The first two pictures show cars parked on the A392 side of the massive goods shed which retains its roof timbers. The third 'detail' picture is on the 'siding' side. I read somewhere that there had been two sidings here but I'm not sure about that. The remaining pictures are in order of our walk, firstly in the Tolcarn direction and then southerly back to the shed. In the final view (somewhat overgrown since Peter's visit) you can just about see one of the uprights of the former buffer stop.
I have a lot of questions unanswered about this siding. I found a railtour of 14 July 1963 (Railway Enthusiasts' Club 'The Cornish Rail Tour') that took in Trevemper Siding along with most of the other Cornish lines by the look of it. I wonder if this was the last train (apart from the demolition contractor) to use the siding. It was a single unit railcar. Were any photographs taken on this tour? I have never seen a picture of the siding actually in use before it was lifted sometime around October of '63.
I also wonder what kind of business activity took place here when the Chacewater-Newquay branch was open. I imagine agricultural. In the Middleton Press Book about the Newquay branches it mentions the site being occupied by a firm called 'Taylor and Low'.
Back in the old days, as a child, I must have passed the entrance to Trevemper Siding a number of times on the train but don't recall ever noticing. For me it remains a place of mystery! Was there a ground frame hut, or just levers in the open? Was there a separate locking key or was it operated by the Shepherds to Tolcarn(e) Junction key token? You can probably tell I am not a signalman!
Anyway, I hope all this will be of some interest - at least that magnificent shed is still standing!
Oh, by the way. Although I did this on Valentine's Day, I did buy Barbara a nice pendant from the craft shop at the former St Agnes station!
I can provide answers to some of Trevor Tremethick's questions:
Trevemper Mill lay alongside the old Treffry/Cornwall Minerals Railway line from Newquay to Shepherds and Treamble. When the GWR was reconstructing this line in 1903/4 to complete the Perranporth branch, they made a deviation at Trevemper to avoid a sharp curve. The old trackbed (or part of it) remained as Trevemper siding. The routes of both the old line and the deviation are clearly visible on 6 inch or or 25 inch OS maps. The siding was connected to the new single line by a ground frame (2 levers) in a hut. Michael Dunn's study of nameplates records that the order for the casting of the plate 'Trevemper Siding Ground Frame' was made in March 1904.
Although the siding was inside the Tolcarn Junction advanced starting signal, it was outside the down home, so had to be released by the Shepherds - Tolcarn electric train staff (token in later years). If a trip working from the Newquay end was required, the Tolcarn signalman asked 'clear' to Shepherds and withdrew a token. The train ran (propelling) to the siding, then surrendered the token on return.
Traffic in later years was just the odd wagon of coal. The siding remained open to traffic after the passenger closure because of an unexpired private siding agreement. I am sure that no revenue-earning traffic was carried in these months.
In August 2019 it was reported that GWR planned to name a number of the HST power cars they were retaining for their new 'Castle Class' 255 short-formed HST sets. A total of twenty three names were given and the plates were displayed at the 'Steam' museum in Swindon and this event was duly reported on the CRS site. Now, 6 months on I have compiled a list of power cars and names so far fitted with the dates they were first reported in service following in brackets.
This is the current situation with the GWR Class 255 HST power car fleet as at 15th February 2020. All those in the main list are now in the all-over green livery.
43004 Caerphilly Castle (16.12.2019)
43041 St Catherine's Castle (09.10.2019)
43042 Tregenna Castle (29.01.2020)
43092 Cromwell's Castle (25.09.2019)
43093 Old Oak Common HST Depot 1976-2018 Note. One nameplate has been replaced by a copy sticker.
43094 St Mawes Castle (06.01.2020)
43097 Environment Agency
43098 Walton Castle (10.02.2020)
43122 Dunster Castle (05.02.2020)
43153 Chun Castle (19.10.2019)
43154 Compton Castle (20.01.2020)
43158 Kingswear Castle (05.02.2020)
43170 Chepstow Castle (13.11.2019)
43186 Taunton Castle (19.12.2019)
43187 'The Welshman' (10.2016) Vinyls
43188 'The Welshman' (10.2016) Vinyls
43189 Launceston Castle (13.11.2019)
43194 Okehampton Castle (14.09.2019)
43198 Driver Brian Cooper 15 June 1947 - 5 October 1999 & Driver Stan Martin 5 June 1960 - 6 November 2004
Note: One nameplate is carried on each side commemorating the two drivers who sadly died in the Ladbroke Grove and Ufton Nervet collisions respectively.
It has been reported that First Group has purchased another four power cars from Porterbrook in order to form two further 'Castle Class' sets. These are 43088 43156 43160 and 43162. 43156 and 43162 have already moved from Laira to Doncaster for modifications and repainting. First Group also own collision-damaged 43195 which is at Laira for spares recovery and will not be returning to traffic.
Castle Names still to be applied:
Berry Pomeroy, Cardiff, Castle-an-Dinas, Castle Drogo, Newport, Powderham, Rougemont, St Michaels Mount, Trematon (Total 9) It is thought that the 'plates are being applied at Laira during periods of extended maintenance / exams.
It is unclear at this stage whether or not 43093 43097 43187 and 43188 will lose their current names. 43198 will not as it received the plates it now carries from 43033 and 43139 last autumn.
On 13th February a total of nine 4-coach sets were reported to be in use requiring 18 power cars. Typically M-F the '255's' work various turns between Penzance and Cardiff with one early morning trip starting at Gloucester.
I'll try to keep this list up to date and report further changes and namings as I become aware of them.