top of page
  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Paignton Part 1

Originally published on Blogspot by Gethin Thomas November 18th 2021

Another set of photos from Paignton, after a visit in September. Other projects got in the way so I have only just been able to go back and edit this batch.

It was a bit of a special trip, as back in February 2020, I had bought as a surprise, a footplate ride on a steam train for my other half. Of course like life generally it was postponed again and again to the point where I suspected it might never happen.

The first photos are the railway station and the train and the second part are my walk around the town while the train was away, there was only room for one on board.

The Dartmouth Steam Railway, formerly known as the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway, is a 6.7-mile (10.8 km) heritage railway on the former Great Western Railway branch line between Paignton and Kingswear in Devon, England.

Unusually amongst heritage railways, it is a commercial operation which does not rely on volunteer labour or charitable donations, although a few volunteers help at Churston railway station.

The operational base is at Paignton, where an engine shed, used for storage, light repairs and heavy coach repairs, is part of the station buildings. Coaling and watering facilities are located on a spur siding where steam locomotives are stabled between duties.

This is the arriving train from Kingswear.

The points then need to be changed so that the engine can move from the back of the newly arrived train to the front.

Here it comes on the parallel track.

And now it reverses back to couple up with the front of the train.

Braveheart was built in December 1951, in the famous Swindon works, by British Railways. The British Railway 4-6-0 standard class 4 was built for use on the Western, Midland and Southern regions of the recently nationalised rail network. They were extremely versatile mixed traffic locos, frequently used on passenger duties.

The engine was allocated to a number of Midland region sheds during its short life and 1964 saw it allocated to Shrewsbury from where it was withdrawn and sent to Barry scrap yard in December 1966.

In Barry scrap yard for fourteen years, it rotted and donated parts to other locos, until it was bought as a wreck in 1981. A four-man syndicate based on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway brought it back to steam in 1994.

For four consecutive years, 1995-98, it was the mainstay of the ‘Jacobite’ tourist train from Fort William. After a missing a year it returned in 2000 when it was named Braveheart, in recognition of the Mel Gibson film, which was shot in the West Highlands.

Whatever you do, don't press the big red button.

And then it was off to Kingswear.

Related Posts

See All


bottom of page