Many thanks David
Colas Rail Freight 66850 'David Maidment OBE' at St Blazey.
By Alan Peters.
Most trains at this time stopped at Totnes, the journey was fairly uneventful with the typical acceleration past Laira and Marsh Mills, however all was not well with our ‘Western’, things started to deteriorate halfway up Hemerdon Bank and it was touch and go if we were going to reach the summit, which was reached at walking pace with more exhaust than a steam engine! We continued at much reduced speed to Wrangaton and Marley tunnels, with great relief descending Rattery Bank at a fine pace. The days of reliable HST’s were still a long way off.
I recently took the train to London and Hemerdon just doesn’t appear to exist with no drop in speed whatsoever!
The HST design proves that over engineering on the railways pays off, with an installed power output of 4,500 hp (both power cars) on a nine coach formation, they are conservatively rated and this has proven over their lifetime, to be possibly, one of BR’s most successful designs.
To put this in perspective, the ‘Indian Pacific’ passenger train which runs over 4,000 kilometres across Australia, and is approx half a mile long only has one locomotive with a power output of 4,000hp.
Back to my photograph….
In 1969 Staverton Bridge was the nearest station to Totnes and we had underestimated the long walk from Totnes Station along, even in those days, a fairly dangerous road. We made it eventually and were rewarded with the enchanting Staverton Bridge Station and GWR 6435 awaiting our outward trip to Buckfastleigh.
On the return trip I took this photograph.
Here we have GWR 0-6-0PT 64XX number 6435 awaiting return departure in July 1969 from Buckfastleigh, towards Staverton . This locomotive was built in Swindon in 1934, one of a batch of 40, fitted for push/pull designed by Collett, used on generally light passenger work, weighing in at 45tons 12cwt.
She was purchased in working order from BR in October 1965, being utilised on many of the early SDR diagrams.
6435 now resides at the Bodmin and Wadebridge railway.
Ron Kosys photographs have been excellent and we are very fortunate that he documented this long lost period, hopefully that my photograph will complement the collection. Many thanks Andrew.