Railway Photography at Dawlish
Like most people, I enjoy taking my railway photographs anywhere. Everyone has their own favourite location, whether it is at a train station, your garden if you are lucky or in the middle of the countryside.
My favourite location is Dawlish in Devon. From my home, Dawlish is just under 20 miles away, which is not that far. I have been to Dawlish hundreds of times to photograph all types of normal running trains or steam and diesel rail tours. The railway line at Dawlish is very popular because it is right next to the seafront.
Talking about Dawlish, have a read of the Colin J Marsden Interview. Colin lives in Dawlish and is well known all over the country.
Although I tend to photograph trains anywhere along the seafront, I do have a favourite spot.
Rockstone Bridge is about halfway along the seafront and is a very popular spot for railway photographers.
Standing on the bridge above the railway line allows you to take photographs from both directions. Whichever way you face, you can always include a nice bit of the beach and sea into your photograph. For me, this is the reason I love going to Dawlish.
Nothing against people and families walking or running along the seafront wall, but sometimes I tend to think that there are always too many there when the train is due!
This photograph was taken from the bridge looking towards Langstone rock in the background.
LNER A1 Class 4-6-2 No: 60163 ‘Tornado’ is seen passing through Dawlish working the 1Z27 08:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Kingswear ‘The Torbay Express’ on the 11th September 2016.
Standing on the same bridge but facing the opposite way, this photograph was taken looking towards Dawlish station.
70812 tnt 70808 are seen passing Dawlish seafront working the 6C97 08:50 Burngullow to Westbury on the 15th September 2019.
The best time of day for where I took both of these photographs is in the morning. The sun is facing from the sea to the railway line up to early afternoon. There are other places on the seafront that you can go to take photographs in the afternoon. One good spot is from another bridge that is next to the Kennaway Tunnel. You will need to stand on the bridge on the roadside instead of the seafront.
You do not just have to go to the seafront for railway photographs when the sun is out. Very often the track gets hit by big heavy waves, which would take a great photo. The only downside to that is the weather would be cold and very windy. I, probably like a few others, would rather stay at home in the warm!
If you have never been to Dawlish for railway photography, then it is definitely worth coming down for.