco had been standing at Norton Fitzwarren for an hour and a half. Elapsed times were 13m 39.88s to the tunnel; 14m 48.46s to the summit. We expected a sub 13 minute run.

    60163 got noisier as Andy charged down the 115f towards Tiverton Parkway. We charged through the station chime whistle sounding at 75 and hit a maximum of close to 80 freewheeling down the 155f close to Cullompton. All green signals as we dropped down towards Exeter St Davids at 75 with no trains in front of us, speed only falling as we approached Cowley Bridge Jn, 45.9. Everything slows approaching Red Cow Crossing, our minimum was 11. Then with the gates open and green signals we ran through the station at 34.5 and passed mp174 alongside Exeter Panel at 34 and set off towards Exminster and the unofficial Exminster Challenge - to get to 70 by mp198 3/4 over gently falling/level gradients.

    Through St Thomas on the 181f at 45.6 as the rain got heavier. What a July Sunday - not; more like autumn. By mp196 speed had risen noisily to 59.5; then down the gentle 1070f to reach 68.2 at mp197 1/2. Now on the level, with the continuous roar from the front drifting back, we hit 70 at mp198 and sped past the site of the Exminster Signal Box at 71.6. One to the big loco. On the level around to Starcross, passed at 63.2 Chris Birmingham, our fireman, kept steam up for Andy as we headed for the famous Sea Wall around Dawlish. We roared through Dawlish Warren, mp204 1/2, 65.5, chime blaring and were eased for the 60 restriction through Dawlish, 63. Work was continuing on the new section of the wall where an unbelievable amount of concrete has been poured in recent weeks. Into the tunnels at 59 and then chime blaring through Teignmouth , mp209 at 60.

    Tornado sounded superb as Andy accelerated around the estuary to pass mp211 at 66 and mp212 at 68, both on the level. Not too far to Newton Abbot and the first serious obstacle of the day, Dainton Westbound. For the first time in many a year we roared through the station, mp214, at 62 and charged off to Aller on slightly falling/level track with mostly white smoke from the chimney. Must have looked superb trackside. We ripped through Aller, mp215 1/4 at 63.9 and passed mp215 3/4, on the 98r at 61.6. More than promising for 30 mph+ into the tunnel. The big loco unsurprisingly slipped as we passed mp216 1/2, 57r, speed down to 53.8. Further short slips as the grad steepened, mp217, 46r/57r passed at 45.5.

    On the steepening gradients and tight reverse curves we roared and squealed our way to pass mp217 3/4, 36r/44r, with a short slip at 29.1. We held that speed past into the tunnel and left it at 29.7 to run down the bank toward Totnes. Time from Newton Abbot was a very decent 4m 16.73s.

    Happy people around our tables and we looked forward to the attack on Rattery Bank, a longer and murkier tree lined bank at the bottom. Despite gentle/level grades we coasted along while we assumed Chris prepared the fire for the climb. We passed mp221 at 50 and then there was a distinctly louder roar from the front as Andy aimed to hit the foot of the bank at 60 or thereabouts. We passed mp222 at 58.7 and roared middle road through Totnes to an responding western whistle from the loco on the South Devon Service in Riverside station at 62.1. Excellent. Under the bridge and onto the 1/2m 66r at 65; off it onto the 71r at 55. Good start but then a slip that dropped speed onto the 1/2m 47r, 50.2 down to 45.9. always a murky stretch and on the curves at 47r to 56r speed fell to 39.3 as we passed mp224 3/4. The next half mile at 46r/52r/74r saw a minimum of 33.1 at mp225 1/2, Tigley.

    The gradient eased to 90r for 3/4 mile and 60163 picked up to 36.5 and even with a short slip to 38 on the 95r at mp226 1/2. The short bit of 65r to mp227 saw a slight fall to 35.3 and there we were, over the difficult bank in some style. Times were Totnes to Tigley in 3m 28s; Totnes to Rattery Summit 6m 23.3m. Excellent in the conditions. Across the top over gently falling and rising grades to Ash Emergency Crossover, mp230 1/4, 57; then up to Wrangaton on a close to 2 miles of 243r to 117r into the tunnel at 54.7 and past mp232 at 58.5. Nice running.

    The rain was lighter but still there as we roared through Ivybridge at 60.8 and held 61 over gently falling gradients to Hemerdon, mp239 1/4, 54.8. Almost freewheeling down the 42f, 77 and the 47/41f, 77. A sub 90minute run was on the cards until we slowed at Lipson Jn, 45, down to 12.8 as we climber the short 72r into Mutley Tunnel. A slow drift down into North Road took our time over the 90 minute mark and we came to a stand in 91m 43.15s. This was our and I expect most passengers first non-stop steam run from 'Taunton' to Plymouth. No record for Exeter to Plymouth as we ran through the station at 34.8. Still even with the very slow last mile and a half, the time was only 58m 22.2s. An excellent outward journey.

    We decided to go down to the Rockfish. We'd rung them four or five times to no avail so we didn't know if there'd be a table for our party of 6 despite us arriving within the 1415-1615 timeslot. Rain was heavier again. We got a taxi in a few minutes of arrival and got to the Barbican at 1500ish. Long walk around to the restaurant and John, the fittest of us, had gone ahead to see how the land lay. A bit bedraggled we strolled in and they'd made up a table up for us.

    Disappointingly the real ale bar wasn't in the restaurant any longer so we had to make do with bottled beers. The meal was superb. John, the fit one had the tempura prawns as a starter; I had the whitebait starter, big enough for a main in itself. We both had turbot as our main. Diana and Judith opted for the Tempura Prawn starter as a main; while Dave and John from the Forest, thick battered fillets of cod. We all opted for chips and a couple of us had excellent proper mushy peas. A really excellent seafood feast, topped off for most of us with a rich Devon Cream based Ice Cream with sauces. Mouthwatering stuff.

    What a surprise, it was still raining though lighter now so we had a bit of a wander around the Barbican. It was getting noisy just after 1700 with many football fans getting prepared for the match by drinking lots of booze. We went back to the station where the big loco and POB were in the bay. Even in the rain the paint finish on both looked superb. Carnforth did a really good job there. Andy was still in the driver's seat and we guess Chris was still on the shovel.

    The stock was brought in 12 late due to a points problem in the Par area!!. The Class 47 was detached and set off for Taunton. Then the loco and POB left the bay and even managed a fairly long slip on the crossovers. Hmmm. A rapid set back and attachment, aided by having an air braked locomotive, and we were ready to depart right time. With the mighty Hemerdon waiting the chime whistle sounded and we slowly left the station. A big slip before we got to the sanctuary of the road bridge followed by Mutley Tunnel, speed only just over 10. Down the 83f to hit the 77f at mp244 1/2 at 54.5. we had another 2 miles of favourable grades and there was a lovely roar from the front as we accelerated to a max of 64 as we passed mp243 where the line climbs gently at 204r. The light was awful for mileposting but John and I tried to get as many as we could rather than use the GPS odometer.

    Around the left hand curve and a deafening roar, we were now in the middle of the 3rd carriage, and despite our best efforts we didn't see a definite milepost until we were at Plympton, mp241 1/2, where speed had fallen to 48. Plenty of noise and no real slip as we charged into the 42r. Between mps 242 and 240 speed fell steadily to 24.6, then to 24.1 under the bridge, the summit of the climb, mp239 1/2. Over the 630r speed rose to pass mp239 1/4 in Hemerdon Siding at 32.3. Can't complain about a climb like that in the conditions we had. Not a noticeable slip but rubbish milepost spotting. John and I were somewhat disappointed but the light was poor. Oh for the old days of 60 ft jointed rail!!

    Onwards and upwards gently to Ivybridge, mp234, 56.5 and in the low 50s to Wrangaton. We got to line speed, 60, by Brent and ran at close to 60. Speed rose as we coasted down off Rattery Viaduct and it took some firm braking to keep to line speed while Chris prepared the fire for the assault on Dainton Eastbound with even more reverse curves on the climb. We really roared through Totnes, roughly mp223 3/4, at 64 and set off in the murky wet night to Coombe Fishacre and the bank itself. Gradients start to rise from mp 221 3/4, passed at 60 ish - missed it - but at mp 221 1/2, 254r/118r, speed was 55.6. plenty of noise and smoke, some falling milepost side, one of those days, and along speed back to 60 on the level at mp222. We passed mp221, 153r/78r at 53.8 and we didn't see another post until mp219 1/2, 76r/105r, 56.

    Only a mile and a half to the tunnel and lots of squealing flanges on the tight reverse curves accompanied a quite deafening roar from the front. We got mp219, 55r, 52.4, then disappointingly missed the next 2 quarters on the 65r/38r. We found mp218 1/4, 43r/28r, 41.6 and could see the tunnel entrance as we passed mp218, 37r/130r, 37.7 just before we thundered into the tunnel with no drop in speed. One slip in the short tunnel before we burst out onto the sort of daylight. Chris must have been happy to ease off firing a bit. Totnes to Dainton Tunnel we recorded as 5m 32.2s. An excellent climb.

    Nigel Wilson, the keeper of a large compendium of steam runs over the South Devon Banks posted the time of 4m 0.76s earlier in this thread for the climb but I'm not sure of the reference points used.

    Off to Newton Abbot, mp214, 61 and around the estuary and through Teignmouth in still poor light close to 60. Still doing 60 blasting out of Kennaway Tunnel and through Dawlish Station at 61. Then the brakes came on as NR Control kindly let the 6 minute late Paignton Stopper out of Dawlish Warren in front of us. Slowed us down for a few miles; Dawlish Warren, 29; Starcross 34.8, but we still had a noisy charge towards Exminster and passed mp198 3/4 at 70. We slowed near mp185 1/2, 29.3, and drifted through St Thomas where the stopper did, at 32.5.

    RTT showed the stopper arriving into EXD at 1951. Signals had kept us 7 minutes behind it. It was out of the way and Andy got serious and we roared past mp194, Exeter Panel at 44.4 and startled passengers on the platform as we charged through the station at 46.5. Some noise as we crossed Red Cow and passed mp193 3/4 at 50.4. Interest in mileposts seriously increasing and fortunately the light had improved so with 'front and back' views we hoped to get most quarters to the summit almost 20 miles away. Some noise as Andy used the half mile 515r/level quarter to pass mp193 at 55.4. up the 3/4 mile of 300r we accelerated superbly to 58.3, then on the 620r, we hit 60 at mp192 1/2. This was serious and speed rose to 66.4 as we hit the 1/2 mile of level track at mpmp191. Only missed a couple of posts so far.

    Superb acceleration on the 310r/217r to cross Stoke Canon LC at 69.9 and 70 as we passed mp190. We held 70 for the next 3/4 mile to mp189 1/4, then on a half mile or so of 217f got to 72; then 74 on the 500f. The gradient rises gently then and we hit the start of the 343r at mp 188 1/2 at 74.4. Small loss over the 3/4m 435r to pass mp187 1/2 at 72.3; then on 219r to 69 at mp186 1/2. Over Hele and Bradnich LC with lots of noise at 71.8, then over gentle rising grades, between 292r and 824r, 60163 roared up the bank in the low 70s; mp185, 292r, 72; mp184 523r, 72.9; mp183 333r, 72.8. Excellent climbing. On the short respite 1/2m 279f/lev, mp182 1/2 was passed at 75.5 and 60163 held close to 75 on the 316r to Cullompton. Onto the close to 2 miles of 155r at mp181 1/4 at 74.5; mp180 1/2, 72.9 - rain again. We passed mp180 at 71.3 and Tiverton Jn, where a mile of respite at 324f/207f got us back to 75 as we climbed again on a 216r for close to a mile, mp177 3/4 74.3.

    The sound up front was really superb to hear as we roared up the 405r/242r through Tiverton Parkway at 74. Some climb this, and some noise too. Just over 3 miles till to go to the summit. We passed mp177 242r at 73.9; passed mp176 1/2 on the 162r at 72.7 and hit the 2m+ 115r at 176 1/4 at 72.4. being us we'd hoped to have been closer to 75 that should ensure a rare 70 into the tunnel. We passed mp176 at 71.2 and then speed fell slowly despite the racket from the loco. By mp175 we were down to 66.6 and the quarters to the summit were: 174 3/4, 65.6; 174 1/2, 65.2; 174 1/4, 64.3 and finally mp174 where the gradient changes to 203f, 64.9. The tunnel is less than a quarter of a mile down the 203f/127f and speed had only picked up to 65.3 as we entered Whiteball Tunnel. One seriously impressive climb. My timing from Exeter Station to the summit at mp174 was 17m 12.6s. I timed the station as we passed under the bridge and it seemed consistent with the time and speed past mp174.

    Very unusual for my timing to be as much as 3 seconds different to Julian's that was 17m 15.6s.

    So that was it for us really as we were on time and only running to signal E481 close to Norton Fitzwarren. I only recorded mp172, 86f, 76; mp171, 90f, 72; Bradford on Tone LC, 203f, 55.2 and Victory LC, 369f, 37. We were actually early and had to wait for a Plymouth Cross Country Service to depart Taunton and pass us before we could drift over onto the Down Relief for 60163 and POB to be detached and our Class 47 at drop onto the stock. We were in the station a few minutes early.

    The M5 was near deserted and it only took an hour to get back to Newport. We were home half an hour later.

    What could have turned into a bit of a disaster was one exhilarating day out in the rain. 60163 performed superbly and at a high level of performance all day in the more than capable hands of Andy Taylor. Chris - I'm assuming he was on all day - did an excellent job giving Andy all the steam he needed to extract such a fine performance from the big pacific but It's rather annoying seeing these big LNER, LMS, Southern and BR Pacifics consistently besting GWR locomotives on their own patch. But back in the day the purpose of design was all about day in and day out running, not one-offs.

    Thanks to RTC for persevering with the Royal Duchys this year despite the chaos of the Bristol Engineering works. You've got to question the decision of NR to do so much engineering work around Bristol East Jn and on the Station through the summer. Haven't they heard of the rush to Devon and Cornwall in the summer months?

    After the chaos with the points failure Control did a good job pathing us non-stop to Plymouth, though we felt sorry for the majority of passengers who only had 30-45 mins in Cornwall. Thanks to WCR for the train, their excellent crew and support staff, and to the A1SLT for the provision of their big green locomotive and support crew. 60163 is performing as well as ever.

    Our next planned run is the Cotswold Venturer on 21st August but that's a bit dependent on whether or not we venture out on GWR Service Trains.
     
  10. bleeder4

    bleeder4 Member

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    Hopefully there won't be a repeat occurrence of the points failure for the next RD on 1st August, which I'll be on. I'm hoping it's still Bahamas as I've never been in the south west with a Jubilee so I'm expecting a good show on the Devon Banks!
     
  11. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    Hope it runs tailgunner free or you.
     
  12. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    What load would a Jubilee be expected to take over the South Devon banks? And would that be commercially viable?
     
  13. bleeder4

    bleeder4 Member

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    Same as a Black 5 I'd imagine. So maybe 8 or 9 coaches at a rough guess. So, yeah, if RTC put 13 coaches on then it will inevitably have a diesel along. I'd not actually considered that when I made my booking, I just got so worked up about being able to do the Devon Banks with a Jubilee I never considered the logistics of it until now!
     
  14. 1020 Shireman

    1020 Shireman Well-Known Member Friend

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    45407 took 7+POB relatively comfortably but commercial viability led to the 9+POB Covid train requirement. The normal load even for the Duchess pre Covid was 8+POB. Don't know what Andy Taylor thinks the Jubilee can take. Had no opportunity to ask him yesterday.
     
  15. Western Venturer

    Western Venturer Member

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    Heres my video of the Royal Duchy with Tornado. Only two shots so we tried to make them good ones on a stiff climb both ways.
    First shot at Venton Oak Bridge Tigley where the heavens opened as the train was due.. I had to cover my camera with a towel as the plastic cover I had would have made a noise with the rain on plastic unfortunately the twoel appears stage right so I hope that doesnt detract from the video.
    The second shot at Hardup Road Bridge near Bow Grange will live with me for a long time.. the noise was immense.. fantastic climb by Tornado..

     
  16. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I see what you mean by that second sequence.
     
  17. Western Venturer

    Western Venturer Member

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    Heres a video of the train taken by my friend Shirley, same locations as mine, Tigley and Hardup Road but still slightly different..

     
    maureen likes this.
  18. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Those are quite some shots and from a pretty potent loco. When it's set right it really seems to deliver and that trip looked to be a good example.
     
    green five and Western Venturer like this.
  19. dublo6231

    dublo6231 Member

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    Hi all,

    Please find links below of a number of You Tube video links from the tour on Sunday. As we were on board this tour it brings our memories to life showing what the tour looked like from the outside and enables me to send to family and friends.

    I'll also post a few of my own pics of the day later.

    Certainly a number of these show just how good the running was on the day - Tornado at full bore is certainly a sight and sound to savour.

    So a big word of thanks to Railway Touring Company for promoting the tour to WCRC for the running of it on the day - superb control by Andy in highly challenging wet conditions and given all the steam he needed by Chris - gentleman it was a pleasure to travel behind you and finally (edit) to the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust for providing their magnificent machine.

    Enjoy!


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    Return of Tornado In Devon with the Royal Duchy

    A1 60163 'Tornado' with 'The Royal Duchy' - Dawlish & Totnes - Sunday 11...

    Matty’s train spotting diaries 11/7/21 Royal Duchy steam train 60163 Tor...

    60163 Tornado. Royal Duchy.11 July 2021

    60163 tornado passing Tavistock junction with royal duchy railtour

    1Z34 Tornado 60163. Royal Duchy. Dainton West Up. 11.7.21

    60163 'Tornado' Blasts Through Newton Abbot- 11/7/2021

    60163 tornado at ivybridge 2021

    60163 Tornado at Dawlish and Taunton with The Royal Duchy

    60163 Tornado passing Dawlish Warren at speed and in torrential rain

    'Tornado' 60163 'Royal Duchy' - Dawlish Seawall

    60163 at Starcross on the Royal Duchy 11th July 2021

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/K8DsEcAhwRI


    Cheers everyone

    Phil, Joseph, John and Jon from Coach F
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
    Mick45305 and green five like this.
  20. Bill2

    Bill2 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2020
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    25
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    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Wilmslow
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Many thanks for the report and photos. Pity about the stopper ahead after Dawlish, as this is the fastest single headed run I have timed from Plymouth to passing Newton Abbot; for comparison the King's record run to Exeter in 2002 passed in 38 min 4 sec and I had a run with Oliver Cromwell in 2012 at 37 min 27 sec, both with nine coaches. And no complaints about having only an hour and a half in a very wet Par.
     

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