Mike Ellis has been travelling and photographing the Exeter to Penzance line for over 45 years and has seen a huge change in motive power from Warships, Westerns, Peaks, 31’s, 37’s, 47’s, 50’s, HST’s, through to the 57’s , 66’s, 67’s and also the Voyagers.
Mike started with 8mm cine film in 1969 and made several visits in the 70’s to catch the final services with ‘Western’ traction, including milk traffic from Lostwithiel.
He also covered the last weekend of special steam runs to Ashburton, before closure as part of the Dart Valley Railway.
The extensive library also features:
– The large logo class 50’s in the 1980’s that worked services alongside the Class 47’s and HST’s. There’s also a look at the GWR 150 celebrations and the last summer of the Dawlish semaphores.
– The 90’s brought the end of the class 50’s with the class 47’s taking over passenger, mail and sleeper services. Freight traffic includes Moorswater cement and china clay to Fowey dock’s.
Steam specials have always been popular, especially the Dawlish Donkey trains. The first year of these services ran with Great Western tank 1450.
The privatisation of the railways in the 1990’s brought the first of many different liveries for Great Western HST’s and also for Virgin services.
– The start of the new millennium saw new traction on the mail and freight services with 67’s and 66’s for EWS.
Porterbrook trialled 57601, before First Great Western started using a fleet of the class on the sleeper and passenger service.
Also featured is the last year of the Virgin Cross Country services using the class 47’s before the introduction of the Voyagers.
The programme ends with a roundup of steam and diesel specials, including a quick look at services up to 2015.