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The West Country Scotsman
Saturday 30th June 2001
Paddington, Slough and Reading to Plymouth and return.

Steam-hauled by LNER A3 4-6-2 4472 Flying Scotsman Paddington - Plymouth - Westbury.

Richard and I joined the train at Reading where it arrived a few minutes late due to platform congestion. The picture above shows it passing New Junction.
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Approaching platform 8 at Reading General, pictures 1 and 2 below were taken 1 second apart, looking into sun.

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Pictures 3 and 4 above show the train taking the curve between Reading General and Reading West wrong line before crossing over just before Reading West, a move which caused another train to be held in the other platform, obstructing the view for many of the spectators on that platform. These pictures were taken from the last but one coach.
Picture 5 above shows the train near Aldermaston shortly before the first water stop at Newbury Racecourse.
The next four pictures below were all taken at the Frome water stop. The first two were again looking into sun but this was the only available viewpoint, except from the adjacent platform from where the fourth picture was taken.

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Picture 10 above shows the train at speed approaching Cogload Junction.
Below (11-16): standing in the disused down platform of the former Tiverton Junction station to allow two High speed trains to overtake before departing for Exeter.

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Above (17-22): between Tiverton Junction and Exeter.
Below (23-30): at Exeter St Davids station during the water stop.

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Photographs 31-35, above, were taken between Exeter and Dawlish Warren, 36-42 below were taken between Dawlish and Newton Abbot and 43-48 were taken passing through Newton Abbot.

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Photograph 49-59, below, were taken on the south Devon banks between Aller Junction and Plymouth.

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Photographs 60-65, above, show Flying Scotsman reversing out of Plymouth station on its way to Laira for servicing. Below, 66 and 67 show it waiting to depart from Plymouth on the return journey, 68-70 show the departure while 71 and 72 were on the climb to Wrangaton summit.

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73-79 above were between Dawlish and Dawlish Warren where we were brought to a stand by signals.
Below, 80-85 were taken while the train was waiting for clearance to leave Exeter. In 85 the crew and others are discussing how to try to make up the time lost (almost an hour) by the delays at Plymouth, Dawlish and Exeter. This was partly accomplished by omitting the 15 minute water stop at Taunton and also by an excellent performance between Exeter and Westbury with a run of about 70 miles in 1 hour 14 minutes which left us only 20 minutes late.

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The final pictures above show Flying Scotsman and its support coach leaving the train at Westbury, as scheduled, and handing over to a class 47 diesel which omitted a pathing stop at Newbury (the HST passed it at Westbury) and arrived at Reading on time.

Above: the plaque under the nameplate of Flying Scotsman.
Below: the name on the support coach.

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