with Nick Gaskell
Back in April 1986
with Nick Gaskell
Nick has been discovering some black and whites he thought were lost forever, lets have more please - almost 30 years ago!!
Beattie Well Tank 30587
LSWR Beattie 2-4-0W was built by Byer Peacock in 1874 and is pictured here at Wadebridge shed as Southern Railway No. 3298. Subsequently 3298 would be renumbered by BR as 30587 and would remain in service until the end of 1962 going out in a blaze of glory partnered with 30585 on two railtours in the south London area in the December of that year. Both locos survive. Caption from Mike Morant, picture courtesy his Collection
Proper Job at Williton
This picture shows the scene at Williton today. Many thanks to Rob Lindley
Rusty rail shows the position of the plain track laid in place of the former turnout at the Bishops Lydeard end of the Williton loop. The dead straight track from the up platform to the new turnout is laid over the new culvert the location of which is clear for all to see. A good job very well done. 28th February 2016 Copyright Robert Lindley.
Unusual shunt at Exmouth Jct
The object of the exercise was to Park the Rail Vac in the sidings which once led to Exmouth Junction shed. David Tozer arrives at 07.47 to record the proceedings.
Proceeding on from the above picture 37025 crossed over to the up main and proceeded through Black Boy tunnel towards Exmouth Junction. Here it left the up main and ran into the disused sidings which formerly served Exmouth Junction shed. For some reason, perhaps a run round loop wasn't available, the loco backed out again onto the up main line. The railvac was then uncoupled and left on the up main. 37025 then proceeded to just beyond Pinhoe where the double track becomes single. Reversing here the loco it ran past the railvac back to Exmouth Junction where it was able to gain the up main once more. Having done this it was a simple matter of propelling the railvac onto the sidings mentioned above. David records that this was the first loco into these sidings since 12th December 2011. Thanks for your report David.
The Great Western HST
on the Plymouth Shuttles
Over three weekends the mainline between Plymouth and Exeter is closed for engineering work with a bus replacement running from Plymouth to Tiverton Parkway and intermediate stations.
Andrew Triggs photographs the Plymouth Shuttles at Hayle
St Erth Semaphores
A visit to St Erth later in the day (24th February 2016) to audit the point clip equipment resulted in some unusual angles of St Erth station from the West end. The photos were taken in a position of safety from the former Up Refuge siding. The vegetation has recently been cleared here, sadly not for a new siding to be relaid! The late running class 153 heading west - deputizing for the failed class 150 no doubt.
Signal SE66 at St Erth on the 24th February 2016. Copyright Craig Munday. How interesting, how attractive the four semaphores make. It is obvious that a service for St Ives is shortly to depart. Rumour has it that that this signal brightly illuminated by the sun has a bright future as it is likely to be saved for preservation on site once the semaphore signalling is replaced. Long may it remain in use!
314 at Wadebridge
St Austell viaduct in the Sun
St Austell crossover in use
Disruption on the main line at St Austell on Wed 24th as 150101 had set problems in the station. The Driver isolated devices on the unit resulting in it returning to Plymouth via the Ground Frame. The yellow door lamps are clearly illuminated on the train as it sets off back onto the Up Main. 24th February 2016 Copyright Craig Munday.
Beattie's at Wadebridge
Mike writes :- Most of us know the background to the three Beattie well tanks. What did surprise me whilst reading Bradley's history of the class is that although we know them affectionately as the 0298 class they were actually the 329 class. Below we see No. 329 built in 1875 photograpked at Wadebrdge in 1922. 329 would survive 30586 until withdrawn in December 1962
Today's West Somerset News
Hi Keith, Thought you would like to see the "big railway" using the turning triangle at Norton Fitzwarren on the WSR. This is not an uncommon operation as the train is based at Fairwater Yard, Taunton about a mile up the track. The first photo shows the train rounding the west cord of the triangle topped and tailed by class 66's. The second photo shows the rear of the train, heading away from me to rejoin the WSR main line. This happened about 3pm on the 26th Feb. The 3rd shot shows the other WSR engineering project of the winter, the construction of a two road ash shelter at Bishops Lydeard, ready for use at the upcoming Gala.
Best wishes Rob Many thanks to you.
And at Bishops Lydeard
6 wheel Milk Tankers
David Tozer replies to Alan Peters
The attached link may assist in the enquiry about upgraded milk tanks.
I can only recall seeing them once heading to Chard Junction. I suspect they were never used much.
Dave Many thanks
The end of the Westerns
39 Years ago 26th February, 1977 Came the end for the last Westerns in the British Railways fleet.
A visit to Exeter on that day saw the last Class 52s The Westerns in revenue earning service hauling the last railtour from Paddington to Swansea then via Bristol to Plymouth and return to Paddington, together with the many long forgotten trains of the past. Roger Winnen
Mike brings another picture from his large collection - this time on the 'Southern Main Line. Many thanks.
Stainless steel 6 wheel milk tank
Stainless steel 6 wheel milk tank a rare sight of an example photographed at Washwood Heath, Birmingham 23rd January 2016. Once a common sight in Cornwall I believe that this example was one of the last types to be built, maybe someone can shine some light on the history of this wagon?
Any feedback would be appreciated. By Alan Peters
Check this out
from Martin Duff
Definitely not our reporting region but worth a look - click below - many thanks to Martin Duff http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-35653416
Tickets from the Alan Harris collection
before the 1879 storm
Another gem from the Mike Morant collection
Early Temple Meads
Many thanks to Mike Morant for this very early view of Bristol Temple Meads from a post card.
St Erth Station mostly in the late 1950s and 60s Photographs by Peter Radford
780801a This photograph taken in the mid 1970s shows the last member of the class Built as D1111 and renumbered 47528 in February 1974, pulls away from the down refuge sidings at St Erth with a train for Penzance conveying a light load of four minis! 30 mins later the engine returned to St Erth for shunting duties. Copyright Peter Radford collection.
Wivelscombe Latest Info
The very recent publication of a BR Leaflet dated 30th January 1961 concerning a derailment at Wivelscombe tunnel has resulted in further information to which we are indebted to Neil Phillips, many thanks Neil.
Neil writes :- Hi Keith,
I read the 1961 ‘Earth Slip Near St Germans’ report with interest, because the location and date rang a bell. The train in trouble was the 2C74 05.10 St Austell – Plymouth local hauled by NBL Type 2s D6302 and D6324 working in tandem (not in multiple due to different control systems between Pilot Scheme and Production locos). Both locos were damaged badly enough to require returning to NBL in Glasgow for repair. They came back later that year – D6324 in October and D6302 in December – sporting those rather ugly Mark I headcode boxes in lieu of discs, the first WR hydraulics to be so converted, but still devoid of yellow warning panels since these only started appearing from January 1962 (ignoring D845’s experiment). D6302 gained the yellow panels during a visit to Swindon Works the following August but it’s not clear how long D6324 ran without them. Both locos received oversized yellow areas compared to the rest. Interestingly they remained the only converted members of the class for around 3 years, rebuilding of the other disc-fitted Type 2s commencing from late 1964. This makes it possible to identify the loco approaching Shepherds station in John Thorn’s photo dated September 1962 (posted last year to the Chacewater – Newquay branch image collection) as D6324.
To illustrate how far ahead these two rebuilds were, the 13 D8xx Warships were converted between 9/63 and 9/65, and the D6xx Warships between 12/64 and 5/67 (2 ½ years to do 5 locos.….these Far West exiles were clearly not a priority!)
The Great Western Railway 150 Sprinter
Photgraphed by Andrew Triggs
Just the ticket
An interesting letter from Chris Heaps for which many thanks
I refer to Alan's recent query about his Truthall Halt ticket on the CRS web-site.
Although the running in board proclaimed "Truthall Halt", tickets in my collection issued to me during the fnal years of the branch when I knew it variously referred to :-
Truthall Bridge Halt - on 2nd. Single dated 20/8/59 and on 2nd. Ordinary Return bus-type ticket issued by guard on train (undated);
Truthall Platform - on 2nd. Singles dated 11.9.61 and 3/11/62; and
Truthall Halt - on 1st Return (with name inserted in writing) dated 20/8/59.
Many tickets issued on the last day were purchased as souvenirs and were unlikely to be clipped or collected.
Some of these tickets feature in my book "The Helston Railway - Past & Present" published by Silverlink (Past & Present Publishing Ltd) in May 2012 to mark the 125th Anniversary (to the day) of the opening of the line.
Coombe Jct. Staff
Many thanks to David Hayball for sending us in this photograph of the above staff from his collection, this the last of the current selection we have - if you have an interesting token or staff please send us a picture.
Additional Notes by Roy Hart - for which many thanks
LOOE AND MOORSWATER
The staff in the photo dates from as recently as May 1981, when Coombe Junction box closed. The key is for the Ground Frame points at Coombe.
The Looe line was independent of the GWR and the signalling was done by contractors (Saxby and Farmer, later absorbed by Westinghouse). The line was worked by electric tablet -like on the Southern; a heavy brass disc withdrawn from what looked like an enormous Victorian chocolate machine. The boxes were at Looe (inside the station building, levers and all) Coombe Junction and Liskeard Branch. Looe box was replaced in about 1920 by the rather sad little hut in the photograph: it had 7 levers. The tablet instrument was still in the station building.
Looe box closed in 1964 and the line worked by wooden staff from Coombe -not the wooden staff in the picture, though.
Liskeard branch box also went in 1964 and the token instrument transferred to the main line box. The more modern token had replaced tablet working in about 1956.
The signal in the photograph is Terras Crossing up distant. Terras crossing had a 3 lever ground frame, operating two distant signals and the gate bolt. The lady crossing keeper had a repeater instrument and bell which warned her of train movements. The crossing became 'open' and the signals etc removed in the 1970s.
From the Mike Morant Collection. An atmospheric shot of former GWR Collet 5700 class 0-6-0 pannier tank No. 3659 shunting at Tiverton Junction on the 22nd May 1963. No 3659 was an Exeter based engine at the time but would move to 82E at Barrow Road five months after this shot was taken. It was withdrawn from Barrow Road in October 1965.
Williton Culvert before repair
Derek Buttivant shows 'close up' the culvert problem.
A photo of the extended loop at Williton (WSR) has just been added to the web site. You might like to have the two photos attached, taken on 26 September 2015, which show the old layout and the site of the missing culvert which clearly stood in the way of reinstating the loop - and restricted use of the up platform.
Kind regards, Derek Many thanks Derek
Class 47 Liveries in West Cornwall
Many thanks Michael
A change of staff!
Yesterday it was the Goonbarrow to Carbean branch staff, today, from David Hayballs collection comes the essential staff to control movements along the single line section from Wadebridge West to Padstow. Many thanks to David for this picture.
In 1964 all the ex-Southern lines west of Salisbury (Wilton, to be exact) came to the Western Region. Almost all were regarded as uneconomic and so heavy economies were introduced. To look at it pessimistically, it was just a prelude to closure. The great network of signal boxes with crossing loops on the North Cornwall and elsewhere were pruned: Otterham was the first to go and was followed by Dunsland Cross, Tower Hill and the rest. Padstow box closed and the points leading to the run-around loop put on to a new ground frame. The points at the buffers end had always been hand operated. The wooden staff applied to all operations between Wadebridge and Padstow.
The points at Wadebridge West were operated by the box there (at the level crossing).
Wadebridge boxes, along with Boscarne and Bodmin General, went in December 1967, but the Padstow section had been lifted by then. The staff in the picture was used only for the short period from 1965-7 and unlocked the GF at Padstow loop. I was on the last train from Padstow - GW Hawksworth coaches hauled by a class 22 (D63XX) which, of course, ran round its train at Padstow. Many thanks to Roy Hart for the above very full answer. N.B The station at Padstow closed to goods w.e.f. 7th September 1964 and to passengers w.e.f. 30th January 1967. The last train out of Padstow would have run on the 29th January 1967,
Today, we come to another of Mike Morant's remarkable collection. The branch train with 1471 at the head seems ready soon to depart. From my one and only experience of the Hemyock branch on an excursion organised by the PRC where the consist was of two brakevans for passengers and several milk tankers I remember the journey being a rather uncomfortable one, The reason for this was due to the tight curves of the branch the tankers were 'slack coupled'. The result of this being that with every change of speed there was considerable buffeting. Was this the case when a passenger coach was included in the formation?
You can see better coverage of this trip if you turn to our diesel railtours section, also more pictures of the branch in the Devon branches section.
The green 150
First sighted at Lostwithiel
Hi Keith, Some colourful trains passed by Lostwithiel 21st Feb 2016. The first two Up HSTs were decorated in the bright green Bristol liveries. The second train caught a glimpse of sunlight as it headed Eastbound. Later just after noon, GWR class 150232 in the new GWR liveried call. It didn't catch any sun sadly, but looked very smart none the less. The GWR green contrasted with the bright red semaphores.
Kind regards Craig. Many thanks Craig
The Green 150 in Cornwall
The first known appearance in Cornwall of the Great Western Railways 150232 in its sludge green livery arrives at Penzance on the 08.28 from Bristol Temple Meads. Photographs by Roger Winnen
Wonders worked at Williton
report by Robert Lindley
Hi Keith Please find attached a picture of the finished culvert and extended loop at Williton on the WSR as promised. The new works being the left hand side. You can see the remains of the original point which marks the start of the old loop on the right hand track. For the first time since the 60's up trains can use the full length of the platform. Cheers Rob Lindley Good News Indeed, many thanks Robert
A Visit to the Winter Steam Festival at the South Devon Railway by Roger Winnen
This years event proved to be a very populat attraction for both young and old alike. Plenty of interest was had in the workings, many doubleheaded with also freight and parcel trains incoporated into the timetable.
Full credit goes to the South Devon Railway for its organisation and the splendid timekeeping throughout the day. A Day to Remember!
For more on the South Devon Winter Steam Festival see the Features Page
Who owns this?
Magnificent Millbay Picture
We don't normally show pictures without knowing the owner/copyright holder. However Andy Miller, who sent in this superb picture has been unable to say whose it is. This picture has been circulated amongst several eminent photographers none of whom recognise it.
Many thanks Andy
Mike Roach, a Plymouthian makes the following observations
A really interesting picture which I have never seen before. It was taken out of a window of the Continental Hotel ( now the New Continental Hotel) which is in Millbay Road. I suggest you use it and ask the owner to come forward and claim it
Lots of interesting things to note; here is just some of them, going left to right
The bulk of a cinema in Union Street. I can remember queueing here 60 years ago to see Walt Disney's latest film about Davy Crockett. Later it was the Majestic Ballroom and I can remember going there several times 45 years ago. Its now being advertised as The Revival Prayer Centre.
A water column with no bag; dating the photo after the end of steam.
Trucks being unloaded in the open; most were done much further to the left under cover.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral (top) with its tall spire.
Several Mk 1 coaches, including a Buffet Restaurant Car.
The Harwell Street dmu depot (top) used before Laira was built.
4 tracks coming down from Plymouth Station. The left hand arch, leading direct to Cornwall, appears to be trackless.
The carriage shed, and below it the large signal box
The Western Approach dual carriageway
The van, which is in Union Street and which passes under the railway in a long dark bridge.
Missing; not a single locomotive in sight
Hope this helps.
Mike Many thanks Mike.
Many thanks to Roy Hart for this additional information.
I go for about 1965/6. The carriage sidings in the foreground replaced the old platforms in 1959. The Goods and Passenger lines to Cornwall junction were reversed at the same time (i.e. the main lines in front of the box, leading to the old platforms, became 'carriage lines'). The picture was taken after the opening of Plymouth Panel box (colour lights visible in the distance & Cornwall junction box missing).
The Cornwall loop indeed seems to be trackless; it went in 1964.
There are some Southern Bullied coaches, so trains are still running to Okehampton, I'd say.
Millbay box had 115 levers and closed in December 1969.
Goonbarrow -Carbean Sidings Staff
Today we take a look at the Goonbarrow to Carbean Sidings Staff. This branch opened on the 2nd October 1893. It was built without parliamentary powers.
Extra information - with many thanks to Roy Hart.
This was, of course, the wooden staff for 'One Engine in Steam working between Goonbarrow Junction and Carbean/ Gunheath. The line was very lightly built and was restricted to the smallest locomotives. The Cornwall Minerals Railway used tiny 0-6-0 saddle tanks, often working in pairs. There was an engine shed at Stenalees.
Goonbarrow Junction got its name when the branch opened in 1893: previous to that there was a box there called Rosevear Siding. A small box (13 levers) called Goonbarrow Junction opened in 1893 and was replaced by the present box in 1910.
The line was worked in later years by Hawksworth 1600 class panniers and a pair of these were shedded at SBZ for this purpose, until 1962.
In October 1964, the double line from Goonbarrow to Bugle was taken out of use and Bugle box became Bugle GF. At the same time, wooden staff working ceased on the Goonbarrow and Carbis branches. Both lines were now worked as long sidings (regulation C2 working) and the Goonbarrow branch lifted beyond New Caudledown.
Let's visit Hemyock
Care of Mike Morant
A much loved location for GWR branch line enthusiasts is Hemyock station depicted here on the 22nd May 1963. with the customary Collet 1400 class -4-2 T in charge of one of the LNER coaches which replaced the more familiar Barry Railway coach of earlier years. Number 1450 is the depicted loco and allocated to 83C Tiverton Junction as one would expect. The station and branch closed to passenger traffic on the 9th September 1963. This picture courtesy of the Mike Morant Collection
South Devon Today
David living at Exeter has a 'slight' time advantage over Roger who lives in the far west at Penzance, so no doubt we'll be seeing what Roger saw later on!
Main Line Blocked
55 years ago
I have just come across this BR leaflet of 55 years ago. It was issued to members of the public travelling in either direction into or out of Cornwall. We were travelling from Redruth to Peterborough and were surprised to find our train terminated at St Germans - a bus replacement took us over the Tamar by way of the Torpoint ferry. I recall we were put back on a train at Devonport - why there and not Plymouth NR I don't know. KJ.
Slippage problems at Wivelscombe an additional note from Roy Hart.
The 'St Germans deviation' of 1908 was designed to replace the old single line and its many wooden ' Brunel' viaducts. On the old line was a crossing loop and signal box at Wivelscombe. The new line has a tunnel ( familiar to us all) and known as Shillingham - - presumably to avoid confusion with Wiveliscombe (note the spelling difference) on the old Barnstaple line in Somerset.
The new line at Wivelscombe (Shillingham) has always been subject to landslips ( note the steel nets protecting the line from slips at several points today). In November 1942 there was a huge slip which required 7 months of single line working through the tunnel, requiring two temporary signal boxes (Shillingham East and Shillingham West) from December 1942 until May 1943. Many thanks to Roy.
Portreath Branch Staff
It is always a pleasure to welcome new contributors especially so when they send pictures of railway hardware thought to be long gone and lost forever. In this case a very warm welcome to Dave Hayball - today we show the first of three images of staffs in his possession. Many thanks David,
This postcard from Facebook shows Camborne - Redruth Tram number 7 standing on the metals of the crossing of the Portreath branch at Illogan Highway. The staff above would have been carried many times over this crossing on route to North Pool Siding which lay to the north of this site. The large building to the right and just beyond the crossing is the Railway Inn. The road leading off to the right just beyond this is Druids Way. Just beyond the tram was situated a passing loop, the third loop out from the Redruth tram terminus.
A note from Roy Hart, Dear Keith,
This staff dates from 1936, when the Portreath branch was closed beyond North Pool. At that time, traffic had been nil since the 1920s and even North Pool saw virtually no traffic until it, too, closed in April 1938.
When I last saw this staff it was in the posession of the late C.R Clinker, the noted railway historian. He told me that when he worked for the railway he visited Carn Brea Yard box in about 1948, long after the branch had gone, but the staff still hung on its hook in the box!
The Porteath branch was lifted in 1945 (the incline was dismantled in 1940). A stub of the branch remained, used generally for wagon storage, until 1967. Roy