Guy Vincent Many thanks Guy
|Cornwall Railway Society||
Clan Line at Berkley Marsh
SR 'Merchant Navy' 35028 'Clan Line' heads westwards at Berkley Marsh to the north of Frome this morning on the Torbay Express, 1Z27 0800 Bristol Temple Meads-Kingswear. Good to see 35028 back on the main line after a major overhaul that lasted over 2 years. As usual the loco was immaculately turned out and a credit to all those involved in it's upkeep.
Guy Vincent Many thanks Guy
Steam in Somerset & Devon
The Gateline is now operational at Newton Abbot Roger Winnen
6814 Enborne Grange hauls an up express through Carn Brea in the summer of 1953. She was a Newton Abbot engine at the time. This is yet another landscape which has been transformed in the last half century: once surrounded by mine tips (and a multitude of unfenced mineshafts) the area is now almost unrecognisable.
Copyright Roy Hart Many thanks Roy.
Attached are 4 photos of an interesting vehicle which I saw at the Helston Railway last Sunday. It is a Morris Minor split screen van in Southern Railway livery with a shed code of 72F Wadebridge painted on the door. If my memory serves me correctly, the "Moggie" split screen version had an 850cc side valve engine, although I once had a split screen car with a 1000cc OHC engine. What a super little van this is, my youngest son, Nick, appearing in one of the photos.
The Helston Railway is well worth a visit, a very warm welcome, nice buffet car and a very well stocked shop - my congratulations to all those involved.
Many thanks Alan - that is indeed a smashing vehicle.
For the purist I know this a road vehicle but it does have extremely strong rail connections! Congratulations to the owner.
With green dominating the traction units running around the County, it's a pleasure to any other colour range. The orange and yellow of the Colas livery is always striking, as is the bright red now adorning the fleet of the DBC class 66s. Slowly the fleet is being repainted. Quite remarkable that at 18 years old, many are seeing their first repaint. (Remember the hydraulics fading after just a few years?)
An uncommon sight was two such locos working side by side this week, and 66206 was seen on the Goonbarrow empties passing 66085 which had recently arrived in the yard from an overnight trip down with the JIA wagons. The light was rather special too at day break, so a snap was taken on the I phone.
Later in the week 66206 is pictured on the Fowey branch passing Golant with 6G08 on the day of the Red Arrows visiting the resort - another red arrow maybe?
All the best, Craig. Many thanks Craig
66206 & 66085 St Blazey An uncommon sight was two such locos working side by side this week, and 66206 was seen on the Goonbarrow empties passing 66085 which had recently arrived in the yard from an overnight trip down with the JIA wagons. The light was rather special too at day break, so a snap was taken on the I phone. 16th August 2017 Copyright Craig Munday
A tramp across the moors.
Well today (17th August 2017) I have been exploring a part of Dartmoor, which has proved extremely interesting, from the railway perspective.
For a while, I have been aware of an intact military railway, near Okehampton, so with stout walking shoes, maps and of course, Google Earth, off I went, noting the weather was fine and no risk of mist!
The Row Tor military target railway, is possibly known to the members of the Cornwall Railway Society, but I couldn’t find mention of it on your wonderful website, so I have set about trying to piece a few photographs and some history, which your members could add to or verify.
Finding the railway, proved initially difficult, it is not marked on my ageing ordnance survey map ( so old in fact, that the railway was still shown as open to Halwill and Tavistock!)
Eventually after walking four miles in the wrong direction, I luckily met a dog walker, who was able to correct my terrible map reading and pointed me in the right direction.
The first clue that I was nearby, came when I stumbled over four wooden gun emplacements, but still no railway.
In the distance I noticed a long embankment and a stone mound. Now I was told by the dog walker not to pick anything up whilst on the firing range and I did note some rather military looking objects in the heather, so ignoring them I pressed on, for about half a mile. On reaching the embankment, I hit gold for there was the railway, stretching out in front of me, fully intact.
From the pictures you will see that the embankment, is in fact protecting the railway from gun fire. Their were four sets of points, the rails I judge were 2 foot or 600mm apart and laid on a mixture of metal and wooden sleepers.
The railway has a loop at each end allowing for continuous running.
A building at the west end, heavily fortified, had contained two Wickham Type R1389 Target Trolleys, powered by a twin cylinder J Arthur Prestwick aircooled engine, one of which, No 3236, from my search, had been removed for preservation on the 9th September 2010.
Recently there had been a TV item which mentioned that the other Wickman Trolley had also been removed.
I believe as recently as 2005/6 the railway had been operational, but can find little information on this, hopefully your members can fill in some gaps.
Over the coming days I will sort out some more pictures and anymore information that I can dig out.
Best wishes Andrew 'Bang on Target' Andrew, very interesting - we look forward to your future discoveries. Many thanks.
You can find it on a Google Earth at Lat 50.702201 Lon -3.992943
See also Wikipedia http hen.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rowtor_Target_Railway
The Dorset Coast Express at Millbrook, Southampton together with visits to Salisbury, Eastleigh and Romsey
More photographs of this event appear in the Features Page May-December 2017
The Tamar Belle
A warm welcome greeted me as I turned up a Bere Ferrers Station. Chris Groves of the Tamar Belle Heritage Centre entertained me by showing me his latest developments at this quite unique centre including the building of a memorial to the 10 New Zealander Army personnel who were killed 100 years ago on the 24th September, 1917 at Bere Ferrers Station. These men never had any food for more than ten hours and were told after leaving Plymouth Friary that the train would call at Exeter where refreshments would be available. However the train was halted at Bere Ferrers, the soldiers thinking that they were in Exeter climbed out onto the track to get their food only to be struck by a passing train in the opposite direction heading for Plymouth.
Shipshape and Bristol fashion!
Dear Keith, Though I'm prone to exceeding the subject boundary, I think you'll agree that this is acceptable. It is on rail. Try this link
You'll have to tell Mrs. Jenkin that it is fully booked! Cheers, Colin
50044 'Exeter' at Penzance
Every Tuesday in August
At the Yeovil Railway Centre
Hi Keith, on Tuesdays through August we are running brakevan rides
at Yeovil junction hauled by one of our diesels, plus the miniature railway operating as well. To encourage people to visit us on these days
We are charging an entry price 0f £3 per adult, children under four free,
and £1 for children from 5 to 15. We did this last year and it was very
well appreciated by the visitors.
We are doing the same again this year and visitor numbers have been very encouraging on the first three days. Some pics of today from the junction cheers JOHN C. Next on 22nd and then 29th August all pictures by John Cornelius - Copyright
A Day on the West Somerset Railway
Now back home after a long weekend in Devon where we visited South Devon Railway, Paignton & Kingswear Railway, Exeter & Teign Valley Railway and on the way home a brief visit to the Dartmoor Railway. Many thanks Roger
RCTS: Farewell to Southern Steam 18/6/67. Bulleid original WC pacific 34023 Blackmore Vale and rebuilt West Country no. 34108 Wincanton double-head the special through the New Forest much of which is actually devoid of trees. This pairing of motive power hauled the penultimate leg of this tour from Weymouth to Salisbury via Bournemouth, Southampton, Eastleigh and Romsey and was, by this time, running some 45 minutes down on its schedule. The sixbellsjunction web site states that none of the locos wore their erstwhile names but Wincanton certainly did. However, whether they were the real deal or replicas I know not but I think, from a long-ago memory, that they were the real ones. [Mike Morant]
The Bideford, Westward Ho! & Appledore Railway
A Visit planned for
Saturday 2nd September, 2017.
This visit was planned for last year, but owing to weather conditions it was postponed into the 2017 programme.
The line opened partly on 2nd September, 1903 now 114years to the day and extended to Appledore in 1908 and closed on 28th March, 1917 being requisitioned by the government.
Train times for this visit can be found on the outdoor events page
170812g The coastal footpath from Westward Ho! follows the formation of The Bideford, Westward Ho! & Appledore Railway to Cornborough Cliffs where spectacular views of the coastal landscape can be viewed. These two great houses in this photograph appear in pictures of the Railway during its short operational life Seafield House and Morley House. Copyright Roger Winnen
Cowley Bridge &
Maunsell N class mogul no 31841 stands in the sidings at Padstow at the head of a train. She was shedded at Exmouth Junction at the time. These engines were known to crews as 'Woolworths' - probably a corruption of Woolwich, because 50 of them were built as kits of parts at the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich in order to maintain employment after the end of the first world war. The newly-constituted Southern Railway bought the kits and put the engines in service as class 'N'. 31841 remained in the west. She was withdrawn in March 1964. Copyright Roy Hart
This photograph was kindly supplied by Andy Miller, unfortunately, we do not have any copyright information. Nevertheless a most interesting picture. Access to the up main from the turntable was removed in October 1963 and the turntable was completely isolated March 1964 when the turntable was officially taken out of use. Ref Track Layout Diagrams Sect. 12 Plymouth by R.A. Cooke. Further information kindly supplied by Roger Winnen - The engine on the turntable at Plymouth is a Saint Class Engine numbered in the 29xx series, these were built without side windows to the cabs. The last one in that class which survived was 2920 Saint David and it was withdrawn in October 1953.This engine is possibly Saint David This photo was taken after nationalisation from 1948.
Par from above.
66206 heads over St Blazey Bridge level crossing and on towards Lostwithiel and a FGW lurks in the top corner of the frame. 10th August 2017 Copyright Ron Westwater. We cannot leave this picture without drawing attention to the former lime kilns just beyond the train. The houses centre right are in Aberdeen Close, presumably so called as they are on the site of the 'Aberdeen Sanitary Steam Laundry'.
Southern Maunsell 'Schools' class 4-4-0 no. 30925 Cheltenham at Brockenhurst on 8/7/56. No. 30925, a survivor into the heritage era, was built at the Southern's Eastleigh works in 1934, acquired it's BR number in April 1950 and was withdrawn from service at Basingstoke mpd in December 1962. [Mike Morant collection]
West of Athelney
Union of South Africa 1
Also in our area today was ex LNER Gresley A4 no 60009 'Union of South Africa' on a Paddington-Bishops Lydeard-Minehead 'West Somerset Steam Express' charter. 'UoSA' was reportedly standing in for ex SR 34046 'Braunton' and is scheduled to work a repeat itinerary charter again next Saturday, 19th. I caught it this morning arriving at Westbury and then again as it left the Frome loop at Blatchbridge Junction following a water stop. The A4 was due to give way to ex S&D 53808 at Bishops Lydeard. I understand that in July 2019 when 60009's current boiler certificate expires owner John Cameron intends taking it off the main line and permanently preserving the loco in a new purpose-built museum he's currently having built on his farm in Fife, Scotland. This museum will also house Mr Cameron's other steam loco, K4 61994 'The Great Marquess' which has already ceased operation due to a cracked inner firebox and expired boiler certificate. The advice therefore has to be, like so many things on the Western Region at the moment, 'get it while you can'.
Guy Vincent. 12th August 2017 Many thanks Guy
Union of South Africa 2
Two up todate photographs from near the site of old Norton Fitzwarren station.
These are of 60009 'Union of South Africa' with the 'Cathedrals Express', the 0808 1Z50 London (Paddington) - Minehead.
Triple HST's at Westbury
For the past 3 years it has in theory at least and with luck on one's side, it just been possible on summer Saturday mornings to witness the three operational platform faces at Westbury each occupied by a GWR HST set. Right-time running of 1C75 and occasional cancellation/late running of one or another of the services has often scuppered attempts but today I was rewarded with the spectacle. The trains concerned are, left to right: P1 1C75 0835 Paddington-Paignton (due 0955-0956); P2 1O72 0906 Bristol Temple Meads-Weymouth,"The Weymouth Wizard" (due 0955-1003) and P3 1A77 0747 Plymouth-Paddington (due 0957-1001). As luck would have it 1O72 arrived just 2 minutes late at 0955 into P2, followed by 1A77 into P3 one minute early at 0957. Finally, just 4 minutes late and making the shot 'work' for me 1C75 slipped into P1 at 0959.
With the impending arrival of new class 800 and 802 bi-mode DEMU's it is unlikely that this scene will be repeated next year although I hope I am wrong! This past week night-time testing of the new traction has been taking place with 800005 and 802002 both observed passing through Westbury. One day you will receive notification from 'our' end that an HST set is unexpectedly en-route to Penzance vice an unavailable 'Flying Cucumber!'
Guy Vincent Many thanks Guy, anybody would think you're not too keen on the 800 and 802's !! I think that there are many who would agree.
A Riddle from
Re Uncle John
Here's a riddle:- Roger Winnen fancifully refers to 'platform 4' at St Erth in yesterday's feature on the changes there. This track is today simply a siding (the only one) at St Erth, leading from the branch. Until 1965'ish, it was the branch run-around loop. The short spur between the engine release crossover and the buffers was known to railwaymen as 'Uncle John'. It was normally the home of the dedicated St Ives branch goods train guards van. Does anyone know the origin of this name?
Cheers Roy Does anybody know Uncle John?
Back in Cornwall
For a short time
I have been advised that Virgin Trains East Coast powercar 43305 is coming down to Penzance this evening on the rear of 1V58 0900 Glasgow Central to Penzance and will then work 2C80 21:29 Penzance to Plymouth.
East Midlands Trains powercar 43043 was on this yesterday but they took it off at Craigentinny last night.
Much oblidged to Messrs Martin Duff and Janie Dyke for this info
For more photographs of this event go to the Features Pages May to December 2017
Plenty of Action at
St Erth Station
170810e My image standing at the bus stop soon to be relocated. photographing the on going work to create a transport hub at St Erth Station with a traffic light controlled junction with the A30. Highways England has given notice that a traffic order will come into place on Monday 14th August 2017 for junction improvement works to be carried out for eight months and a 30 m.p.h. speed limit imposed. Copyright Roger Winnen
This undated cameo features SR Maunsell 'Scotch Arthur' N15 class 4-6-0 no. 30783 Sir Gillemere in charge of an inter-regional train at a very wet Southampton Central. There's much to see here as the loco's fireman hugs the water bag whilst the driver operates the stop cock next to the water column. The safety valves are blowing off with exhaust steam nicely picked out against the stormy skies whilst a westbound train of green liveried Bulleid stock departs from a Down platform. 30783's train has blood & custard BR Mk1 stock (set 880 et al) behind the tender and this will be taken as far as Oxord where GWR motive power will take over the haulage duties of this Bournemouth West - York or Newcastle service. 30783 was built by NBL in 1925 and was allocated to Bournemouth mpd from April 1951 until September 1960 which was followed by 5 months at Salisbury where withdrawal symptoms became apparent in February 1961. [Mike Morant collection]