Locomotive Performance

Paignton & Dartmouth Railway

There are several Steam Railways operating in the Uk that have steep gradients that require hard work from the Locomotives. We have already dealt with one, the Mid Hants Railway, and in the future, shall deal with another, the North York Moors Railway. A third railway is the  PAIGNTON AND DARTMOUTH RAILWAY.

The engines have to work hard at the start of their journeys in both directions. From Goodrington, westbound, the locomotives face a start on a 1 in 71 gradient, which, after a very short section of 1 in 93, becomes 1 in 60 right up to the approach to Churston station. From the Kingswear end, eastbound, the line is level as far as Kingswear Crossing, then rises at 1 in 66 to Greenway Tunnel, is 1 in 100 through the tunnel, then changes to 1 in 75 for a short distance until it eases prior to Churston.

Below is a summary of  some of the journeys I made on the  line between 1985 and 2000. Included are Diesel runs made in 1993.
7th August 1985: 7827 Lydham Manor.. Paignton-Kingswear-Paignton [view log of 7827]
7th August 1985: 4588.. Paignton-Kingswear-Paignton [view log of 4588]
9th August 1985: 5239.. Kingswear-Paignton [view log of 5239]
20th June 1987: 7827 Lydham Manor.. Kingswear-Paignton-Kingswear [view log of 7827]
18th June 1993: 6435.. Paignton-Kingswear-Paignton [view log of 6435]
19th June 1993: 37674.. Paignton-Kingswear-Paignton [view log of 37674]
19th June 1993: 73109 & 73101.. Kingswear-Paignton [view log of 73109 & 73101]
19th June 1993: D9016 Gordon Highlander.. Churston-Paignton-Kingswear [view log D9016]
19th June 1993: D7535..Kingswear-Churston [view log of D7535]
19th June 1993: 4588.. Paignton-Kinswear-Paignton [view log of 4588]
19th June 1993: 50002 Superb..Kingswear-Paignton-Kingswear [view log of 50002]
28th April 2000: 4555..Paignton-Kingswear-Paignton [view log of 4555]
Below are details of Steam climbs up from Kingswear Crossing to milepost 225.5, the point at which locomotives are about to ease for the Churston stop. The gradient is 1 in 66 from Kingswear crossing to Greenway tunnel, 1 in 100 through the tunnel, and 1 in 75 thereafter. I have chosen the best climb I have made behind each loco, though I have only had one run behind locomotives 5239 and 4555. As would be expected, the GW 2-8-0 tank with a 6 coach load, made the fastest time. I look forward greatly to a few runs up the bank with the recently acquired class 4 BR 4-6-0 no 75014.
loco no 





7827 07/08/85



24.5mph 31/21mph
5239 09/08/85



31.7mph 33/30mph
6435 18/06/93



22.1mph 25/20mph
4588 19/06/93



26.2mph 28/25mph
4555 28/04/00



21.1mph 25/19mph
Although the Dart Valley line (now the South Devon Railway) is no longer associated with the Torbay line, in 1985 it was. So am including below a log I of a round trip I made that year from Buckfastleigh to Totnes and return on Small Prarie tank no 4555.  We ran into and out of Totnes B.R station. High winds had brought down a number of trees close to the line, and as a result there were several speed restrictions in place. The 1998 run on 1369 was one of three round trips made during the day with friend Alastair Wood, whom I travelled with to and from Taunton on Virgin Cross Country class 47 hauled services.
5th August 1985: 4555.. Buckfastleigh to Totnes BR and return to Buckfastleigh. [view log of 4555]
15th September 1998: 1369..Totnes DVR to Buckfastleigh and return to Totnes DVR.  [view log of 1369]

For comparison purpose I am including 2 logs of journeys I made on the line while on a family holiday in South Devon during the summer of 1955. 
1955: 82004 (BR Std 2-6-2T)..Newton Abbot to Kingswear [view log of 82004]
1955: 5021 Whittington Castle..Kingswear to Dawlish Warren [view log of 5021]