You will see that the last Yeovil Junction pic shows a green signal light. This heralded the arrival of my train back to Axminster and so I missed the final departure of 44871. It would have been too dark anyway for a moving shot but the images of fireman and driver in the firebox glow made it worthwhile. Very pleasant people at Yeovil Steam Centre and a chance to exchange fond memories of out late colleague, John Cornelius, who is much missed there.
With kind regards, Brian Pibworth. Many thanks Brian
THE CORNISH RIVIERA EXPRESS
BSK (3); SK (6); SO (dining) 1; K (1); FK (1); CK (1); BCK (1) (FK = first/corridor)
This heavy prestige train was advertised as being non-stop from Paddington to Truro, but in fact there was a stop at Newton Abbot for the King to come off and be replaced by a pair of ‘Halls’. Thus the train proceeded over the South Devon banks.
In the short space between Lipson Junction and Mutley tunnel lay Mannamead signal box. Opened in 1908 to break the incredibly busy section between Laira shed/Plymouth Friary/Laira Yard and North Road East box, Mannamead (6 levers) was said to be one of the busiest boxes in the division! Indeed, the signalman there only had enough headway to lower his down distant signal for one train a week –the down St Ives ‘Limited’ on Saturdays. This arose because, not stopping at North Road for engine change, the signalman would have ‘line clear’ way ahead as far as Devonport.
At Truro the pilot ‘Hall’ came off in order to work the rear section to Falmouth. The train engine proceeded to St Erth with the St Ives set.
At St Erth, with two trains heading west towards them, the signalman and shunters had to be ready to perform some fast footwork. First the 10 coaches for St Ives would arrive: it would promptly reverse over the western crossover and pause in the up main platform for the two 45XX to attach. The signalman then reversed the crossover points and almost immediately had to signal the Relief (Penzance) portion, in addition to obtaining ‘clear’ from St Ives and going down to issue the token to the St Ives ‘Limited’. Within 3 minutes of this operation, the relief for Penzance would come thundering through (if all was well).
The WTT for 1959 states that the empty stock from St Ives would be worked back direct to Ponsandane, but I can recall occasions when it served as a local to St Erth (presumably when things were not to plan).
The 1957 WTT shows a through evening train from St Ives to Par, 7 pm from St Ives. This train ran on weekday evenings and came as a through train from Penzance.
Many thanks indeed Roy
Night at Penzance