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Devon Diesel Era Photo Record


Garry Morris
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Combining the theme of Motorail and freight! 45020 (D26) 3rd April 1984 near Stoneycombe with a trip working. One  Motorail flat along with three Bitumen tanks? I would imagine heading for Exmouth Junction repair shops eventually as it seems an eclectic mix which I would like to run on my model railway if only someone would make the Motorail flats! The 45 has come a long way from heading up 'The Thames Clyde Express' which was in it's heyday.Thanks for all the comeback on the Heathfield wagon, fascinating what stories lie within old pictures, Just found the thread on the Barnstaple line under the 'Prototype' section of RMweb. It brought back a lot of memories as I used to Secondman on the Barnstaple line in the seventies. I remember well the early morning papers turn up to Barnstaple and working out to Meeth. Never shunted Lapford though.  

Given how early in the year this photo was taken(is that frost on the embankment?), I wonder if the Carflat's been used for trade car deliveries- they were quite often so used off-season. There was some trade car traffic west of Exeter; one of the Hydraulic photo albums has a shot of a mixed freight with a single Carflat loaded with a Minivan, an 1800, an A55 van and something else. Somewhere else, on line this time, is a shot of a number of Carflats loaded with what I recollect were new Escort vans for BR in the west.

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Motorail

Devon was quite a hotspot for Motorail trains in the 60's and 70's. They sometimes originated from locations that no other trains came from like Sutton Coldfield, Kensington Olympia, Stirling and Inverness. Loadings could be up to 20 bogies by far the heaviest passenger trains to regularly enter Devon. Newton Abbot was the main destination in Devon but there was also a small somewhat makeshift terminal at Totnes which required loading from the actual platform. Not sure of the origin of this picture or why everyone drove a white mini! Glorious Devon with our own special 'Liquid Sunshine'!

 

 

Could the photo have been part of some publicity material used to promote Totnes as a Motorail loading/unloading point?

 

The idea of using Minis might have simply been because their manoeuverability meant that when filmed the whole process would look very simple and quick to the ordinary punter, and therefore more attractive.

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Could the photo have been part of some publicity material used to promote Totnes as a Motorail loading/unloading point?

 

The idea of using Minis might have simply been because their manoeuverability meant that when filmed the whole process would look very simple and quick to the ordinary punter, and therefore more attractive.

I would tend to agree with this. Three points to add; The train itself (if full length) would be beyond the starting signal, secondly the passengers look like some kind of officials and thirdly you would need to be pretty keen to stand in the rain to take the shot unless you were paid! I must admit I had always assumed that cars were driven on to the carflats end on where the creamery siding ended behind where the photo was taken but then one would need a second loco to do the shunt. 

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Given how early in the year this photo was taken(is that frost on the embankment?), I wonder if the Carflat's been used for trade car deliveries- they were quite often so used off-season. There was some trade car traffic west of Exeter; one of the Hydraulic photo albums has a shot of a mixed freight with a single Carflat loaded with a Minivan, an 1800, an A55 van and something else. Somewhere else, on line this time, is a shot of a number of Carflats loaded with what I recollect were new Escort vans for BR in the west.

What looks like frost is infact spent ballast, it is an early afternoon shot. I had just parked the car with the intention of finding a photographic location when I heard the rumble of the train. It's not a normal spot to take pictures from but I'm glad I got this one. Thanks for the information.This thread is certainly collating a lot of knowledge about odd freight flows in Devon that certainly I was unaware of. 

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Very Rare Traction

Devon is seldom the recipient of locomotives that Exeter crews aren't trained on, particularly on normal service trains.  An example that springs to mind was a class 58 working through from Saltely to Plymouth which was well documented. Here we have a combination of 40/25 on the up Bitumen tanks from King's Asphalt. The 40 is the one involved in the Great Train Robbery 40126 along with 25209 of Bescot.  A class 40 once worked through to Plymouth in connection with testing the washing plant at Laira in the early 1960's but apart from that they were rarely seen west of Weston - Super - Mare where they could turn up on excursions. The first arrivals of class 45's in the mid 1960's were by freights to Riverside Yard where we see this one departing 20/05/82. Class 20's have been rumoured to have reached Exeter but no photos have come to light yet. South Wales Class 37's were also known to have appeared long before their allocation in Cornwall. I don't know the source of this picture but it must have been someone keeping a close eye on workings to catch such a rare combination in the West.

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Another relatively unlikely combination for Devon 37/31 attacks Dainton 6th May 1983. 37 176 and 31187. This is however by arrangement (never so exciting!) as I believe this is the Skirl 'o the Pipes Railtour proceeding west somewhat anonymously without any headboard. In those far off days without internet or mobiles I was taken completely by surprise when this appeared. I knew it was a 37 as it was plainly on full power from Aller junction and the distinctive tractor sound was echoing across the  Stoneycombe valley, the 31 was a bonus cop! I haven't checked but I am guessing that neither of these are our own locos. Sorry, just noticed I have been lazy. You will have to crop it yourself if you like this! 

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Another relatively unlikely combination for Devon 37/31 attacks Dainton 6th May 1983. 37 176 and 31187. This is however by arrangement (never so exciting!) as I believe this is the Skirl 'o the Pipes Railtour proceeding west somewhat anonymously without any headboard. In those far off days without internet or mobiles I was taken completely by surprise when this appeared. I knew it was a 37 as it was plainly on full power from Aller junction and the distinctive tractor sound was echoing across the  Stoneycombe valley, the 31 was a bonus cop! I haven't checked but I am guessing that neither of these are our own locos. Sorry, just noticed I have been lazy. You will have to crop it yourself if you like this! 

On that date it was the 'Skirl O' the PIpes 2' Railtour, which as you say was booked for a 31/37 combination from Bristol Temple Meads.

I had been on the train, but go off at Bristol ( where 37186 and 37268 were replaced) 

 

(edit - the train went  north on 6/5/83, and returned on 8/5/83 -  it must have been very late as it was booked 23.12-23.14 at Newton Abbot on the return)

 

cheers

Edited by Rivercider
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A 50/47 combination in the same location.(50017 Ramilies pilots 47246) 21st April 1983. Would this be an Ince - Truro fertilizer train? How many trains are too heavy for one loco to handle nowadays?

That looks like an Ince & Elton service.

The regular headcode for fertilizer from Ince & Elton to the Western Region was 6V35, it could run to either Carmarthen, Bridgwater or Truro.

 

I believe the full load for this service was normally 14 palvans with portions for Lapford, Plymouth Friary and Truro.

The 1987 freight train loads book gives a maximum load for Ince - Truro for a class 47 of 1170t assisted by not less than a Class 45 between Newton Abbot and Plymouth

and  maximum load beyond Plymouth for a class 47 of 870t, (after the Plymouth portion had been detached)

 

edit - what was the Lapford portion normally 3 or 4 palvans? That would leave 10 or 11 to be hauled over the South Devon banks (about 80t each?)

 

cheers

Edited by Rivercider
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A 50/47 combination in the same location.(50017 Ramilies pilots 47246) 21st April 1983. Would this be an Ince - Truro fertilizer train? How many trains are too heavy for one loco to handle nowadays?

Pedant mode-

Is it 50017 Royal Oak or 50019 Ramillies?

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The ultimate pulling power in Devon in the diesel era? This one cost me an ice-cream as I remember. As a 16 year old in 1974 I had a regular bike ride with a friend on a Sunday afternoon which would take us all over South Devon using our trusty one inch to the mile Ordnance survey map. We found ourselves at Newton Abbot and he bet  that the 12.30 Paddington - Plymouth would be a double headed Western, would you believe it, it was! I think it was a summer dated working and he had heard a rumour that it had happened the previous week when new rosters had started. So here we are at Newton Abbot  with D1062 Western Courier piloting D1049 Western Monarch on the 1B29 with the iconic Newton Abbot Power Station cooling tower in the background. I am not sure if this pair had worked all the way from Paddington.

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One last shot. The loco ran round and then set the stock back into the Platform 1? Then there was refuelling just beyond the signal box on the old goods shed road. Logged at 102mph on the down run, a good trip by all accounts.

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Another stabling point in Devon! Refueling on the hoof. This tour arrived with 500 gallons which was topped up to over 1000 gallons at kingswear, Not often a Deltic is refuelled at a marina!

Better not let the local environmental lobby see those pics - or is there now a suitable interceptor just there at Kingswear?

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No exotic type 5 power here, instead we go back 30 years for more routine summer saturday action

 

It is 10.40 in the morning at Newton Abbot

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43035 leads a Western Region HST set away from Newton Abbot, my notes say it was headed for Paignton, 20/7/85   

 

Another view looking west later that day at 13.14 

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45036 runs in to Newton Abbot on an unidentified up working

 

cheers

 

 

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To round off 'double headed in Devon'! A perfect evening in Paignton sees D153 and D1925  with 'board off' ready to depart with a local train? Taken on 12th July 1969 it had been a full on Summer Saturday and I suspect one of the pair had been on standby duty in Goodrington Yard. This duty included some splitting of stock even in '69 but more importantly the loco could substitute for any arrival with a defect including shortage of fuel which could happen on occasions. 2B46 may not be correct but as the train had waited for time it was probably a timetabled local to Newton Abbot working 12 coaches that would otherwise have been ecs. Slick working between Paignton South and Paignton North boxes sometimes resulted in a non stop run through the platform from the yard at Goodrington. Judging by the clothing, the people held up at the gates are most definately 'Grockles '- the local term for holiday makers. Actually as teenage boys we relished their arrival especially if they were female and attractive!  

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Paignton 14th June 1969. This arrived as a double header a few minutes earlier. D1933 came off the front and refuged? in Park sidings and will be the standby loco for the day. This might explain the strange headcode for this overnight arrival - taken off 'the wall' at Sands Road Paignton at about 07.30. I remember my mum couldn't understand why I wouldn't get up on a school day but I could be out trainspotting at 7 o'clock in the morning on a Saturday! D1687 is displaying a white colour around parts of the bogie frame - stress related? Any number of 47's had this colouring in the same place. One of the overnight arrivals to Paignton sometimes featured a 45 straight out of the paint shops at Derby works, unfortunately I didn't always have my camera with me and ex works doesn't really translate into Black and White!

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