Historic steam locomotive to break 60 year speed record in Devon

Clun Castle is owned by Birmingham-based Vintage Trains
-Credit:Vintage Trains

A historic steam locomotive, the 74-year old Clun Castle, is set to attempt breaking a six-decade-old record for steam-powered speed between Plymouth and Bristol this weekend.

This steam engine will be attached to "The Great Western" Express, which journeys from Birmingham to Oxford. This trip is the initial part of a two-day journey ending in Plymouth and will start on Friday, May 10th.

The following day, Saturday May 11th, Clun Castle will depart from Plymouth at 9.30am, with an estimated arrival in Bristol by 12.30 in the afternoon.

Post its brief stay in Bristol, the locomotive will depart at 14.30 in the direction of London Paddington. The train's 300 passengers, shelling out up to £450 each for tickets, can look forward to a historic lunch menu that was first served on May 9, 1904, when the train initially came into service.

The 1904 menu
-Credit:Vintage Trains

Clun Castle, now under the ownership of Birmingham-based Vintage Trains, spends its summer months pulling excursion trains from Birmingham to Stratford. During its tenure with British Rail, it operated out of the Newton Abbot railway shed from 1950 until 1956, before being transferred over to Plymouth, reports Plymouth Live.

One year later, it returned to Newton Abbot, where it was stationed until 1962. From there, it moved again, first to London, then finally settling in Gloucester.

Michael Whitehouse, the chairman of Vintage Trains, maintains high hopes for Clun Castle. He aspires for the venerable locomotive to break the previous fastest steam journey held between Plymouth and Bristol, a record untouched for the past 60 years.

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