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Ex-GWR Castle

Ex-GWR Castle

Ex-GWR 4.6.0 Castle 5031 “Totnes Castle” has steam to spare as she awaits the “right away” with the Up Torbay Express while the fireman hurries to the footplate with the all important tea can.

Just above the leading carriages can be seen the dockside crane which has a grab fitted to unload coal from a coaster into railway wagons for delivery to Torquay gasworks ten miles or so up the line. In the far background lies Dartmouth surrounded by tree lined hills still little changed today despite pressure from developers to cover them in houses.

Although known as a branch line the track to Kingswear was engineered to main line standard for the heaviest locomotives up to the King class and because the station was a terminus it was provided with a turntable to turn engines for the return trip up to Paddington.

Today the station is the terminus of the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway a seven mile line traversing some of the finest scenery South Devon has to offer and the line with its steep gradients provides the fine spectacle of steam engines hard at work.

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