The Devonshire Dart, July 84

Devonshire Dart Railtour, July 8th 1984

After a good Summer Saturday on the “Mid” with rats to Welshpool,  nb 31’s and 85019 all raked in before we joined a “Barry Manilowex!!” on the 2315 New St – Bristol TM additional. The “Manilowex” got reasonable power in Bristol based Gloucester 3 car set, B596 which got us and a few Manilow fans into T.Meads around 1am.

An unidentified 08 with mail/parcels traffic being unloaded at Temple Meads around 4am on July 8th 1984

The next 4 hours were endured with attempted waiting room doss, buffet coffee and watching the paper train form Padd arriving and being unloaded. Just before the booked 0505 start the ECS section of the tour (a small extra ching was charged) saw 37176 and required 37206 thrash North with 12 mk i’s in tow and obviously we dossed all the way!

At New St the tours main power in 20169/20184 (both required) took over for a 0733 departure from New St. We ran round at Gloucester, stopping at T.Meads for a crew change then much bellowing along the sea wall at Dawlish, great fun! At Plymouth 37185 and 37207(in Cornish Rail, lizard branding) took over unusually taking us under the Tamar Bridges and along the estuary to Bere Alton, a rare loco hauled haunt was reached.

20169 and 20184 look good powering past Bristol West on July 8th 1984

47331 on a ballast duty at Exeter St Davids on July 8th 1984

Genny 47407 is an unusual sight on ballast at Exeter St Davids, July 8th 1984

The magic of the South Devon coast as the 20s approach Starcross on July 8th 1984

A lot of flailing going on as the 20s past Dawlish, memories are made of moments like these, 8th July 1984

Cornish Railways liveried 37207 at little Bere Alston on the Gunnislake branch on July 8th 1984

As the tour headed for Plymouth Friary behind 37185 just visible here, 20169 and 20184 are photted at Plymouth on July 8th 1984

Timekeeping was beginning to worsen here and was to plague the rest of the tour, with a worry about not getting home for a good few aboard, the exciting track of Meldon Quarry, Taunton avoiding line (2 weeks before closure) and round the back of Bath Rd depot to Philips Marsh to T.Meads were in part offset by the late running worries.

To their credit F n W got 1S23 2140 Bristol-Glas/Edin held for many tour participants to join around 2200 for 45105 to Storm North at great pace to New St.  This made my 0015 connection to Leighton easily made, the worry was now over. At Coventry an ole isolation meant a DMU on the then frieght only line to Nuneaton for proper units in 310079/080 back to Leighton for around 3am, i was up for work at 7am too!!!      


59416}            2315 Birmingham-Bristol Addit (Barry Manilow ex)            NS-TM


31417  1M81 1803 Harwich-Birmingham                             

86220  1S19 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin

81011  1S23 1935 Paignton-Glas/Edin

1Z38 Route o/w –

37176/ 37206 – ECS additional tour Bristol TM – Cheltenham – New St

20169/20184 – New St – Gloucester – T.Meads – Exeter – Plymouth

37207/37185 – Plymouth – Bere Alston – Plymouth – Plymouth Friary 

20184/20169 – Plymouth Friary – Exeter – Crediton – Meldon Quarry – Exeter – Taunton avoiding line – Bristol West – St Phillips Marsh – North Somerset Jn – T.Meads (bailed here due late running)

Ching – £12-95

Timekeeping 60 – 100L on return

Stock 12 x Mk I

8/7/84 Su the moves,

37176}            1Z38 0505 Bristol-Plymouth Railtour                        TM-NS


20169}            1Z38 0505 Bristol-Plymouth Railtour                        NS-PL


86324  1V60 2340 Edin/Glas-Bristol

50011  1V60 2340 Edin/Glas-Bristol

40058  1F90 Rugby-Liverpool Relief

37207}            1Z38 0505 Bristol-Plymouth Railtour                        PL-BA-FR


50025  1C20 0915 Cardiff-Plymouth

20169}            1Z38 1515 Plymouth-Birmingham Railtour               FR-TM ( via Mel)


45105  1S23 2140 Bristol-Glas/Edin                          TM-NS

86010  1S23 2140 Bristol-Glas/Edin

87018  1S19 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin 

                                                            9/7/84 Mo

312203            0015 Birmingham-Euston                                           NS-CO

47100}            2224 Liverpool-Birmingham (25L)


DMU   0120 Coventry-Nuneaton Addit                                CO-NU

079}    0145 Nuneaton-Euston Addit                                    NU-LB



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