Torbay Express

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Ex-GWR 'Castle' 4-6-0 No. 5079 Lysander heads the down Torbay Express out of Parson's Tunnel at Dawlish
The Torbay Express in 1960

The Torbay Express is a named passenger train operating in the United Kingdom.

Great Western Railway[edit]

Historically, the Torbay Express name was applied to services operated by the Great Western Railway from Paddington to Torquay and Paignton.

BR Standard Class 8 Locomotive 71000 Duke Of Gloucester arrives at Kingswear railway station in August 2011 as the Torbay Express.

Revival[edit]

First Great Western[edit]

The Torbay Express name is also used by First Great Western for its 10:00 service from London Paddington to Paignton (via Bristol), and the 14:15 return (via Castle Cary and the Berks and Hants line).

Summer steam excursion[edit]

Ex-GWR 'King' 4-6-0 No.6024 King Edward I heads the revived Torbay Express charter at Sprey Point, Devon, July 2006

From 2003, Past-Time Rail revived the Torbay Express as a passenger charter steam locomotive service, to run on certain summer Sundays and some Saturdays, from: Bristol Temple Meads via stops at Weston-Super-Mare and Taunton; to Paignton and onwards vis the Dartmouth Steam Railway to Kingswear.

After Past-Time Rail went bankrupt in June 2009, the service obligation has been taken over by Torbay Express Ltd. As well as taking direct bookings, the company also takes bookings through Pathfinder Tours who advertise the service as part of their programme, and also supply their own volunteers to steward the trains.

Initial services were operated by GWR 7800 Class 7802 'Bradley Manor' and GWR 4073 Class 5051 'Earl Bathurst', and since 2003 the season and number of services run each summer has increased, presently operating on selected Sundays between July and September.

Since being taken over by Torbay Express Ltd, the British Railways Mark 1 coaching stock, steam locomotive power and back-up diesel locomotive have been supplied and operated by West Coast Railway Company. Steam locomotive motive power varies by season, and has included: GWR 6000 Class 6024 'King Edward I'; LNER Class A4 60009 'Union of South Africa'; LNER Class A1 60163 'Tornado'; SR Battle of Britain Class 34067 'Tangmere'; BR Class 8P 71000 'Duke of Gloucester'; BR Britannia Class 7MT 70000 'Britannia'; LNER Class A4 4464 'Bittern'.

References[edit]

External links[edit]