Local Plymouth views up dated. Bernard Mills
In conjunction with the preparation of another fine book on the railway scene then and now Bernard Mills has kindly sent us current, very current, in fact, yesterdays views, of two locations taken by Sid Sponheimer in 1964. Sid's views have already appeared on this web site.
Corrections - many thanks to Chris and Roy. Chris says - A most interesting interior view of Hayle Wharves. I assume it is safe to say that this was not the original brick 2-story signal-box, but the ground-frame which replaced it in 1964. From Chris Osment.
Roy says The photos which appear today are not of the frame at the wharves box, but of the ground frame which replaced it in 1964. This was not a new frame, but was 'secondhand' from somewhere, for it had the 'stud' type interlocking, which was obsolete before the first world war! From Roy Hart
Thank you gentlemen
Water Towers at Didcot Adrian King
Hi Keith, I hope you are keeping well and everyone else at the Cornwall Railway Society, this gives me the opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year. Looking through your latest contributors items earlier today I picked up on the two excellent black & white shots by Nick Gaskell, especially the one entitled 'Reflections of Bodmin'. I say especially because you may recall I visited Didcot Railway Centre last October as I sent you a number of photos of Cornish interest and one of the many pieces of railwayana on show was none other than - Bodmin water tank. So, enclosed, are a couple of photos I took that day which you might like to use on the website. Cheers Adrian Many thanks.
The early bird catches the Tractor Martin Duff
Hello Keith, I set the alarm clock early Saturday 09/01 to get this one. Colas Rail have recently painted split head code box Class 37 No. 37057 in BR green. It visited Exeter SD while working 3Q06 21.52 FO Eastleigh to Derby via Exeter. It called 02.41/03.22, arriving and departing via the Southern. A selection of photographs attached for site inclusion. Needless to say I was not the only photographer present in the middle of the night!
Regards, Martin Well done Martin, you deserve a medal!
Torbay Express extended to Penzance!! Roger Winnen
The 22.13 down service at Redruth last night 9th January 2016 was listed on the train describer boards and also announced as the Torbay Express. The service, the 17.06 off Paddington due Penzance at 22.42, seems to have been rather off route!
Menheniot down loop Roger Geach
Menheniot down loop was east of the station and extended for a considerable distance starting from beyond the buffer stops the Quarry Sidings. Here are two pictures from Roger Geach of his favourite form of motive power at the location of the then recently removed loop.
Hayle Signal box
Recollections from Craig Munday
More on Hayle Signal Box - this the memories of Craig Munday
I have a picture of Hayle box after it was rewired with standard WR block instruments (just visible on top the cupboards in Julian's picture). It was remarkable really. Hayle was given an illuminated diagram including the "lozenge" light style track circuit indications and the spagnolletti blocks (not a spaghetti dish) replaced in around 1980. The box only saw traffic for a further 18 months before it was mothballed, most of which it was switched out of circuit of course, and demolished in 1983. I think the last Hayle Wharves branch trip was 1981 from memory.
One piece of equipment I can vaguely recall was an over-ride for the red / green crossing lights which prevented the crossing lights turning red for the Wharves train. In normal operation, the red lights came on when an Up train entered Hayle cutting. The branch train would diverge before the crossing and trundle around the back of the box. There was an over-ride switch (which Percy Brookes always seem to curse each time he set it)!
Another amusing story concerns a warm day with the box switched out of circuit. A Driver mentioned to the St Erth Signalman that Hayle's down distant was showing yellow. One of the Hayle station staff investigated and noticed that the down advance starter (Section signal) had dropped to "Wrong". He thought he was being helpful by dropping the distant back into the frame, and taking the Starter signal lever back to tighten the wires. Unfortunately he put the down starter too far into the frame and the lock caught. In a panic he then tried re-clearing it, but a line-clear from St Erth was required! With the box switched out of circuit, there was no option but to place all the down line signals to danger, and get a qualified Signalman to open the box and pull off properly. A good turn can often cause implications!!
Thanks for the info and story Craig
Avid Gardener at Brixton Road.
Hi, It was with great pleasure to come across the old photos of Brixton road station. My father ( Bill Clarke )was a locomotive driver with GWR, and took up residence at the station in the early 1950s. Dad was and still is an avid gardener and spent a lot of his spare time on the “allotment” or tending to the garden around the station. We had the privilege to witness the last passenger train to go through late fifty’s or early sixties. We left Brixton road in June 1962 to go to Nyasaland in central Africa. All our family now reside in West Australia. Thanks again……………Martin Clarke.
Probus in the news
It's amazing what comes to light. I am most grateful to Chris Osment (Rail West) for the following information concerning the movements of signal boxes.
Having read the ‘Headlines’ item about Probus, I decided to look in the relevant Register from the Signalling Record Society, and based on the information gleaned from it.....
1. The box from Probus Siding went to Yealmpton. As the latter had a large frame (23 levers rather than 11), then I would guess that only the superstructure was re-used.
2. Probus East had come second-hand from Bristol (exact location unknown).
3. Probus West was constructed using the top from the former box at St Brides (in South Wales) and the lever-frame from Tresulgan (though it is not known whether East or West there).
Two oblique pictures from Nick Gaskell
In the recent post two rather unusual oblique pictures kindly sent in by Nick Gaskell.. Many thanks.
Hayle Wharves Signal Box Lever frame
The late John Fill
It is through the kindness of Mary Fill that in the sad task of sorting through her husbands collection she has so very kindly sent us many of his railway photographs and amongst these is picture of the lever frame at Hayle Wharves, a real 'gem'. Many thanks to you Mary. Please note The photos which appear today are not of the frame at the wharves box, but of the ground frame which replaced it in 1964. This was not a new frame, but was 'secondhand' from somewhere, for it had the 'stud' type interlocking, which was obsolete before the first world war!
The Saga of St Austell Signalbox Lever Frame Julian Hanwell
We have recently shown various views of St Austell Signalbox and as the box is still standing, it future uncertain, it prompted the question - is the frame still there? Julian answers the question -
With reference to the St Austell S Box frame, this is no longer in the box. It was removed shortly after the box closed and sold to me as 'scrap' for £80. I used the frame to build my own signal box (in Norfolk) just like Bill Carne did at the Farm Museum. I sent pictures to Frank Speritt when I put it all together. I attach a photo of my self putting 1/2 the frame together at my house.
I eventually sold the frame to a Cornish Lad in St Austell who then resold it to one of the railway societies for spare parts. So it is still out there in parts somewhere. A scrap dealer also wanted the frame but BR sold it to me ! I did manage to keep some (about 5) of the remaining brass lever plates which I still have.
There is no mention of the cast iron name plate being ordered in M Dunn's book 'GWR Signal Box Name Plates'. (An excellent reference book). It may have been removed when St Austell was no longer a level crossing? The general thoughts were (back in the 70s) that the plate was broken when removed during WW2 but there is no evidence to support this. Many thanks for this info Julian.
Paul Burkhalter on TV An interview by Michael Portillo
I mentioned back in July that I had been filmed for the Michael Portillo programme Great British Railway Journeys on the Royal Albert Bridge. Screening of the episode is on Friday 15th January at 1830 on BBC2. Enjoy (I Hope!).
Cheers, Paul. Many thanks, Paul, for reminding us as requested.
CDA's in the sunshine Craig Munday
Hi Keith, Some recent clay train pictures taken in lovely bright sunshine. 66151 passes the occupation bridge at Treverrin & is then seen later passing Lavrean close to journey's end at Goonbarrow.
All the best, Craig Many thanks
Truro Cattle Pens Sidings Martin Duff
The recent set of photographs from Julian Hanwell concerning Truro Cattle Pens box were most interesting. I found the local instructions for the site, dated June 1960 in the grandly titled “British Railways (Western Region) Sectional Appendix to the Working timetable and books of rules and regulations”. The title is too well bound to scan flatly, so I’ve typed the detail out in full for your readers’ interest.
This Siding has trailing connections in the Down Main line, 376 yards east of Truro East Box, and the points are operated from an electrically locked Ground Frame controlled from East Box.
Wagons may be drawn or propelled from the Down Main or Down Goods Line to the Siding over the Down Main Line, after the foreman, or person in charge, has come to a proper understanding with the Truro East signalman as to what is to be done.
The foreman or guard or shunter must accompany the train to the Siding to operate the locking lever and points leading to the Siding, and he will be responsible for seeing the whole of the train into the Siding after which he will set the points and locking lever in the normal position, and advise the signalman at East Box by the telephone that the “Line is Clear”.
When the train is ready to leave the Siding for the station, the foreman or guard or shunter will advise the signalman at East Box by telephone, and the signalman when he is in a position to accept the train, will release the electric lock, and the train will be propelled or drawn to Truro East or West Box via the Down Main line or Down Goods line, as necessary. If the signalman is unable to accept the train he must so inform the man at the ground frame, on the telephone.
After the train has drawn out of the siding, the foreman or guard or shunter must replace the Ground Frame levers in the normal position, and on arrival of the train at East Box, advise the East Box signalman that the main line is clear.
A foreman or guard or shunter must accompany all trains to and from the Cattle Pens Siding, and when wagons are being propelled without a brake van, must ride in the leading vehicle, or precede the train on foot.
It is not permissible to propel a train of more than 15 wagons without a brake van.
When trains are being drawn to the Cattle Pens Siding from East Box over the Down Main Line, a red head light must be carried by the engine, and a white tail light placed on the last truck. When being propelled, the leading vehicle must carry a red light and the engine a white light. The usual head and tail signals to be carried when proceeding from Cattle Pens to East box. So there it is, instructions for Cattle Pens ground frame. Hope it is of use and interest. Cheers.
Many thanks for your time and trouble Martin, it is most certainly of interest.
More pictures on main site
Famous loco back on track
Latest news is that the Flying Scotsman's restoration is nearing completion as it makes test runs on the East Lancs. To see the BBC report on this click here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35241788 Many thanks to Martin Duff for drawing our attention to this
Additional Signal Box information from Roy Hart
Reading your reference on the title page to some new material on the Par to Newquay branch, I was struck by the photos of St Blazey box. The following may be of interest:
ST BLAZEY SIGNAL BOX
St Blazey box opened in 1908, replacing an old Cornwall Mineral Railway box on a site opposite. In 1908 and for some years afterwards, the box has a dual function: note that the nameboard is off-centre.
This is because as built, the Par end of the building was a 2-storey yard and control office, with windows down almost to floor level, and with a separate entrance and staircase. The nameboard was therefore central to the 'signal box' part of the building. This arrangement came to an end about 1920, but the altered brickwork is still visible - and the signalman has a great space at the Par end of the box.
When the old cast iron nameplates were needlessly and foolishly removed in the 1980s they repeated the old position of the nameboard.
BUGLE SIGNAL BOX
As with St Blazey, I enjoyed visiting this box back in the 1960s. Bugle had a 41 lever frame (same size as SBZ) which was installed in 1930 when the line to Goonbarrow was doubled. By the 1960s Bugle was very quiet, while Goonbarrow was busy.
The website photos show the box after the economies of 1964, when it became Bugle Ground Frame ( not Molinnis GF as some references say). There were now two working levers (gate bolt and up distant -the down distant was fixed) and 39 spares!
Roy Many thanks Roy, I'll add the info to the relevant signalboxes
6C53 caught in brilliant sunshine, Burngullow and Carlyon Bay
Hi Keith, The first offerings of 2016. The bright morning sunshine got weaker towards lunchtime on 6th Jan. I ventured out to see the returning JIA working from Treviscoe (6C53). It is pictured at Burngullow on arrival back from the branch, and passing Carlyon Bay with 66199 the locomotive.
Cheers, Craig Many thanks Craig
153325 Citizensrail.org on tour, working the St Ives Branch on a sunny Friday, 7th January, 2016 by Roger Salter
A visit to Probus Signalbox in 1964
by Roy Hart
Reading the late Cyril Hitchens' piece about Probus reminded me about a visit I made to Probus box in 1964: the box was reached up a quiet farm track, then down a path along the cutting. It was a ground-level wooden structure, on the outside of a curve, so the signalman's eyes were at wheel level of trains.
The story began in the 1890s, when the Great Western resolved to double the Cornish main line. The problem was not the widened earthworks, but the viaducts. Between St Austell and Truro were 9 viaducts: St Austell, Gover, Coombe, Fal, Probus, Tregarne, Tregeagle, Truro and Carvedras. Probus was to be replaced by an embankment, the others by wider, masonry structures.This made traffic management difficult, with Grampound Road the only passing place. At Probus was a small box, Probus siding. It lay to the west of the later Probus Halt. The long single line section from Grampound to Truro was a difficulty and Probus siding had just a small loop with no room for expansion, so the box was closed and a new, long crossing loop installed, with a box at each end: Probus East and Probus West. With the completion of doubling in the area in 1896, Probus West remained as a break- section box: Probus.
Probus box was an example of the old-time railway: in 1964 I found the signalman ensconsed in an armchair with the two resident cats. The box had four signals only by then. The frame was the original from the 19th century. So low was the structure that ballast was thrown up like bullets by passing trains.
This quaint little spot was obliterated in 1965. Today it is possible to spot the notch in the cutting near the overbridge where the box once stood.
Many thanks to Roy for this additional information.
St Austell in the 1970's
We are very fortunate to receive the following pictures from ?? Hanwell particularly of the signalbox at St Austell which is still there albeit boarded up (2016) with an uncertain future. Many thanks
Cranbrook today Pictures from David Tozer
Keith, With a dry spell and a little sunshine so I popped out to Cranbrook.
158887/159002 with the 1020 Waterloo - Exeter. The 158 comes off at Exeter and does an Exeter - Honiton and return followed by an Exeter - Axminster and ECS back later this afternoon.
159007 departing Cranbrook with the 1325 Exeter - Waterloo.
Dave Many thanks David
Part 2 Andrew Triggs Explores 'The Somerset & Dorset Railway' in 1991
A look around Redruth station in 1993
Hello Keith, Please find attached 6 pictures of Redruth Station taken on 13 February 1993; including 2 of the outside of the station. Whats interesting is the sign for Red Star Parcels. Started in 1963 Red Star was still functioning at the time of the photograph but seems to have fizzled out at the end of the 1990s. Regards Mike Many thanks Mike
Midnight at the terminus as a group of three Railway Enthusiasts photographs the CWR Train arriving on a Westbury to Truro & Burngullow working via Penzance by Roger Winnen
New Years Day at work - Last Friday, more on the Blackboy Tunnel work From Graham Mann - Network Rail
Pictures to supplement ours by David Tozer and Roger Winnen, this time at rail level kindly sent in by Graham Mann Network Rail Programme Manager. Many thanks to Graham
Todays picture, very early morning at Penzance Paul Rundle
Happy New Year to you.. The only one I could really get tonight is of 70801 in platform 2 at Penzance with 6C97 rail train for Burngullow. Happy New Year to you as well, and many thanks for the picture.
Redruth Platform 3 We are most grateful to Roy Hart for revealing to us this facility which once existed at Redruth.
Relatively recently a bus service to Helston has been advertised as leaving from Platform 3. However it came as a complete surprise to me (KJ) that there once was a fully signalled third passenger platform at the station.
Freight facilities at Redruth were very limited at the beginning of the twentieth century: Redruth station had a small goods yard on the down side and the up side had a short siding leading to a goods shed. There was a depot at Redruth west yard (the old Hayle railway station) as well. In 1911 a new and extensive goods yard was opened at Drump Lane. At the same time the line from Redruth station to Drump Lane was doubled.
This gave the GWR an opportunity to develop Redruth station for passenger trains. The Camborne to Redruth trams opened in 1902 and buses were on the horizon, so the railways needed to meet the competition. The result was railmotors, running from Penzance, which could compete. At Redruth, a new layout was planned: the official Great Western plan was to scrap the down sidings at the station and extend the down platform. A new signal box was to be built on the Penzance end of the down platform, supported on brick arches, and controlling a new up siding extending from the viaduct to a new passenger bay on the site of the old goods shed. It was connected to the up main by a scissors crossover. There was a crossover in the tunnel and another on the viaduct.
The Board of Trade would not allow trains to run straight off the up main on to a dead- end line, so it worked like this: railmotors arrived from Penzance on the up main platform; they then backed over the scissors on to the viaduct siding and pulled forward into the bay. They departed over the scissors on to the up main and crossed over to the down.
All of this died in about 1922, when local railmotor traffic ceased. After this, the up siding and bay saw some use with traffic on Redruth market days, but this was small.
Redruth station box opened in 1914. It had 34 levers and after the end of railmotor traffic was in circuit for just a short time each day. It closed in December 1955 and the siding remained, accessed by means of a ground frame. Traffic was virtually nil and it was all removed in 1964.
Today the remains of the brick arches on which Redruth signal box was built are visible from Bond Street.
The old passenger bay is the station car park.
The present station building at Redruth dates from about 1930: it replaced the rather mean wooden buildings left from West Cornwall Railway days.
At this point Roy was sent a copy of this photograph from the Paddy Bradley Collection- you will note the signals just visible above and beyond the up platform canopy.
Paddy Bradley's photo dates from the 1920s, going by the female fashions. The photo also shows the bay starting signal, which had two arms: the left hand (larger) arm read from bay to down main, while the shorter arm read from bay to viaduct siding. This signal dated from 1914 and was there until 1955.
Thus, the passenger arrangements in the bay lasted until Redruth station box closed.
In December 1955, over a week, Redruth box was replaced by a 4-lever ground frame and a new siding arrangement was laid in; this is shown in your Cornubian photos. There was a new lead from the down main, across the up main via a diamond crossing, while the scissors was replaced by a trailing point at the end of the up platform. The GF was electrically released from Drump Lane. The signal shown in the 1964 photos was Redruth down starting signal, with lower distant arm for Redruth Junction. After 1955 it became Drump Lane advanced starting signal. Goodness knows why they laid in all that expensive pointwork in 1955: I think I saw one wagon in the siding in the space of 4 or 5 years!
...I almost forgot: if you want to see Redruth in all its passenger glory, go to www.britainfromabove.org.uk
..this is the aerofilms archive and there is a peach of a shot of Redruth station from the air in about 1930.
Just follow the instructions on the site.
Very many thanks to Roy Hart for this extremely interesting article
Memories from last year - Alex Gaskell
It is nice to have some pictures from our youngest contributor reflecting on two specials he either rode on or saw. Many thanks Alex.
40 Years Ago 3rd January, 1976. Two of us journeyed to Menheniot, Keith Jenkin and Roger Winnen to explore a proposed route for the new route to Looe
The new line leaving the main line near this station and rejoining the existing line at Sandplace. Keith and myself left by train at 06.35 in the morning, arriving at 08.05 just as the sun was rising at Menheniot. This train was a London train, first stop from Penzance was Camborne,then Redruth, Truro, St Austell, Lostwithiel and all stations to Saltash. we walked the proposed route to Sandplace, then returning by foot via Causeland, St Keyne, Coombe Junction to Liskeard Station. which was a few miles indeed.
Very interesting notes on the Hayle Wharves branch and the operation of the swing bridge.
Many thanks to Roy Hart for these.
As is well known, the Hayle wharves branch resulted from the construction of the West Cornwall Railway's high level line through Hayle. The descent was steep and a catch point and sand drag (historically, the first, it is thought) had to be provided.
At the foot of the descent was a logistical nightmare: a railway line which split in two (either to wharves or left to Penpol) as it crossed the A30 road, coinciding with a road junction and a swingbridge.
The wharf branch was worked by wooden train staff and descending trains as they reached the crossing, met the junction on the left side for Penpol sidings. These were a fan of three sidings serving Hayle gasworks (the site is Philps' pasty emporium today!). A horse-worked spur led along Penpol Terrace, beneath the viaduct, to the site of Harvey & Co engineers.
After passing over the level crossing and the swing bridge over Copperhouse Creek, the train passed a ground frame opating a catchpoint and a level crossing gate, protecting the wharf road and railway when the bridge was open.
Ahead lay the extensive wharf sidings. To the right, the old Hayle railway trackbed survives. It was relaid in 1917 to serve the explosive works at Upton Towans. This line closed about 1920, but the track was still there in the 1930s.
The operation of the swingbridge must have been great fun. Here's how it worked:
First, representatives of the gas and water utilities had to be present, to disconnect their pipes on the bridge. Permanent way had to disconnect the rails. A porter at the ground frame. The bridge operator in the pump house (this was a red-brick structure on the seaward side of the bridge. It contained the hydraulic pump which moved the bridge). No doubt various inspectors would be around as well.
First, the signalman would reverse the points leading to Penpol, thus diverting potential runaways to the gasworks (!). Attached to this lever was a key, which could only be withdrawn when the lever was reversed. This was handed to the man at the ground frame, who used it to release his levers to open the catch point and lock the gate across the road. Now the North end of the bridge was protected. At the GF, the reversing of the catch point lever released another key, which was handed to the man in the pump house, who inserted it into the lock to free the bridge mechanism. The bridge was then swung.
Then all of this was done in reverse!
I have found no record of when the bridge last moved. Possibly around the time of world war two.
The branch was worked by panniers and prairiesfrom PZ.
In 1964, the box was replaced by a ground frame and the gates by barriers. Later still, even the barriers went.
A class 25 with a train on the wharves branch, A view from Clifton Terrace. Copyright Sid Sponheime.. The locomotive may be propelling or hauling the train. If indeed it is hauling the train ahead lies the swing bridge. Just beyond that the incline to Hayle station up under the bridge commences. The signalbox was to the right immediately after the bridge and before the main road, Penpol sidings for the gasworks etc left this line on a trailing point, in this direction, and headed off to the right. In the left foreground an embankment which once carried the old Hayle railway trackbed survives. This line was relaid in 1917 to serve the explosive works at Upton Towans. This line closed about 1920, but the track was still there in the 1930s.
Chacewater to Newquay branch - an interesting find
Going through my own collection of what some might call rubbish I cane across the 'Temporary Speed Restrictions, Permanent Way Operations' booklet seen below. As we were living in Wiltshire at the time this had been found and saved by my father, no doubt blowing around St Agnes station. The fact that this booklet survived for over two months of this treatment is remarkable. The writing on the the booklet is my fathers.
As the branch officially closed w.e.f. 4th February 1963 the entry regarding movements and recovery work on the branch on Sunday 3rd February 1963 is possibly a record of the last time a train ran during the life of the branch. The next trains were scrapping trains a year later, and these were operated from the Chacewater end. They only ran as far as Shepherds. Read Cyril Hitchens article on the end of the branch contained in the Chacewater - Newquay section of this website.
This is the notice concerning the branch. It seems that the train was loading materials between mile posts 16 3/4 and 17 1/4. This is the section including Trewerry & Trerice Halt - it may have been the occasion on which the halt name board was taken down and the crossing sign removed. Maybe the gates were padlocked firmly shut.
Andrew Triggs explores the former station of Evercreech Junction on the Somerset & Dorset line from Bath to Bournemouth in the 1990s
THE END OF STEAM AT ST IVES
A potted history of the branch kindly provided by Roy Hart
Those of us of a certain age remember the St Ives branch worked by the delightful 4500 class prairies of the GWR, but it was not always so. The line opened in 1877 and was the last broad gauge line opened in the westcountry. The gauge was converted in 1892, but before this, mixed gauge freights operated from St Erth to Lelant quay. The line was operated by the 'train staff and ticket' system then and there was a signal box at Lelant (those were the days: Lelant had a station master, signalman, booking clerk and porters!). St Ives was fully signalled, with a box provided by Saxby and Farmer, contractors to the GWR.
After the gauge conversion, the line was worked by a variety of saddle- and pannier tanks until 1904, when the 4400 class small prairies arrived. With small wheels and good acceleration, these were perfect for the line, but there were only eleven of them, to be shared over the whole system. A slightly larger development, the 4500 class were too heavy for St Ives, which had an 'uncoloured' route classification ( they were 'yellow'- the next up).
In the 1920s traffic increases and loco shortages meant that something had to be done, so the 4500 class were 'specially authorised'. At the St Erth advanced starting signal stood a sign: ONLY UNCOLOURED, OR YELLOW ENGINES 4500-4574 MAY PASS THIS BOARD.
Penzance shed rotated its tank engines on the St Ives and Helston branches, so the allocation of tank engines had to suit both, so the 4575/5500 class -slightly heavier than the 4500s were not shedded at Penzance until nearly the end of steam (they could not go to St Ives). Penzance lost its last 4400 class engine in 1943.
By 1961, the 4500 class were old, worn out and down to single figures, so the writing was on the wall for St Ives. Dieselisation was imperative. DMUs could not be introduced on the Helston line because the heavy freight traffic required engines, which could (of course) haul both passenger and freight.
In consequence, in September 1961, 4564 was the last engine to be housed overnight in St Ives shed.DMUs took over. 4564 was stored at St Blazey for a while (after working a PRC special) and she spent a few months at Gloucester before scrapping. 4570 lingered at PZ for a few months while 4549 and 4563 went for scrap.
Some 55xx tanks surplus at Truro and SBZ then came to Penzance to work the Helston line.
Ironically, for a few days in the summer of 1962, diesel failures and shortages meant that steam returned to St Ives: 5562 worked passenger trains, but with its tanks only half-full to reduce its weight!
The last two prairies at Penzance were 5537 and 5562, which stood outside the shed, rusting quietly until towed away for scrap in 1963.
Many thanks Roy for this most interesting history - this has also been added to the St Ives branch section of this website.
Roger Winnen has also added a note of his rare experience on the branch. Returning from Carbis Bay after a Sunday School outing in possibly 1958 or 1959 we were pulled by 4570 together with 9748 a Penzance 57xx class pannier tank which were not authorised to run on the branch. The train had nine coaches of which three were detached at St Erth along with 4570 this was of coarse the branch set. Then 9748 and six coaches departed with the remaining train to Penzance. This was the only occasion that I had been hauled by 9748 a Penzance based engine for many years.
Sid Sponheimer has written in with reference to Roy's article with some pictures taken at Cashmores, Newport. of the St.Ives Branch and Penzance engines, here's a couple of those at their final resting place
Regards Sid. Thank you Sid
Burngullow in the 1980's Julian Hanwell
Hi Keith. These are a few snaps of Burngullow Signal Box before it closed.
The signalman with glasses is Mr Dennis Bunt. He went there after St Austell closed. The other signalman is Mr Bob Harris one of the Penwithers Jct Signalmen who went to Drump Lane in 1971. He is pictured here later at Burngullow on the 'relief'..I'm the young lad holding the red flag ! They were taken during the 1980s (I think)...
I'm sorry I'm keeping you busy! Regards. Julian H.. Many thanks
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