The Orange Army has moved into Camborne, renewing both the road crossing and lifting barriers at Roskear Junction, and later in the year will be renewing the same at Camborne Station.
- Inverness at Exeter
37025 'Inverness T.M.D' has visited Devon again. Taken this morning working the 6C25 1030 Tavistock Junction to Westbury.
Dave Many thanks David
with Mike Morant
Princetown branch closes
Sixty years ago today, Saturday 3rd March 1956 saw the last trains leave Yelverton to head out for Princetown, that lonely village high up on the moor. The train faced a steady climb away from Yelverton where the line started away from a sharply curved platform at first climbing amongst fields, the last section of this climb being alongside the main Yelverton to Princetown road to Dousland station at one mile forty seven chains from Yelverton. Dousland station did not have a passing loop being only a block post splitting the line into two sections. It had a goods yard and shed served by a loop, and a level crossing with gates on the Princetown end. The signal box near the level crossing was replaced by a signal box located on the platform in 1915 The signal box was renamed Dousland from Dousland Barn. After Dousland and the negotiation of the level crossing the branch turned away from the main Yelverton Road to head east, still climbing at a ruling gradient of one in forty. It was in open moorland by this time swinging to the north to come to the single platform Burrator Halt. This was of wooden construction and looked out across the deep waters of Burrator reservoir.
Leaving the halt line continued on a roughly northerly heading passing through a shallow cutting and over Lowry Road level crossing to emerge on an embankment. This section was the only downhill grade for Princetown bound trains. After crossing the main Yelverton to Princetown road by means of Peek Hill bridge the climb continued in earnest all the way to Princetown.
Some six miles and twenty chains from Yelverton lay Igra Tor Halt, this lay on the left hand side of the line. This halt was famous for its ‘Beware of snakes’ notice warning ramblers of the danger of stepping on a slumbering adder on a warm summers day.
Beyond Ingra Tor the metals passed under a stone bridge across the track before heading west to climb around the flanks of Kings Tor completing a long hundred and eighty degree bend before heading in an easterly direction to King Tor Halt. This halt was again on the left hand side to Princetown bound trains and some eight miles and 74 chains from Yelverton. Walks from here led towards Merivale Quarry, or in the opposite direction back down towards Ingra Tor Halt. Such were the gyrations of the rail route that only a quarter of a mile as the crow flies lay between the metals but the rail route was of the order of nearly two miles.
During the climb around King Tor the railway served Swell Tor Quarry, the position of this quarry and the sidings which served it is easily discerned from the main trackbed.
Beyond King Tor Halt the unrelenting climb continues almost to Princetown station at ten miles forty three chains from Yelverton. Princetown station boasted a turntable, as did Yelverton, and an array of sidings, goods shed and a substantial station building. The station was some 423 feet above that starting point of the branch.
Although an obvious candidate for closure the train journey had it survived nowadays – it would have been almost like a trip up Snowdon.
R.I.P. Princetown branch – you will not be forgotten.