Andover was again treated to the spectacle of a steam train passing through the station on Saturday morning, 26th April 2014, hauled by locomotive no 34046 Braunton.
Tour details (extracted from tour operators website)
Saturday 26th April
Bulleid ‘Pacific’ to Exeter
We steam out of London Victoria at around 07:45 hauled by West Country class ‘Pacific’ No. 34046 “Braunton”. We call to pick up further passengers at Salisbury. We continue westwards through Templecombe and Chard Junction to Exeter St. Davids. We shall be diesel hauled between Exeter and Truro. We follow the Exe Estuary and then run beside the sea wall from Dawlish to Teignmouth, one of the most superb stretches of railway line in Britain. It is an exhilarating experience to travel along this route through tunnels and rock cuttings right at the edge of the sea. After Newton Abbot, there are some of the steepest gradients on main lines in this country. First there is the difficult climb of Dainton Bank, up to Dainton Tunnel, before dropping down to Totnes, and then it is the climb up Rattery Bank before the descent to Plymouth. After leaving Plymouth we cross the River Tamar on Brunel’s masterpiece, The Royal Albert Bridge, and enter Cornwall. Our train continues through the wonderful Cornish countryside crossing numerous viaducts en route to Truro. From Truro Station we transfer by road coach to our hotels in Falmouth.
More details can be found here: http://www.railwaytouring.net/train-tours/great-britain-v
Talk on the platform was that she arrived at Whitchurch 5 minutes behind schedule. By Andover, she was spot-on time at 10:13am, not surprising as she thundered through, full steam ahead and whistle blowing.
BR(SR) Rebuilt Bulleid Light Pacific locomotive no 34046 Braunton is owned and operated by Locomotive 34046 Ltd. It was restored from scrapyard condition to full working order by West Somerset Restoration, at Williton on the West Somerset Railway, where the locomotive ran for some years.
More details can be found here: http://www.34046braunton.co.uk/