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The Devonian

Saturday 8 September 2018

Join Tornado on board ‘The Devonian’ for a wonderful trip to the West Country.

Departing from Birmingham Snow Hill station our train will be hauled as far as Bristol Temple Meads by a Class 67 diesel locomotive. Here No. 60163 Tornado will be waiting to take our train west across the Somerset Levels and on through Whiteball Tunnel to emerge in to the beautiful Devon countryside. After passing Exeter our train will traverse Brunel’s iconic sea wall as we run along the coast weaving between the beaches, through tunnels under cliffs and past the deck chairs and the ice cream vendors.

Once away from the sea our route heads inland and Tornado will be working close to her maximum power as we climb the fearsome South Devon Banks, a legacy from Brunel’s Atmospheric Railway. After such hard climbing we cross numerous viaducts on the sinuous route through the West Country landscape then descend into the naval city of Plymouth.

We have around three hours here to enjoy the history of the area where, on Plymouth Hoe, Sir Francis Drake ‘spied’ the Spanish Armada, or perhaps a visit to the Barbican area to see the original passenger list for Pilgrim Fathers’ ship The Mayflower on which they set out for the New World. By the harbour are wonderful places to have a drink or something to eat amongst the Tudor and Jacobean buildings. The old dockside warehouses give the area so much character.

Our return journey retraces our route and soon after departure includes equally challenging climbs before we once again skirt the Dawlish Sea Wall as the sun starts to set. After climbing to Whiteball Tunnel and dashing down past the spot where City of Truro achieved 100mph in 1904 we cruise across the Somerset Levels and back to Bristol.

Tornado will haul our train throughout the return from Plymouth to Birmingham.

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.

Birmingham Snow Hill07.3022.30
Stourbridge Junction07.5022.05
Worcester Shrub Hill08.3021.30
Bristol Temple Meads10.3019.30