Michael L. Roach
Yelverton on the Last Day of Passenger Services (3)
The last photograph shown yesterday of 6400 running through Yelverton with ECS was taken at 2.30pm from the accomodation bridge at the north end of the station. The caption said note the stop board for freight trains; in fact there was a stop board at both ends of the station which was at the summit of the section from Tavistock Junction to Tavistock South. I returned to the safety of the station awnings.
The wind was not too bad when I arrived at Yelverton at 11.23am but was now increasing rapidly and by 3.00pm I was able to record that a full-scale easterly blizzard was raging. Hearing the train approaching I went out into the snow to stand on the steps of the signal box to record the 2.10pm Plymouth to Tavistock arriving at Yelverton at 3.04pm, some 21L. Although I was wearing a duffle coat with a hood the cold was so intense and the wind so strong it felt as though the icy blast was cutting straight through me; and I was glad to return to the shelter of the station awnings again. The station was now unstaffed as the porter had ended his single shift at 2.00pm, it is believed. By a strange coincidence the booking office at my local station a 5 minute walk away is, 60 years later, staffed on a single shift from 6.45am to 2.00pm – but for how much longer if the current management have their way. The resulting photograph of 6430 entering the station shows the snow blowing from only just above the horizontal. I am looking almost due south and the wind is coming from the east, all the way from Siberia according to some experts at the time. It certainly felt like it.
I now had more than 65 minutes to stand, stare and shiver until the next train which was the 3.05pm Plymouth to Launceston which eventually appeared 31L. I stood on the footbridge to watch 4591 run in with four coaches, and then walked along beside the loop to photograph 4591 stopped and moving off in a cloud of steam. I had planned to travel home on the 4.30pm from Tavistock to Plymouth due off Yelverton at 4.46pm, but soon after seeing 4591 pass very late I realised that if my train was late I would not be getting home in time for any tea before returning to the station to catch the 6.20pm to Launceston. There was nothing for it but to drag myself up the long steep station access road to the village in the hope that the buses were still running in the blizzard conditions. They were and I did not have to wait long for a red Plymouth Corporation Leyland double-decker appear on its return journey from Dousland, which up until 1956 was also served by a railway station on the Princetown branch. The bus driver somehow managed to keep the bus on the road in the newly fallen snow, and with a much shorter walk from the bus stop than the railway station, I could have a good tea before heading off to Plymouth Station for a last return trip over the branch.
Locos seen on the branch on 29 December 1962 were:
4574, 4591, 5564, 5568, 5569
MLR / 21 December 2022
Creech St Michael
Firstly, I hope you've all had a good Christmas, in spite of the weather.
I was over at Creech today for freight 6V08, 1018 Margam to Exeter Riverside Yd. This was a rake of container flats hauled by EWS 66030,
quite a surprise - when did we last see such a train in the South West?
Happy New Year to you all, Bill.
Driver Alan Peters
Driver Alan Peters
With reference to todays website update and the item on timber traffic from Newton Abbot. Here is some good news https://www.railfreight.com/railfreight/2022/12/28/uk-euroforest-puts-timber-on-trains-and-backs-rail-freight/?gdpr=accept
Kind Regards, Chris Bellett, Retired S&T Engineer,
B&WR Chief S&T Engineer, CRS Member.