There was time to venture out though. The fine afternoon of 19th, and retiming of the Moorswater empties on Thursday after lunch allowed a "freight fest" at Lostwithiel. The cement and CDAs were juggled expertly by Ryan in the box, whilst hosting the busy GWR services too. There was a time Lostwithiel was regularly stacking freights in both loops, and the sidings. This was mainly clay trains from all over the district bound for Carne Point. The once busy complex at Carne Point now only sees one jumbo train on weekdays. Both freights are pictured - not one, but two revenue earning freights still using four-wheeled vehicles in 2020!
I'm sorry to have to report the imminent end of the cement traffic to Moorswater. Tarmac have pulled the plug on the Aberthaw to Cornwall flow in December, so it's vital to grab the final Wednesday and Thursday trips, weather permitting of course. Ironic as the Colas workings started in December of 2016.
On a particularly grim 20th November, the NMT had special guests top and tailing it in the shape of two standard class 37s. Remarkable that these as built trojans are still in service providing a vital service, still carrying the numbers they were bestowed by BR in 1973. On the return working 37099 led 37254 through St Austell. The sidings have been included on the former Motor rail side, as they are being removed in March 2021. This will leave just the crossover in place for any turnbacks required in the future.
Cheers for now , Craig
The three pictures here all show Crewe Diesel depot allocated examples at the time the photos were taken. Because Crewe and Bescot allocated 47s used to travel far and wide across the BR network they were the ones that tended to show up down west along with the small Cardiff allocation. The ones that would bring a frisson of excitement amongst platform spottters and haulage bashers were the 47/s from depots like Toton, Tinsley and in particular Immingham, Thornaby and the exceptionally rare Knottingley depot in the 1970s.The 47/3s from these three depots were tightly operated by their shed rostering clerks in order to work very specific freight flows local to the area and were generally kept on a tight leash and on out-and-back freights. However once in a while they would escape and go wandering to the Devon and Cornwall seaside away from their usual chemical plants, steel works, coal mines and power stations.
A particular favourite in the 1970s was the overnight train from Bradford & Hull returning in the morning from Paignton with the occasional filthy coal dust covered Knottingley example which were spare having the weekend off from MGR duties. That said I recall being at the east end of platform 7 at Plymouth station on the 9th August 1975 and seeing a mucky 47 roll in from Penzance of all places on a London bound train. Following uncoupling it chugged up to the signal on platform 8 revealing itself as uber-rare 47375 much to the delight of the ecstatic spotters there, myself included. I was only fifteen but this was a phenomenal 'cop' and my first one from that depot. Incredibly that 47 still exists having been bought by the freight operator Floyd and exported to Hungary where it still works to this day.
Following on from Guy Vincent’s informative article and photos taken on the 5th November, I have attached several more photos taken yesterday in the sunshine. Work is now taking place between the Ship Inn and the Customs House and involves the destruction and removal of both tracks, so that is slowing progress. The track nearest the water has been hidden from view for many years although a hint of rail could just be seen in a few places where the layer of tarmac had worn thin. No work has taken place from just inside the entrance to Cosens car park, near Debenham’s and along the road as far as the junction with St Mary Street, beside the Royal Oak pub. The section of track under the bridge has not been removed yet, due to high tides creating some flooding. There is some good news!! I was told by one of the workers that the track within Cosens car park is to remain untouched. I suspect that as the track is surrounded by block paving it does not warrant the expense of reinstatement of the surface.
Kind regards, John Smerdon
Regards Mike Bramwich.