Well what can I say other than both of these incidents couldn't have had worse timing!
Firstly came news from Louis Rawlings who I was travelling with upto Newton Abbot that the set of 43197 and 43031 had failed in none other than Dawlish itself leaving the whole stretch of line blocked! Of course the down line was available but with no loop section available to be used by up traffic a queue started to mount behind the stranded HST at Newton Abbot. Voyagers, HSTs and Pacers lined the platforms. 2 Cross Country services were joined together to combine into one service. The HST was turned around and sent to Penzance. The 2 local services were also joined together and the wait began. 3 hours after the incident was reported the trains were finally on their way again. Newton Abbot was at capacity as the picture shows.
So we boarded one of the many trains to come down to Dawlish, but what happened next! Signal failure at Teignmouth! This therefore meant all lights were set to red and at each point drivers had to phone Exeter signal box to let them know they needed to pass. This had to be done for all the trains trying to use the line and it really slowed up the mass movement of trains on the up section. So some 4 hours after we'd actually set off from Plymouth we did arrive in Dawlish! Luckily, this was still before the show got under way!