The Saturdays only Brighton – Exeter St. Davids – Brighton train in the mid 1970’s was notable in that it was formed of ‘Hastings’ DEMU stock. However, commencing with the May 1977 timetable it became locomotive hauled, this arrangement continuing until May 1987 when the train ceased to run in its traditional paths.
The train was normally headed by Class 33 locomotives, a single one in winter and a pair in summer (from 1978) when the train had extra carriages. Pairs also appeared on Saturdays around Christmas and Easter if extra carriages were added.
During the Summer of 1982 the train was extended to Paignton with locomotive changes usually taking place at Exeter St. Davids. These extensions became year round from May 1983 until September 1986 with Plymouth / Penzance being the destination and origin.
Until May 1980 time Class 33 locomotives were also used on Waterloo – Exeter St. Davids trains. However, whilst these were allocated to Eastleigh those used on the Brighton train were usually those allocated to Hither Green although mixed pairs were common. The trains continued to utilise Class 33’s when Class 50’s took over on Waterloo – Exeter St. Davids trains in May 1980.
Details of the locomotives known to have been used can be found here Only locomotives used east of Exeter are listed.
Details of locomotives used on other dates as well as any corrections would be welcomed by Peter Hall
Last updated: 14th May