In view of items of current News we are adding five more items to the current news column which started at 05.00 this morning - it's now 15.15.
Driver Alan Peters
Driver Alan Peters
Driver Alan Peters
On 24th January 2022 GWR class 57/6 No.57605 'Totnes Castle' is seen passing Cowley Bridge Junc. working the 5C99 11:06 Reading Traincare Depot to Penzance T&RSMD the night sleeper stock transfer moveRegards Keith Turley.
I noticed that an empty stock working was showing on the system today the 5C99 from Reading Train Care depot to Penzance
11;06 departing a little later at 11:18 and passing Camborne hauled by 57605 Totnes Castle at 16;55 by which time the light was fading but managed to get a photo on its approached. Presumably this working was in readiness for the overnight diagram tonight.
Newquay Branch today
Out for a walk today (23rd January 2022) and found myself at Wearde, just west of Saltash, where to my surprise I noticed that a lot of vegetation clearance has been done, to the extent that you could be forgiven for thinking that they're planning on reinstating the long-extinct loop! Thought this may be of interest for anyone that likes to take photographs here as you can now get much better broadside views of the trains - although I didn't realise that until the Castle Class set had passed!
Castle set info - 43097 leading with 43156 trailing on the 1055 Cardiff Central to Penzance.
Be well, Ross Griffiths
Kind regards, Paul Barlow.
Laira Open Day
As promised, I’ve attached some more photos taken at Laira. The pair of 33s (33042 and 33064) at Plymouth station had worked in from Paddington for the occasion.
Best wishes, Bill Elston
66009 was seen at Treviscoe on the return, as well as a Road-railer removing the old wooden sleeper track panels at Holywell crossing near the Victoria Inn at Roche.
A busy week for trains next week with some daytime Night Riviera movements during daylight and engineering trains into the Newquay blockade on Monday 24th.
The Baldhu Signal Box that I knew in the 1950.s was situated near milepost 304 and was opened in September 1938. Its purpose was to shorten the section between Penwithers Junc. and Chacewater. The box was constructed with the usual brick base and had large wooden sliding windows. Access steps were outside and there was a chemical toilet at the top. It was open throughout the day and was operated by early and late shifts. On occasions I worked there I reached it by turning off the Chacewater – Truro road and rode my motorbike past a farmhouse where one of the regular signalmen lived.
The job was known as a ‘snip’ as the frame consisted of two signals (distant and home) on the up and the same on the down. There was also a detonator placer operated by a black and white lever. It was a great vantage point to watch a variety of steam hauled trains running past. Comments were made about the regular signalman who worked there for many years and had never pulled a pair of points during his entire career!
Baldhu box closed on the 10th March 1957 and was replaced by a colour light signal intermediate block signals controlled by Chacewater on the up main and Penwithers Junction on the down. The running lines were track circuited all the way up to their respective IB home signals. If the line was clear to the IBS the signalman at the rear could lower his signals, including the distant, to allow a train to proceed to the IBS. If a train was stopped at the IBS the driver was required to contact the signal box at the rear using the signal post telephone in order to carry out rule 55 (train detained at stop signal). The signalman then had to sign the train register and place a collar on the signal controlling the entrance to the IBS section to remind him that it must not be pulled off until the line is clear.
Today trains speed past and there is very little evidence that a signal box ever existed at the site.
The late Cyril Hitchens
A liitle more on BALDHU by Roy Hart
Baldhu box opened in 1938 as part of a plan to increase line capacity in Cornwall. The box was large for the 6 levers that it carried -it was of the same size as Goonbarrow Junction or Chacewater. This is because the plan was to have up and down goods loops at Baldhu. The loops would occupy the expanse of flat land on the up side (still visible today) which remained after the main line was doubled on a new formation in 1913-14. The plan was never carried out. Baldhu box remained until 1957.
Baldhu box was opened in 1938 as part of a plan to have two goods loops there. The plan was abandoned and the box remained operating just six levers (up and down home and distants plus two detonator placers). The box was of 'type 12' -a modern GW design (Penzance is of this type). The windows reached down to the floor. Baldhu was well known for its fine display of geraniums. I suppose there wasn't much else to do up there!
Totnes Quay branch
I googled the above firm and found what you have recorded. And not much. In the 1960’s. I used to visit Staverton Builders Yard at Totnes regarding railway locomotives. A Mr Bob Saunders was an employee (don’t know exactly what but engineering /architectural background) and he was one of the leading lights who tried to purchase the line from Newton Abbot to Mortonhampstead and when that failed he and others were able to purchase the line from Totnes to Ashburton and called it the Dart Valley Railway. The owners of the Dart Valley Railway decided to close the railway when they were successful in getting the Paignton to Kingswear Line and sold the line from Totnes to Buckfastleigh to what is now the South Devon Railway. The Buckfastleigh to Ashburton section was compulsory purchased for to put the New Road along the track bed of the railway.
At that time the preservation of Railway stock and coaches had just started and the South West Branch of the Great Western Society and others had purchased 3 locomotives and stock but had nowhere to keep them until Bob Saunders offered to let them store their locomotives and stock on the line into Staverton Builders Limited Yard at Totnes.
The line to Staverton Builders Yard was a backward line off of Totnes Quay Line.
If you use ‘ southdevonrailwayassociation.org/archives-hml ‘ you will find a photograph of Bob Saunders - the one without the hat.
Also if you go to ‘ Plymouth to Newton Abbot Inc of Cornwall Railway Society ‘ and scroll down the list until you come to Totnes the next is the Totnes Quay Branch and photographs the first of which is 1363 inside of the Staverton Builders Yard. The third is 1369 passing the Agricultural Merchant Warehouse looking inwards towards Staverton Builders Yard and the 6th is 1466 inside Staverton Builders Yard.
The photographs with 2 tracks show the items on the short length of track - furthest from the photographer - wich was at one time the line to accommodate animals from the nearby Livestock Market.