The human side of the story is told in Recollections&Sightings where footplate men & enthusiasts tell of their memories of 5028. She was a regular performer on The TorbayExpress from Dartmouth (Kingswear) to Paddington. This well known express is shown, mainly in photographic form. She also hauled The CornishRivieraExpress - mostly on the Cornish leg.
In 1935 to celebrate the centenary of the GWR the company introduced the plush centenary stock for use on this train - photos of these carriages can be viewed.
Photos, a timetable and sample menu give a feel of travel on that famous train in the 1950's.
In the first half of the 20th century, before the advent of the jet airliner, international travel was by ocean liner. The Ocean Liner Connection gives details of liners 5028 is known to have met at Plymouth Millbay Docks, with sample Passenger Lists.
Liners came from all over the world but the ones featured came from South America, via Panama Canal (Reina del Pacifico) ,The Caribbean (SS Colombie) and New York(SS Liberte-pictured). These large ships couldn't dock at the quayside because the water
was too shallow, so they moored in Plymouth Sound. Passengers and mails were collected in smaller vessels - The Liner Tenders. Sometimes if the weather was bad, the transfer from liner to tender must have been"hairy"!
In 1931 the Great Western Railway introduced The Ocean Saloons (which rivaled Pullman Coaches for luxury). These were used to whisk passengers to London a day quicker than if they disembarked at other ports, such as Southampton. Five of the eight Saloons still survive. Two are on the South Devon Railway ("King George" & "Duchess of York") where they are used on Dining Trains and three are at the Great Western Society' Didcot Railway Centre ("Prince of Wales", "Queen Mary" & "Princess Elizabeth")