Great Western Railway
First Great Western
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
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 tour 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 DB Schenker Rail (UK) (and EWS before they were taken over by Deutsche Bahn in 2009). 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'; SR West Country Class 34046 'Braunton'; GWR 4073 Class 5029 'Nunney Castle'.
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