Virgin along the Exe.

Here we are with another catchy title. Yet, it’s fairly descriptive, and  neatly covers for the fact that I’m separated from my notes from the day. What?

Back in July 2002, some of my Irish friends and I were photographing along former Great Western lines in the west of England. On this day, we scoped out an elevated location—often pictured in magazines—at Dawlish Warren.

When were arrived at there, I was shocked to find about 40 other photographers with a similar idea in mind.

Class 47 at Dawlish Warren. Nice spot, but I didn't know I'd need to take a number and join the queue to make a photo there.
Class 47 at Dawlish Warren. Nice spot, but I didn’t know I’d need to take a number and join the queue to make a photo there.

My friends and I made a few photos, but it takes some of the fun out of the challenge when you’re in such a large group (and not really part of the group). I think most of the folks were after Class 47 diesels that were then still working some Virgin Cross Country trains.

So, we abandoned the popular place, and migrated east toward Exeter where we found this remote location along the River Exe. (And here I suffer from my notes being in Massachusetts, and me in Ireland; what was the name of this spot? It was near a church, along the River . . .Ah! sounds like the line from a song, oh well).

Classic: Virgin HST at speed.  Exposed with a Contax G2 with 45mm Zeiss lens on Fujichrome Film. 1/1000th of a second.
Classic: Virgin HST at speed.
Exposed with a Contax G2 with 45mm Zeiss lens on Fujichrome Film. 1/1000th of a second.

I was pleased to catch a bright red and yellow Virgin HST racing along. While not uncommon at the time, the HST is among my favorite trains in the UK. I think I was in the minority among the folks at Dawlish Warren; they didn’t seem to have any interest in the HST’s at all!

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