|Cornwall Railway Society||
West Somerset Mineral Railway Torre Crossing
Robert Lindley is a volunteer on the West Somerset Railway, and, being as his is near the area of West Somerset Mineral Railway I asked if he could possibly obtain some pictures of the route of the line. This he has done and continues so to do. Many thanks indeed Rob.
Please click on the link below you will see that there was a siding at this site and you will also see the footbridge referred to by Robert in the top picture. https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=18&lat=51.1524&lon=-3.3658&layers=168&b=1
Crossing Keepers Cottages on the Newquay Branch
The changing scene at
Bristol Temple Meads
Many thanks to Martin Scane for bringing us these views at Temple Meads.
Note :- Quite recently the Branch Line Branch Line Society organised a comprehensive railtour of Plymouth and East Cornwall - one of the items on their 'Wish List' was the bay platform at Lostwithiel. It is understood that Network Rail wanted an extra £1,000 to re-open the platform for one train - the B.L.S. reluctantly declined. The rails serving the Fowey platform are still there but unless somebody is prepared to pay then the CRS Railtour thirty three years ago was the last passenger train to use the platform.
This concludes the current selection of memories from the past provided By Julian Stephens. Many thanks indeed Julian
Dear Keith, Well your ticket deal brought back memories. Between 1981 and 1985, Persil products in a joint venture, offered a deal which involved collecting tokens from any of their products, which in return gave one free return ticket for every ticket purchased. (1st or 2nd class)
I have attached the wonderful poster, depicting the offer complete with the then newly introduced HST and modernised BR uniform.
How lucky we were!
Today the highly complicated pricing structure means that a 1st class return from Cornwall to Paddington can cost anything from £35 to £235.
I recently enquired the cost of a 1st class single to Paddington from Taunton, (a 2 hour journey approx.) and was quoted £195. I then enquired the cost of a 1st class single from Honiton to Waterloo on the same day and was quoted £35 (a 3 hour journey approx.) Admittedly the South West Trains 1st class is not the same standard as GWR, but it was perfectly adequate and comfortable and if anything a more interesting trip.
Such is progress!
Best wishes Andrew The 'Good Old Days' Many thanks Andrew
A HST Gala on the Newquay Branch today
Andrew Triggs & Roger Winnen
To bring back the boardmasters from the weekends festival at Newquay, The Great Western Railway laid on 7 HSTs from Newquay to London Paddington however one train was the rerouted 10.49 Penzance to Paddington replaced by a sprinter to from Penzance to Plymouth.
Departures from Newquay were 07.30 09.23 10.55 12.42 15.07 17.03 18.55
Following on from Julian Stephens' photo of the July 1985, a second attempt to get a steam passenger train to Plymouth, here is my contribution of that ill-fated 'Great Western Limited' of 7th July. Less than two miles miles further back down the line at Aller Junction at 17.55, 5051 Earl Bathurst and 4930 Hagley Hall pass by untroubled with the 09.02 Paddington to Plymouth railtour. At least the spectators here were not disappointed. A good job I had not remained in Plymouth for this one !
What a superb place Aller Junction was for lineside photography with its box, semaphores and perfectly located overbridges. The second picture shows 50044 Exeter on the 17.27 Paignton to Paddington . How the scene has changed with colour aspect signalling, track rationalisation and the recent building of the A380 South Devon Link Road.
I haven't been to Dainton bank for a few years. I wonder if the entrepreneurial farmer who owns the field most photographers frequent still comes around with his bucket charging £1 admission ?
Regards Clive Smith Many thanks indeed Clive.
Just the Ticket!
A chance, once in a lifetime!
I found this ticket amongst my very limited collection.
As can be seen this was a very special offer, presumably to get people back on trains, and it certainly did that!
What an excellent offer - perhaps take the family, two adults and two children to Plymouth for a day out.
We did a day trip to Plymouth, followed by one to Exeter and another to London.
However it became obvious that one could use the ticket as a single and go, well, anywhere. It didn't say that you had to come back the same day!
So on the 28th May 1981 we caught a train to Paddington and then continued, using the same ticket from Kings Cross to Edinburgh. (The ticket inspector commented that he'd never seen so many green tickets in his life!!)
The next day we purchased another 'green ticket' from Edinburgh to Oban. We saw for the first time the wonderful scenery of Scotland (and in those days one could hang out of the window and enjoy the air and the view to the full).
All good things come to an end and on the third day we again purchased a green ticket for £5 and came home via the West Coast route. What a wonderful weekend for just £15.
If only this offer could be repeated, I guess that whoever thought up this offer never got any promotion!! But many thanks for the experience. K.J. and family.
West Somerset Mineral Rly
Colin Burges has very kindly sent some more pictures of his own taken about ten years ago to be added to the major coverage which we already have by Robert Lindley. However more pictures will be gratefully received as exploration and research continues.
Bodmin North to Padstow
Very interesting footage found on Youtube
Andrew writes :- Browsing Youtube today, I have found a remarkable clip of Bodmin North, Wadebridge and extensive working at Padstow.
The initial frames include the German built 4 wheel Dmu, which in the last years of the branch operated a shuttle from Boscarne Junction to Bodmin North. ( although not confined entirely to this duty, as I once travelled to Padstow on this unit).
We then pass by Langs fish and chips, now ‘Barneys’ and the main road crossing into Wadebridge Station.
Following on, we have a very rare glimpse from the Rock side of the estuary, of a ‘bubble car’ travelling towards and crossing the Little Petherick iron bridge.
I travelled on this unit, just weeks before closure, on the school train, which believe me was packed.
Finally we have extensive coverage of 4-6-2 West Country Class 21C120 (34020) ‘Seaton’, running round at Padstow.
The West Country Class, Bullied Light Pacifics, were introduced in 1945. Their 18 ton axle rating enabled them to work almost everywhere on the Southern Region.
34001-34048 were all named after West Country locations, 34049-34090 were named to commemorate the ‘Battle of Britain’, 34091-34108 were again West Country Locations and the last two 34109 and 34110 were again named after the ‘Battle of Britain’
Their distinctive air smoothed casing gave them the nick name ‘Spam Cans’, only 60 had their casing removed during rebuilding, which paradoxically increased the weight and restricted the rebuilds use on the system.
Many thanks Andrew. Memories are made of this!
Oldest & Newest at Westbury 6 minutes apart
Friday evening, 10th Aug 2018 New IET set 800026 departing Westbury on 1J91 1707 Paddington-Frome, followed just 6 minutes later by pioneer HST power car 43002 leading 1C91 1733 Paddington-Paignton. Still looking modern and good despite being new more than 43 years ago. Hopefully this true icon will find a home in preservation once it departs from main line duties next year. Surely an ideal partner for 41001, the only surviving prototype class 252 power car.
Guy V Many thanks Guy
Return of two former GWR Power Cars in Scot Rail Livery Guy Vincent
Caught quite by chance at 1730 yesterday (Friday 10th Aug) passing non-stop through Bristol Temple Meads whilst en-route from Loughborough Brush to GWR's Plymouth Laira depot, two former Great Western power cars now freshly outshopped in Scot Rail livery. Why they have come back to the south west is currently a mystery. As they are no longer leased by GWR they will presumably not be going back into service here. Reports elsewhere this morning suggest a possible 'paperwork issue' could be to blame, however I fail to understand how anyone could authorise release of two 'Scot Rail' liveried PC's back to their former operator in error. Then again, it is now the 21st century... time will tell.
Guy V Many thanks Guy
Return of steam to 1985 to Cornwall
I've never seen a picture taken from this angle at Respryn. Thank heavens Julian was there to capture not just the marvellous sight of 7029 bursting from under Respryn bridge but of the masses of folk who turned out at this beautiful location. Now, in 2018, 33years on I wonder how many remember this great day. Many thanks indeed for this superb and exciting view Julian. More pictures of this train in our railtour section.
Signs of the times at
First attempt at a return to steam 85
As previously mentioned, the long wait for steam to the South Devon banks was a day longer than expected as both 6000 King George V and 7819 Hinton Manor had both failed with hot boxes on route. 6000's hot box occurred at Taunton where 37007 and 37178 were attached to the rear of the 1Z47 09.30 Paddington to Plymouth railtour to assist the solo 7819. However with 7819 also succumbing to a hot box at Exeter St Davids, the 37s then hauled the train on to Plymouth.
The pictures show (1) 37007 and 37178 between Lipson Junction and Mutley Tunnel on a rather murky 7th April 1985. (2) Split box 37007 on the front was a particularly rare Gateshead allocated 'tractor', but this was of no interest to the dejected masses lined up outside the Royal Eye Infirmary at Plymouth who were most definitely not class 37 fans. Green Great Western liveried 50007 Sir Edward Elgar awaits in the siding behind to take the train back to Paddington at 18.15.
As a footnote although steam was banned from BR lines from 1968 to 1985 in Devon and Cornwall, the sole exception to the ban was 4472 Flying Scotsman and this loco did I believe indeed steam over the South Devon banks in 1973 whilst based at Paignton when it required wheel turning at Laira . I do remember Bernard Mills excitedly recollecting this at one of his impressive slide shows and indeed producing the evidence on film !
Regards Clive Smith
Many thanks for your reminiscences and photographs Clive.
The return of steam in 85
Both steam locos stalled on Dainton Bank and had various attempts to get going without success. 50045 came on the rear and banked the train from m.p. 217 to 218 right by Dainton Tunnel box. 50045 was detached there then followed to Totnes where the train was terminated rather than running through to Plymouth as booked.
Veteran HST's in Devon
Last day of Wessex trains
Chasing the IET's in Devon
Returning from a visit to Somerset Andrew took the opportunity of using the Devon Ranger ticket to capture his latest collection of photographs.
A Variety of Trains crossing Hayle Viaduct during a sixteen minute slot
More on the
The line ran parallel to the West Somerset Railway, the line of trees marking the route which is now a footpath from Watchet to Washford, (the village visible in the background). It was along here, near to were you can see the DMU, that the Angus Automatic Train Control system was trialed on 5th July 1912. Crowds had gathered on the steep hillsides to the right in the expectation of two locomotives running headlong into each other. Unfortunately for the spectators, the system worked and the locomotives came to a stop! The Brendon hills can be seen in the background, where the Iron Ore Mines were located. Many thanks indeed for your picture and the information, Rob - we are all the wiser.
A DMU on the West Somerset Railway which is parallel to the route of the West Somerset Mineral Railway at this point. The trees on the left hand side mark the route of the old line. This hill formed an excellent grandstand for the crowds which former to watch the signal trials. This picture taken on the 8th August 2018. Copyright Rob Lindley
The Kingswear branch
Dear Keith, Another scorching Sunday found me taking a leisurely ride as far as Greenway to soak up the holiday atmosphere. Colin.
Many thanks Colin - keep up the good work.
Passing through today (7th August 2018) I see the old platform canopy has been freshened up... Many thanks David.
B & W Coach shed
at Bodmin Parkway
40 Years Ago
7th August 1978
Severn Tunnel Junction
How things have changed in the last 40 years!
Andrew Triggs visit
Taunton and Severn Beach
One can almost hear and smell the engines as they gradually ascend to the summit of Hemerdon . This was the long awaited return of steam to the South Devon banks on 8th April 1985. 4930 Hagley Hall and 7819 Hinton Manor make heavy work of the 1 in 42 gradient with load 13 on "The Great Western Limited" 09.46 Plymouth to Bristol TM. The long wait was a day longer than expected as both 6000 King George V and 7819 had both failed with hot boxes on route the previous day with the westbound leg .
Regards, Clive Smith
As you say one can almost hear and smell the engines - we enjoy your excitement. Many thanks Clive.
There is evidence of considerable trespass here which rightly wouldn't be tolerated today.
The planned New Timetable for the Great Western Railway due to come into operation in from December 2018 has been put on hold.
An Extract from the August 2018 Railway Magazine.
The Great Western Railway together with Northern, Govia, Thameslink, Cross Country, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express, West Midlands Trains and London Overground will not change their timetable in December as usual following the chaotic problems which arose during May 2018 timetable change. However some improvements may take place on Thameslink and Northern who have been badly hit by problems. It now seems likely that the upgrade on the Cornish Main Line allowing two trains an hour could be held over until May. It remains to be seen!
It is likely that the new IETs will come into service from 20th August 2018, however training is still being undertaken.
New book on the
It is our pleasure to advise you of the publication of a new book on the Pentewan Railway. The Cornwall Railway Society have benefited greatly during the last few months not only by an excellent lecture on the history of the Pentewan Railway given by Bob Evans which was followed by a very detailed guided tour around Pentewan and its railway systems by Bob. With memories of an excellent lecture and guided tour still fresh in our minds you may be interested in the book.
This book by Michael Messenger who is also well known to the Cornwall Railway Society is now available, it is published by Twelveheads Press and available directly from them.
Bugle Station Building
Progress report by Bill Avery
This is an update for you on my attempt to save out Clubhouse. As you are aware it is the old Waiting Room from Bugle Station in 1870. With all of you helping me with valuable information, I applied to English Heritage for consideration to save it.
I am pleased to tell you that they have awarded Imerys Bowling Club £8200. This is to be used over one year to prove that the building is worth saving. Please inform all your members, etc. A programme of meetings, etc is being put together to prove our case. I will keep you updated and send you invites to attend some of them. There are to be press releases and hopefully TV coverage as well. My search for more information to help our case continues. I know that it was gone from Bugle Station by 1919 and came to the Bowling Club in 1956. Where was it from 1919 to 1956?
Thank you for your continued support. Best wishes, Bill Avery
Congratulations on your success Bill , keep up the good work.