Around Totnes

Bamber

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The only time we see locomotive hauled passenger trains here are special charters; standard passenger trains are multiple unit train sets nowadays. Back in the 20th century locomotive hauled trains were the rule for longer distance trains, and some of the last were hauled by BR Class 50 locomotives, all long withdrawn but several in preservation. Two of these were on a special through Totnes on Saturday, so I went down to the river bridge to get a picture of this slice of history passing through.

As I waited a buzzard flew across from Snipe Island and perched for a few minutes on the bridge railings.


Buzzard on the bridge
by Phil Gayton, on Flickr
 
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Bamber

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I didn't know which of the 18 existing members of the once 50 strong class of locomotive would be pulling the train. I wasn't much wiser when I took the shot either, as not only did the cameras automatic settings set the shutter speed slow enough to cause blurring (although I do like the effect), but the near side of both locomotives had been furbished to represent two scrapped members of the class, 50011 & 50006. I did find out from a fellow enthusiast that the actual names and numbers of the locomotives were on the other side, 50049 & 50007.


A piece of the past
by Phil Gayton, on Flickr

I remember these locomotives from well before the time they were used here in the south west. They were built for use north of the Midlands on the main line from London to Glasgow. At the time the route was electrified as far as Crewe in Cheshire, a major railway junction, where these locos took over from the electrics. I lived near Warrington on that route and saw them on a regular basis as a teenager. They did not receive names until the late 1970s, when the whole class was named for famous warships of the two World Wars.
 
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