This line existed in the 1950’s and 1960’s and possibly later. This 10 ¼ inch gauge line was operated by Mr Maurice Densham on his estate at North Tawton near Okehampton. It opened in 1952 with stock from the Surrey Border & Camberley Railway. Later it had two large diesel locos, one of which went to the Exmouth Miniature Railway (swapped for their Curwen 0-4-2).The length of the line is given as 1206 yards, including sidings. A 4-6-2 Steam engine locomotive is under construction which will have a tender specially design with low level seating to enable the driver to actually look through the cab windows. The layout is interesting in that it will be eventually fully controlled from a signal box of 29 levers. Signalling is of upper and lower quadrant and two or three sspect coloured light signals. Points are not more than 75 yards from the box are worked by heavy wire rope with spring return. Experiments are also being carried out to ascertain the best method of operating more distant points, and a complete switch board showing all track circuits and signal repeaters is also under construction. --
If anyone can provide further information on the this fascinating little line it would be very much appreciated. We have been unable to find any track plans or even a sketch of the route. Where was the terminus in North Tawton – a Church building appears in one of the photographs. The date of Peter Dales, 4th May1968 is also significant as it was the last day on which main line services called at North Tawton station.
There are two other pictures of the line and these can be found on Flickr please use the link below. https://www.flickr.com/photos/141326567@N03/with/27707028835/
The other answers of 'When was it' please see the captions, 'Who was it' - yes Roger Winnen - nobody guessed that, and finally, 'What significant event occurred on the same day' - this was the occasion of the last service trains to call at North Tawton main line station. Roger Winnen was on that train. There was one more day of passenger trains passing through the station but they didn't stop being a Sunday.
North Tawton Miniature Railway.
The roof lines, windows, chimneys and church tower of St Peters church can be seen to match between the now and then images.
The low level building in the foreground although re-roofed is clearly the same structure.
Where the route of the railway ran from here is of course still a mystery!
Regards, Jon Gough. Many thanks Jon - Looking further at the Google Earth view - it would seem that the railway exited the terminus on a wsw bearing. As Jon says beyond that we haven't a clue where the railway went though having crossed what is now Butts Way on the housing estate perhaps the railway skirted the boundary of a large field and returned to the terminus. Perhaps somebody will remember!
Regards, Karl (The Friends Of Penmere Station).
Thanks Karl, well worth looking at especially the top link.
Kind regards, Hugh.
Thank you Hugh for drawing our attention to this petition - I am sure that many will wish to add their names to a request for a return of the much lamented Buffet Cars of the HST Era in place of the often ill stocked or not available trolley service which often block the aisle making access difficult for passengers who wish to find seats or leave the train an anxious time.
Please see the information below, which might be relevant for inclusion on the CRS web site. I have taken the liberty of requesting some HST information in connection with my own research. I hope that's ok. I am more than happy for you to pass on my email address to anyone who might be able to assist.
As a Cornishman living in exile (London), I am a regular visitor to your tremendously informative website.
I recently noted the query about the oldest surviving HST power car and thought the following maybe of interest.
The first test run of a production HST set from Derby-Morpeth took place on 02.03.76 with power cars 43002/3 and a rake of 7 Trailer Seconds (42003-9). The trial was cut short on the outward trip when 43002 developed a traction motor fault at Thirsk. On the 05.03.76 the run was successfully completed with 43005 replacing 43002. The following week this formation minus 42006 (delivered to St Philips Marsh on 18.03.76) moved to Gosforth Depot and spent two weeks on trials on the ECML north of York. On the 22.03.76 the set was struck by an open door on a passing express, causing considerable bodyside damage to a number of the trailer vehicles.
While the first set was based at Gosforth, a second set was trialled on 19th March using 43007 and repaired 43002 with TS 42010/11/14/20/23/24/25.
The delivery of the first set to the WR was scheduled for 24.03.76 but the repairs required to the damaged trailers from the first set placed that plan in jeopardy. Moreover, 43002 and 43003 were also deemed to require further testing while a further complication arose from the fact that 4 trailers (42010/11/14/20) from the second set were ear marked for fitting with test equipment at the Railway Technical Centre at Derby. Consequently the eventual delivery to Old Oak Common on 26.03.76 consisted of 43005/7, 42023/24/25.
43002 was finally delivered with 43004 to Old Oak Common on 05.04.76, while 43003 was paired with 43009 and arrived on the WR on 03.05.76, both sets with a rake of 7 TS vehicles.
Now that 43002 has been stood down, it would be correct to say that 43003, now with Scotrail, is the oldest surviving power car in traffic. 43005 has the longest time on the WR, since 43007 was transferred away some years ago, closely followed by 43004.
I have spent many years researching the early period of WR HST operation. As many members will know the formations of early WR sets were quite mixed in the early days owing to the teething problems that emerged on the new fleet. Despite formations supposedly being fixed, power cars and trailers were frequently exchanged between sets. I have been trying to track those changes, but given that few people were interested in the HSTs in the early days, details are scarce. If any members recorded HST formations or power car pairings on their travels on the London-Bristol/South Wales route in the period 1976/77/78 I would be keen to receive details of those observations. I would also be interested to hear from members who recorded any crew training formations that worked in Cornwall during late 1978 and through 1979 in preparation for the extension of HST working to the west country. Any help would be much appreciated. I am sure the Site's Editor will forward any correspondence or provide my email address to anyone who can assist.
Keep up the good work with the website. The updates keep me abreast of the railway scene in my spiritual home. Long may it continue.