1Z37/8 The Paignton Pudden, Saturday June 21st 2008
A grey Stafford morning was soon brightened by 56301 on a freight and an immaculate DRS pairing of 37606 and 37423 atop our Crewe - Paignton Spitfire Railtour's £49 "Paignton Pudden" Railtour. 37423 apparently hadn't worked since 1999 so this broke a 9 year gap in passenger service for her.
A consist of 11 Mk I's and a single Mk II with plenty room soon had us enjoying the journey South via New St - the Lickey - Temple Meads and Exeter. Many heads were out for a flail along the sea wall at Dawlish too.
A 6 late arrival in Paignton still gave us plenty time to join the Spitfire organised Paignton - Kingwear special from the adjacent preserved station. The power on 6 Mk I's was the ever ratable 25185 making a rare passenger outing as she was usually confined to engineers duties and "Thomas" duties on the line.
The atmosphere enlivened amongst many aboard with the 25 opening up in fine style for the long climb to Churston, much bellowing over the viaduct. From Churston it was downhill to Kingswear where there was time to phot the rat before rejoining the thrash on the 1445 to Paignton.
This left around 2 hours to enjoy in a drizzly Paignton but various hostelries and a spot of 142 bashing entertained our group.
A 10 late 1700 departure saw a gently worked return trip with the pair "staggering" up the Lickey. Had more thrash out of the bankers on S19 i mused. We were diverted via Bescot and were checked approaching Wolverhampton. Here 3 young hoodied trespassers who had wrongly thought to walk along the up track, got a severe withering from all on board. Somebody further back scored a direct hit with a half filled water bottle! Hopefully it taught these scumbags a lesson!!! Dont mess with Spitfire tours!!!
At Stafford the 37s departed with a huge amount of thrash presumably after a crewe change 37606 and 37423 growled into the darkness, for us a long car ride home, yawn!
Tour phot spot