Despite very gloomy forecasts earlier in the week the weather on Saturday 7th June 2014 turned out to be absolutely superb. We caught, at various points throughout Cornwall, the 06.50 off Penzance making a good connection with the 10.25 class 159 Waterloo bound service at Exeter St Davids. Leaving this train at Axminster we joined the 885 bus which dropped us at the Beer Heights Railway.
The Peco Beer Heights Railway is aptly named being located on the top of a high tree covered hill. The railway is considered by many to be the finest 7¼ inch gauge railway in Britain. The B.H.L.R. first opened to the public on the 14 July 1975. Given PECORAMA's location, high on the hillside above the village of Beer, a ride on the railway offers wonderful views over Lyme Bay to distant Portland Bill. With two hours to spend our party having bought premium tickets our party were able to make two journeys on the almost a mile long railway and also fit in a visit to the many delightful demonstration indoor Peco railways each tailored to fit various locations, such as the attic, the spare room, a table top etc etc. Some of us took lunch in the ‘Orion’ Pullman coach.
All too soon we had to leave, walking down the steep hill to join the X53 bus service for Seaton, which departed from Beer Cross at 14.28. At Seaton we made straight for the Seaton Tramway for a very enjoyable open top ride out to Colyton on the 15.00 service. Myself, I returned directly on the 15.30 tram to Seaton giving me just enough time to sample the seaview from the promenade before joining the rest of the party. The rest of the party returned on a later tram service. We met at the bus stop for our journey back to Axminster.
Our perfect day continued with our journey home on a class 159 leaving Axminster from the up side platform which formerly also served the Lyme Regis branch. At Exeter, with just seven minutes to make a smooth changeover we caught the 17.50 train for Penzance. Our journey home really being ‘the icing on a very nice cake’ as we relaxed in the superb accommodation of the class 57 loco hauled train back home. Everything about the 1960’s coaching stock puts the modern trains to shame!