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West Country railways - Summer 1999

Photographs taken during August 1999 - a busy period for all main and preserved railways in the west country, struggling to cope with the huge numbers of additional visitors brought to the area by the total eclipse of the Sun on August 11th.
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Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway
5239 at Paignton Ex-GWR 2-8-0 tank engine arrives at Paignton with a morning train from Kingswear. 5239 was built at Swindon in 1924 as a freight locomotive for coal duties in the Welsh valleys. She has now been named 'Goliath'.
5239 approaching Goodrington 2-8-0 5239 running tender first approaches Goodrington with a Kingswear bound train. The P&DSR line runs alongside the railtrack carriage sidings in Clennon Valley, Paignton.
5239 approaching Goodrington Slowing down for Goodrington Sands, the first station on the journey to Kingswear.
Away from Goodrington 2-8-0 5239 starts its train away from Goodrington and begins the steeply graded cliffside ascent to Churston
Broadsands Working hard now as the train climbs past the caravan park to Broadsands viaduct.
Churston Hard work over, No. 5239 drifts gently down the gradient towards Greenway tunnel.
Ex-GWR 2-8-0 5239 After a short break, Ex-GWR 2-8-0 5239 runs around its train at Kingswear
Devon Belle The Devon Belle observation car provides a panoramic view of the Dart and Torbay - and is shown here at the head of the train at Kingswear. The car was built in 1921 and formed part of the Pullman 'Devon Belle' service from Waterloo to the north Devon coast. It is now available to all for a small supplementary charge.
Greenway Working hard, No. 4555 blasts up the steep gradient from Greenway tunnel to Churston.
English Riviera Classic Torbay scene as No. 5239 trundles down the gradient from Broadsands
Devon Belle The Devon Belle observation car provides a panoramic view of the Dart and Torbay - and a working locomotive! - and is shown here immediately behind 2-8-0 5239 on the descent to Goodrington.
Ex-GWR 4555 End of the day - ex-GWR 2-6-0 4555 prepares for the head shunt after arrival at Paignton with the last train of the day from Kingswear.
Ex-GWR 4555 Ex-GWR 2-6-0 4555 'Warrior' at Paignton - moves forward to the coal and watering point at the end of the day. Locomotives simmer here in the evening sunlight.
Sprinter unit at Paignton A sprinter unit arrives at Paignton at the end of its local service from Exmouth. The mainline station adjoins the terminus of the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway - and is a busy destination for many long distance HST services on summer Saturdays.
South Devon Railway
Errol Lonsdale Ex-WD 0-6-0 'Errol Lonsdale' heads the mid-day train from Buckfastleigh to Totnes. This saddle tank locomotive was built in 1953 by Hunslet of Leeds
Errol Lonsdale Ex-WD 0-6-0 No. 68011 'Errol Lonsdale' runs around the train at Buckfastleigh.
Errol Lonsdale Ex-WD 0-6-0 No. 68011 'Errol Lonsdale' waits for the 'off' at Totnes Riverside
Dart valley Ex-WD 0-6-0 No. 68011 'Errol Lonsdale' heads the train along the picturesque valley of the River Dart.
And there's more......
Dobwalls Park locomotive A 7" gauge scale model of US 4-8-2 locomotive 'Queen of Nebraska' receives attention before starting another climb through the tunnels and canyons of Dobwalls Adventure Park.
Away in the rain 'Queen of Nebraska' gets under way in typical summer fashion!
Paignton Zoo miniature Class 37 Small scale diesel - a scale Class 37 hauls a load of visitors around the lakeside at Paignton Zoo.
Royal Albert Bridge, Saltash No visit to West Country railways would be complete without paying tribute to the engineering genius of Portsmouth born Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Here, perhaps, is his finest memorial, the great Royal Albert Bridge across the Tamar between Plymouth and Saltash completed in 1859.

All images © Copyright Peter J. Milford - no reproduction without permission

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