The Cornishman (Tyseley-Plymouth and return)
- report by Dave Clark.
Just about a month after our Lickey Banker trip, Saturday 28 April saw six of us once again heading out from Tyseley, Birmingham, this time on Vintage Trains "Cornishman" excursion to Plymouth.
We were diesel hauled to Bristol by Tyseley's Class 47 (D1755/47773) and, although primarily steam enthusiasts, the journey along the Eckington-Bredon-Ashchurch racetrack and the run down from Gloucester was exhilarating to say the least.
Whilst steam is allowed to run up to 75 mph on the national network, diesels can go up to 90,
and on observing our gallant band of waitresses trying to serve breakfast I have no doubt we were hitting the maximum.
Suzanne, our lovely head waitress, and good friend after so many trips with Vintage Trains - just look at that table!!
At Bristol (where we discovered that a group from our Loco Dept were also on the train), the "47" came off, and Tyseley's pride and joy, Castle Class 5043 "Earl of Mount Edgcumbe" took over the train.
Once again we were treated to some high-speed running, followed by the twin highlights of the day, Brunel's famous Dawlish sea wall and the equally famous Devon banks of Dainton (1-in-36), Rattery (1-in-46) and Hemerdon (1-in-42) - for comparison, the Lickey Incline is 1-in-37. We were delayed by 30 minutes at our Tiverton waterstop, and yet we reached Bristol only 9 minutes down, which was quite incredible considering the twisting mountainous terrain over which we had just travelled - indeed, the climb of Dainton was nothing short of spectacular. Our driver was certainly a "hard-hitter" with the cinders from 5043 frequently raining down on the train, and a large and somewhat hot piece bounced through the window to land on Richard's lap!
An enjoyable 2½ hours were spent in Plymouth with a visit to The Hoe, and a light lunch stop at a pleasant pub nearby. The happy band at Plymouth Hoe - Phil Salter, Paul, Richard, Dave Hancox and Phil Jones
Our return to the station was to find that the VSOE had come in. Our hearts leapt! Was there a Bullied Pacific lurking nearby?! No, sadly just two Class 67 diesels.
However the famous and luxurious Pullman train made a splendid sight.
Our return trip was equally enjoyable, starting off with 5043 storming the long 1-in-42 climb up Hemerdon Bank. Once again we were treated to the wonderful winding journey over the Devon banks, and along that glorious sea wall, recently shown on one of Michael Portillo's Bradshaw railway journeys on BBC2.
By then we were enjoying our evening dinner. Near Cullompton we were running alongside the M5 and watching the speeding cars, while in turn they were watching and photographing us!
Arriving at Bistol Temple Meads on the return journey.
As always, the many enthusiasts were out with their video cameras and YouTube once again has some excellent ones of our train - simply enter "5043 Cornishman 28 April 2012" to display pages of them.
Three excellent ones, with good write-ups:
Dainton Climb - includes four excellent shots - the second section is the climb of Dainton and the third is the long slog up Hemerdon
Sea Wall 1 - at Wellinton and at Teignmouth along the famous sea wall secti
Sea Wall 2- the Dawlish sea wall with seagulls and a choppy sea, and speeding through Newton Abbot
It was a very long day, but hugely enjoyable. Thank you once again Paul for organising yet another excellent trip.
All that way to the seaside
they left the lilo behind!!!
Glad you had a good trip..