Monday 29 May 2017
This tour is fully booked and online bookings have closed. Please call the office to be added to the waiting list.
Tornado’s first trip to Cornwall takes us via the meandering ‘Berks & Hants’ line, through Castle Cary to Taunton, continuing by way of Exeter and along the famous sea wall at Dawlish. We climb the gruelling Dainton Bank before descending into the proud naval city of Plymouth. There is always something slightly magical about the crossing of Brunel’s Royal Albert Bridge, linking Devonport on the eastern flank of the River Tamar with Saltash and the rest of Cornwall on the west. Once into the Duchy, the terrain changes markedly as the line winds its way over lofty viaducts and through unspoilt stations where palm trees flourish in the mild climate. Enjoy the sight of all the traditional semaphore signals while you can – they will not be there for much longer!
There are two choices of destination on this tour. Firstly, the train will call at Par, where coaches will be provided for the short hop to the Eden Project, an amazing creation in the Cornish landscape dominated by two enormous biomes highlighting an immense array of plant species. You will have around three hours here.
Or continue to the end of the line – Penzance. The station is little changed since GWR days and is located right beside the sea, close by the shops and all manner of eating and drinking places. You will have some two hours to relax and take the sea breezes! Our return route is as outward, diesel hauled, taking full advantage of the long springtime evening.
The number of carriages on this tour will be limited so the available seats are going fast. Please book soon!
UPDATE: Please note that D1015, which was to have hauled the return leg, has suffered a serious engine defect and will not be running on the main line this summer. The return journey from Penzance to London will now be behind one of the immensely powerful Class 59 diesels, specially brought to the West Country. These locomotives usually only work stone trains. They are virtunally uknown on a passenger train and are never normally seen in Devon and Cornwall.
This tour is promoted by The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust with UK Railtours acting as ticket agents. All profits will go towards keeping Tornado on the main line in future years.
All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.