Winchester to Par and ECS to Penzance
Andrew Triggs Roger Winnen
The Helston Railway
by members of the Cornwall Railway Society
Many thanks must go to Ken Wood, Barbara Barnes, Peter Galasinni and staff of the Helston Railway for laying on a most memorable visit for our society. Peter is also one of our CRS members.
Many thanks to you all.
What was once a summer Saturday procession was down to two on the last occasion yesterday. I caught the 0857 Plymouth and the 1728 Newquay. Light rain caused wheelslip part way up Luxulyan bank, but the driver managed to get the train up to line speed again. I spoke to him at the "quay" and he told me progress was down to 15 m.p.h., with no sanders to aid traction. I asked him what power was needed on the bank and he replied that notch three or four was sufficient for the 1:37 climb. He had passed out on the Hitachis but didn't know what the future held for Newquay; he said there might be gauge infringement in Luxulyan Tunnel.
For my own web pages, I will be looking at examples of massive development not being matched by the provision of rail transport. Sherford, the new town taking shape to the east of Plymouth is close to Oreston, on the Yealmpton Branch. The massive Airbus factory in Bristol is close to North Filton. And the Duchy's "Poundbury Light," Nansledan, is not far from the Newquay Branch. So on arrival at the quay I headed for the new town (starting price for a "coach house" £250,000) to find a vantage point for a shot.
A little later, after reading some of the many wall displays, I was very glad that I hadn't gone away for it became obvious that a launch was imminent. I do seem to have the good fortune of something interesting happening when I turn up at places.
Remembering that when the 50s bowed out there was a mass outpouring of grief, I have been looking for some interest in these old things whose era has been far longer than the hydraulics or the English Electrics; longer even than the "Kings." Then along came Anthony Christie and a handful of fanciers unknown to me. Newquay had gone back to sleep and there were barely 40 passengers for this last-but-one train.
Cheers, Colin. Many thanks Colin