A long weekend family break took us to South Devon, always a favourite place for me. We visited the Dartmouth Steam Railway, which doesn't of course go to Dartmouth! Well, not quite. The train runs from Paignton to Kingswear through some beautiful scenery, with views across Torbay.
The ticket includes the ferry across the Dart to Dartmouth. Unusually the railway is operated commercially, and the same company runs the ferry, boat trips on the Dart including the paddle steamer "Kingswear", and a bus from Totnes to Paignton allowing a "round robin" trip by train, boat and bus.
We stuck to the train though, which was long (8+ coaches) and heavily laden - which combined with the steep gradients meant the loco had to work hard. The BR Standard class 4 seemed well able to cope though.
I spotted this interesting pair of wagons - it appears to be a fire-fighting train.
We also visited Dartmoor, and after a cream tea lunch we of course had to climb Haytor. Nearby we found a much older railway, the Haytor granite tramway, though no trains appeared to be running!
There was an ulterior motive to the visit, of which more will follow...