Winter Steam Up
29th December 2022
Michael L. Roach
Yelverton on the Last Day of Passenger Services (1)
On the 28 December1962 there had been a dusting of snow in many places after a week of intensely cold weather. The following day, Saturday 29 December 1962, was the last day of passenger services on the former Great Western branch from Plymouth to Tavistock South and Launceston and we woke to some 3 inches (75mm) of snow in Plymouth. It was a sad day for someone who had come to love this line in the preceeding three years and who would miss the atmosphere of a line that was in many ways still as it was pre-nationalisation in 1947 or even pre-war in 1938. It was still worked by the same classes of engines (the 4500s and the 6400s) that had worked the line in the nineteen thirties. I had taken hundreds of photos of the Launceston Branch trains and made many trips along the line and knew that with the crowds expected for a “last day” that I had little chance of getting my favourite position on the train which was the first window in the first coach. So instead I opted to travel out to one of my favourite stations, Yelverton, and spend several daylight hours there watching the last trains calling at the station. Later I planned to make an evening return trip to Launceston and back. I travelled out to Yelverton on the 10.40am off Plymouth which was a very popular choice for enthusiasts. The train was strengthened from the normal two coaches to four coaches hauled by 5564. At the start of the day the snow was just a bonus and few of us could have realised the severity of the weather that was approaching, even if we had listened to the forecast.
MLR / 15 December 2022
B & W.
Yesterday, Tuesday 27 December 2022, I was once again signalman at Bodmin General. We had a major operation shunting engines, coaches and wagons around the station area and tripping to Bodmin Parkway in preparation for Thursdays End of Season steam up. It was a very (very) wet and windy day. I have attached a number of photographs taken from the signalbox for your use. I noted a gentleman standing on Bridge 13A taking photographs and see from todays webpage that it was Jon Hird. My photographs therefore show the opposite view to his!
Out of interest I was keeping a rough record of the lever movements I made, and this was well over 400, so a very busy day indeed that started at 10am and ended at 6pm in the dark!
Wishing you and all CRS members a Happy New Year.
Kind Regards, Chris Bellett,Retired S&T Engineer, B&WR Chief S&T Engineer and Signalman. CRS member
Andrew and Diane Jones
Very Sad News in your daily update, today of the loss of the Hythe Pier Railway, the oldest continuously operated public pier train in the world.
I have attached a few snapshots from Google Earth.
There were hopes that the current owners would be able to turn around the finances, but alas to no avail.
One good piece of news is that the structure was listed in August 2021.
Very best wishes for the new year Andrew and Diane