Dave was one of the original members of staff to join the halcyon Dart Valley Railway after leaving British Railways, and worked on the Ashburton Branch for many years as the full time driver into South Devon Railway days and, even to the end of this season, could be seen on his regular Monday driving turn.
This year he had clocked up 63 years of continuous footplate work, making him probably the longest serving footplateman ever.
Dave was receiving treatment for oesophageal cancer but, due to complications, he suffered lung problems and he was brought home on Friday to be cared for by his family. Dave passed away late on Saturday 23rd December.
Our thoughts and condolences are with Dave’s family and friends, and I’m sure everyone will agree that the SDR really won't be the same without him. From the SDR Website -for more details and a tribute click.
In total five trains from Penzance being the 05.32 07.41 10.00 15.59 and 17.42 have been diverted to the former Great Central Station at London Marylebone routed via Bristol Temple Meads-Bath-Chippenham-Swindon-Didcot North Junction-Oxford-Bicester-High Wycombe to Marylebone.
Returning to Penzance is the 13.42 and 15.42 service from Marylebone together with a number of services to Plymouth. Certain trains from Swansea are also terminating at Marylebone slotting in to make departure timings at 42 mins past the hour. Other trains from Cornwall and Devon are terminating at Reading Station where connections could be used to and from London Waterloo.
Looking at the Western Region Timetable of 1958 the 10.00 Cornish Riviera Express was timed to arrive at London Paddington at 16.40 by steam running non stop from Plymouth to Paddington (however a pilot engine would have been detached on route.
Today you would arrive London Marylebone at 17.02 by HST however it was the Great Way Around!