Details of two of our forthcoming tours have recently been announced, and they are both open for booking.
The Quantock Intruder, in conjunction with UK Railtours, on Saturday 26th May 2018.
Our long-awaited tour taking Merchant Navy Pacific 35028 ‘Clan Line’ from London to the West Somerset Railway has now been confirmed and we are anticipating a lot of interest.
Unusually for ‘Clan Line’ departure is from London Paddington with pick-up stops at Slough (for the M25) and at Reading. After a water stop at Theale we head west down the so-called ‘Berks & Hants’ line which should give opportunities for some sustained fast running.
There will be another water stop at Frome before we reach Taunton where our West Somerset Railway crew join for the journey through the Quantock Hills, passing scheduled WSR steam trains along the way. The line is single-track throughout, winding its way through the truly stunning Somerset countryside to the neatly preserved GWR terminus at Minehead, which is directly alongside the promenade, close to all amenities, pubs and shops.
You will have around three hours at leisure in Minehead, which should be pleasant in May before the summer crowds arrive. If you wish you can take additional journeys on the West Somerset Railway using their own scheduled trains, with specially discounted fares on offer (payable on the day).
On the return journey 35028 will be in charge on the West Somerset Railway section of the journey, unusually running tender-first as our giant of steam it is too long for Minehead’s turntable. At Bishops Lydeard the loco will be detached and a Class 67 will be in charge for the journey back to London.
For booking, see UK Railtours.
The Cornishman Express, in conjunction with Torbay Express Limited and Pathfinder Tours, on Sunday 17th June 2018.
Steam into Cornwall behind 35028 Clan Line for the very first time!
This excursion is promoted by Torbay Express with Pathfinder Tours acting as booking agent.
This limited load train will be steam-hauled throughout between Bristol Temple Meads and Par by Merchant Navy Class 35028 Clan Line. This is certain to be both a memorable and historic event as it will be the first time a Merchant Navy Class locomotive will have crossed Brunel’s magnificent Royal Albert Bridge to venture deep into Cornwall. There have been a few instances in the past when these locomotives have worked through to Plymouth but never beyond. Canadian Pacific and Clan Line reached Plymouth in 1999 and 2000 and French Line CGT did so during the BR locomotive exchange trials of 1948.
Our train leaves Bristol around 08:10 and picks up also at Weston super Mare, Yatton, Taunton and Exeter. The route is picturesque throughout featuring the Exe estuary, the sea wall between Dawlish and Teignmouth, the spectacular crossing of the River Tamar and the viaducts and wooded valleys of Cornwall.
The locomotive will be challenged not only by the formidable Devon banks of Dainton and Rattery, but also by the unfamiliar territory and gradients encountered after crossing into Cornwall.
The train stops at Plymouth for water where passengers can alight with approximately five hours to explore this city with its many maritime attractions. We also set down at Liskeard where passengers can travel on the branch to Looe. Alternatively the next stop at Bodmin Road gives the opportunity for a visit to the Bodmin & Wenford Railway or the National Trust at Lanhydrock House and Gardens. We are due to arrive at Par at approximately 13:15 where buses will be provided to Fowey and Charlestown.
The return leaves Par at approximately 17:00 steam-hauled all the way to Bristol, stopping as outward.
For booking, see Pathfinder Tours.