Volume 25
Sorthern Region Steam 1

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For many years, Londoners flocked to Waterloo Station at the start of their annual holidays and, for a large number, the ultimate destination was Devon and North Cornwall. Opened by the London & South Western Railway in 1860, the route to Exeter and Plymouth soon grew in popularity, culminating in the introduction of the 'Atlantic Coast Express'. Until its demise in 1964, the 'ACE' was the principal express to the South West and the programme primarily follows the route of this famous train.

Views at Waterloo, Vauxhall, Clapham Junction and Nine Elms Depot feature a wide variety of steam classes before the city is left behind – appropriately on the footplate of 'Merchant Navy' 35021 heading an 'ACE' in 1964. After Basingstoke and Salisbury, Templecombe is the next location recorded in detail, with high-speed mainline action contrasting with the more sedate movements on the adjoining S&D route.

West of Templecombe, Yeovil, Chard Jct. and nearby Chard Central are seen before passing Axminster, which is then followed by Seaton Jct and Sidmouth Jct. Arrival at Exeter - with 'Z' Class bankers in evidence – is followed by film of 'West Country' Pacifics at Plymouth, the most southerly location in the programme.

Finally, the focus falls on now-closed lines that served more rural locations, with film that includes Bude, Padstow, Halwill Jct. and the Torrington line to Barnstaple. Concluding the programme is a fascinating chapter at the Cornish town of Wadebridge, filmed mainly in 1958, with 'Beattie' tank locomotives still hard at work on the Wenford Bridge mineral branch.

DVD Info

Region: 2
Running Time: 63 minutes

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