Michael L. Roach
In 1905 the GWR started running fast goods trains fitted or partially fitted with the vacuum brake. On vacuum-fitted wagons the company normally used either the screw coupling or the “instanter” coupling as shown in the attached drawing. The middle link of the instanter coupling can be shortened by turning it over. I believe that there are still some types of wagon using the instanter coupling. Does anyone know which types of wagon please ?
SCAN: 5393 Drawing of the instanter coupling
On the B & W
Andrew and Diane Jones
During the spring of 1983, with written permission from BR, I photographed the entire GWR connection from Bodmin Road to Bodmin General. At the time there was no certainty of preservation.
I have attached a walk through from the Walker Lines points to Bodmin General Station, which had been much rationalised and housed a Bri-a-brac store under the cover of the original station canopy. The double road bridge of Victorian construction is evident and as I write this is being replaced.
Although the siding was connected during BR ownership I can find little information about when it was installed but it was there in 1983 and I would consider it was possibly constructed during the 70’s. ( any Society member with information on dates would be greatly appreciated )
The Walker Lines site was originally built for the army and named after Harold Bridgewood Walker, built as an extension to the Devon and Cornwall Light Infantry Barracks at Bodmin and eventually became the JSSL (Joint Services School for Linguists) before closure in the early 60’s.
Considering the site played an important role during World War 2 it never had a rail connection during this period.
Peter Fitzgerald, a director of Fitzgerald Lighting, a company once famous for the production of fluorescent light fittings’ who exported to all over the world, eventually was instrumental in the sidings construction and helped to provide a preservation base for the embryo organisation that exists today.
The provision of points on any railway are not something lightly undertaken, least of all because of the safety issues, but by the time of construction the daily traffic was sporadic and generally low speed. (derailments are a greater risk over connecting points and can be very expensive!)
Eventually under preservation a freight flow was inaugurated using the Walker line connection on the 2nd December 1989 and continued until 11th December 1992 and latterly between 2000 and 2001 using B&W class 20 or class 33 locomotives and VGA wagons. BR only collected the wagons at Bodmin Road exchange sidings, for forward transit.
Today the Walker Lines siding is used for storage of preservation stock and a proposed undercover facility for passenger coaches, thus the need for the new increased radius installation illustrated in the recent contribution by Roger.
Very best wishes Andrew and Diane Jones