John Speller's Web Pages Cornish Riviera Limited

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Narrow Gauge

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The name "Cornish Riviera" (or "Riviera Limited" as it was first styled) comes from a brilliant piece of advertizing by the Publicity Department of the GWR, suggesting that Cornwall was little different from the Italian Riviera. I am proud to say that my Great Aunt, Miss Evelyn Speller was a member of the Publicity Department under Sir Felix Pole, General Manager. It is said that when a visiting American railroad executive was shown a GWR Publicity Department jigsaw puzzle, he commented in amazement: "You mean that you actually get people to pay for your publicity?" At the height of its popularity in the 1930s the train was booked non-stop over the 225 miles to Plymouth North Road at an average speed of 52.5 mph, but the raining 87 miles to Penzance were booked at a mere 36.6 mph.

The "Riviera Limited" composed of Churchward "Dreadnought" stock behind Churchward "Saint" Class No. 2916 "Saint Benedict" in around 1914
Postcard view of the "Cornish Riviera" around 1923 with Churchward "Toplight" stock in chocolate and cream livery behind "Star" Class 4-6-0 No. 4062 "Malmesbury Abbey"
GWR poster comparing the beauties of Cornwall with those of Italy
A classic poster of the "Cornish Riviera" on the seawall at Teignmouth in its heyday, 1935. The train is composed of the Centenary Stock, built for the "Cornish Riviera" in 1935, and hauled by "King" Class 4-6-0 locomotive No. 6028, "King George VI." This was the locomotive involved in the Norton Fitzwarren accident of 1940 and it was unfortunately damaged beyond repair
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