Apart from during the 1948 Locomotive Exchanges, very few if any Royal Scot 4-6-0s penetrated the West Country until July this year.
Then, No. 46100 Royal Scot was booked to work three ‘Torbay Express’ trips. As it happened, the 4-6-0s’ appearance west of Exeter and Newton Abbot was limited to two.
The first, on July 3, resulted in the ‘Scot’ struggling to keep time because of poor coal – Welsh at that – supplied in error. As the original source admitted, the fuel supplied was not fit for purpose.
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To make up time on the return journey the ‘Express’ was routed over the former Great Western line via Tiverton, the Somerset levels, Taunton to Bristol; passengers for Bath, Trowbridge and Westbury reaching home courtesy of public services from Temple Meads.
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