|Cornwall Railway Society||
Engineering train at Par
Hi Keith, Here is 66850 with 6C23 at Par, Wednesday night / Thursday morning , we dropped stone between Truro and Camborne on the down road , once completed it headed to Penzance to run round before heading back to westbury. Regards Paul Many thanks Paul
Valentines Day 2014
Two years ago during the Great Storm on Valantines Day 2014 the Sea Wall was wrecked at Dawlish. This closed our only through route out of Cornwall and Devon for many weeks. On a fine Thursday,18th February 2016, I decided to walk the wall, the first time since its reconstruction. Roger Winnen
Mike Morant brings us a reminder of a remote area of North Devon with this colorful view. Many thanks.
First Great Western diversions for its Buffet Car service as Roger Salter captures a vehicle out of the Night Riviera on a 'road replacement service'!
Many Thanks Roger
Clay empties on the move
The cold and bright days of February can bring some remarkable pictures. Many thanks Craig
Looking at Watchet
Courtesy the Mike Morant Collection. Mike adds that he received the following comments from a Railwest viewer. :- Sidings still in situ though little used. What is interesting is that there is no sign of the West Ground Frame nor of the facing point lock or of any rodding to the yard exit point. Freight traffic ceased in July 1964 and the sidings were lifted soon after. This fact dates this picture to being between closure and lifting - about 1965. Just visible on the letf hand side is the ex B&ER signal box closed in 1926 and used for staff/storage purposes thereafter. It was essentially 3-storey, but the top floor was removed (and the roof lowered in 1961, it was demolished probably in 1967.
out and about.
Hi Keith Here are three shots I have taken the last couple of nights of 70808 work a ballast train . The first one is of 6C21 stops at St Austell ready to drop stone on the down road early hours of 16th.
Regards Paul Many thanks Paul
King Edward 1V tackles Dainton
Today is the 17th February and by co-incidence that this picture of Mikes came up for inclusion exactly 59 years after it was taken.
There is plenty of power in this shot from the Mike Morant collection as 6017 King Edward 1V forges its way up Dainton bank on the 17th February 1957, No. 6017 was an 83D Plymouth Laira Engine when this shot was taken but moved to 84A Wolverhampton Stafford Road in February 1959 and was withdrawn from there in July 1962
Looking around Laira Depot in 1976. Withdrawn Westerns, and Classes 31 45 47 50s and a Bubble car. Photographs by Peter Radford
'Every little Helps' as the Penzance 08 Shunter now assist the Night Riviera to and from Long Rock depot. Photographs by Andrew Triggs
A Mystery from
Morning Keith, Over the weekend, GBRF took delivery of a batch of Class 66 diesel locomotives, landed from a MV ship in Newport. There was a lot of interest and coverage on social media and web news groups, some providing as it happened reports of the locomotives being lifted from the ship. On Monday morning, the consignment was hauled to Doncaster on 0X66, the 10.45 from Newport Docks. My colleague, Simon Ponter was on hand at Severn Tunnel Junction and recorded this view when it passed at 11.17, running 35 minutes early. Notice the middle locomotive is covered up - apparently it is a mystery livery, and will be named at NRM, York in May - though exactly what is shrouded in mystery to many!
Kind regards, Martin Many thanks to Martin and Simon
A glimpse of the sea in this very early Perranporth scene probably before Beach Halt was opened.
A change of scene but not all that far away from Kingswear as the crow flies (11 miles) . Dainton Bank, the scene of many battles with heavy trains struggling to reach the tunnel and the end of a long climb. Many thanks to Mike Morant for this picture.
Bullied original light pacific no. 21C141 with steam to spare climbs Dainton Bank with a light load of GWR passenger stock in July 1947. This was one of the Exmouth Junction route knowledge outings along the South Devon Coast line and over the hills of Dainton and Hemerdon. This picture courtesy of the Mike Morant collection.
Where is it, when was it?
At first glance it might be thought to be a shot of Mt Hawke Halt after closure perhaps with the young man waving from a trackless platform. However, a look on the back of the photograph finds it incribed ' Mount Hawke station 1941 2nd Year of WW2'. A closer look reveals the white washed edge of the platform and the bare posts that once held the name board. Name boards were removed during the war. Perhaps the young man is waving to his young lady who has held the camera such as to 'frame him' but obscured the polished metals of line by the foreground undergrowth. Let's hope he survived the war! Photographs at locations such as this were very rare during the war. From the Peter Butt collection.
King George3 at Kingswear
The Torbay Express ready to depart.
We're at Kingswear probably before the 2nd World War here we see 5032 Usk Castle as the train engine looking clean, its fire is being stoked up evidenced by the smoke drifting away. This loco entered service in 1934 and was withdrawn from Old Oak Common in September 1962. Across the water lies Dartmouth, just a ferry away. Note the uncluttered waters, a far cry from today. Courtesy the Mike Morant collection
Launceston St Stephens. A very colorful view of Launceston's stations - in the foreground is the Southern Goods yard, then the entrance to the Southern station. Beyond this is the GWR terminus of its line from Plymouth via Tavistock. N.B. This card was posted at 6.30PM on July 3rd 1911. Many thanks to Alan Harris for this picture from his collection.
Then and now.
Roskear Junction Signal Box, the year is about 1964 ish. Reg Eva was the regular signalman at that time. It is taken before barriers replaced the gates and shows the gate wheel and ratchet. Note also the gas lighting referred to in Cyril Hitchens write up - see Cyril's article in the main line section of this website. Many thanks to Julian Hanwell for this one from his collection.
Jupiter at Kingswear
Many thanks to Mike
No trains to Looe today
Many thanks to Graham Mann Network Rail Programme Manager for this stunning shot looking towards Terras Crossing today.
Todays Flask Traffic
Hello again, I thought I'd wait until the sensitive traffic was far from our district before posting these shots. There has been some controversy about posting sensitive traffic ahead of them running with the BTP. However, as the schedules are in Real Time Trains, it's difficult to prevent the information going viral.
Here is the Thurs 11th down working of 0Z41 catching some last minute sunshine at Laira Jn - JUST as Laira's class 08 drew a set of HST coaches out of the depot! Normally I'd be delighted to get three EE locos in one shot, but I wish the timing had been different.
Fri 12th saw the class 37s return with a flask from Keyham and is seen passing Tavistock Jn in typical February weather.
Cheers for now Craig Many thanks to you Craig
Exploring the Railways of Plymouth, Past and Present by Andrew Triggs
King at Kingswear
Class 37s run to the Royal Naval Dockyard in preparation for tomorrows Flask Train by Roger Winnen
Last Day Ticket, Helston Branch
Hello Keith, Attached are photos of the front and the back of a ticket, which I recently purchased from a well known web auction house, of Truthall Bridge Halt. The ticket is dated 03 NOV 62 and appears to me to me to be unusual having the word Bridge printed on it and that the ticket is whole so appears to be unused or, at least, uncollected at either end. Wikipedia informs me that sometimes tickets were printed in this manner. All the Best, Alan.
Many thanks Alan - anybody any comments on the additional word 'Bridge' in the title? This of course a last day ticket especially valuable.
Out of the mists at Cranbrook David Tozer
Hi Keith, I popped out to Cranbrook to video the NMT HST return from Exeter to Weymouth via Honiton, Yeovil Junction, Yeovil Pen Mill and Castle Cary to Westbury, then back to Yeovil and on to Weymouth.
Dave Many thanks David
Colour at Kingswear
Double Rainbow at Par
from Craig Munday
On a bright note, the torrential rain gave way to some sun and a lovely double rainbow at Par today. 66012 pauses St Blazey bound with 6C53 and passes a Colas Tamper stabled in the Liner Siding. Many thanks for such a cheerful picture.
Test Train Runs
Hi Keith, Here are a couple of pics of the test train stabled at Exeter Riverside last night, the train then tested the Exmouth and Barnstaple branch lines. Regards Paul Rundle Many thanks Paul
Many thanks to Michael Hitchens
The article below on Drump Lane is the last of the series of signalbox memories of the late Cyril Hitchens. A tribute to Mike - -
Mike has saved for us the memories of his Dad, the late Cyril Hitchens who worked as relief signalman in no less than thirty three signal boxes from Probus to Penzance and including the Chacewater to Newquay branch to Trewerry, the Falmouth branch and the St Ives branch. Mikes notes which comprise well over thirty A4 pages have been added to the News and to the relevant sections of this web site. Many thanks for these memories Mike, a tribute to your father and a treasure to all.
Drump Lane Signalbox
The late Cyril Hitchens
Drump Lane Signalbox Class 4 Memories of the late Cyril Hitchens
Drump Lane Box was of the usual appearance and construction and was situated on the up side east of Redruth at M.P. 309. The external steps projected outwards at the Redruth end and the toilet was on the left hand side at the top of these steps. As well as the normal coal stove and oven there was an electric boiling ring and electric lighting. There was a 29 lever frame and a switch to enable the box to be switched out of circuit. When this happened all main line signals were left in the off position. There was a long refuge on the down side to accommodate the goods trains and also a long inside road running parallel to the refuge to enable shunting to be carried out without fouling the main line. There was also a crossover and lead from the up main to set back into the goods shed and it was possible to run an engine round if required. On the up side near the box was the aptly named "sunset siding" which served the bacon factory of C. T. Harris (Calne) Ltd. This was disconnected in the mid 1960s. It was quite a busy shift as all passing up and down local goods trains called to attach or detach wagons. All these movements had to take place without delaying mainline traffic.
All this complex shunting resulted in only one "incident" when I was working the box. Shunting was taking place in the yard when the down parcels arrived. It was the practice to back this train into the refuge tom allow the uninterrupted passage of the following passenger train. However, darkness and poor visibility resulted in the guard of the parcels mistaking a green light from a dummy in the yard for his own green signal so he waved his train back while the point was being pulled. This resulted in the derailment of a bogie parcels van and the blocking of the down main. Single line working had to be set up between Chacewater and Carn Brea Yard for the rest of the evening and the blockage was cleared during the night.
With all the points and signals being heavily used maintenance was important. One afternoon, during a lull in traffic, the lineman was working in the interlocking room under the box having put the WORKMAN DISCONNECTED tags on the levers not to be pulled. The regular signalman (not me!), after finishing his cup of tea, thought to himself, "I wonder if he's finished down there??" and tentatively began to pull one of the levers. Immediately he was greeted by the sound like the peal of a hundred church bells as all of the dismantled slides and connections fell onto the floor of the room below. The lineman was not amused and some words not normally found in the dictionary were used that day!
Goods traffic, in addition to that from the previously mentioned bacon factory, included cattle loaded from the cattle pens and meat from an adjacent slaughter house. This was loaded into insulated vans containing dry ice. During quiet evenings after normal working hours I remember seeing rats forming an orderly queue on a nearby wall before setting off to explore round the trucks. There were also regular arrivals of fruit vans for Rowe & Co. Some of the movements through the goods shed and in the back roads were done by gravity to simplify matters.
During my last years on the railway the layout was altered and progressively reduced. The goods shed became disused and all track, apart from the main lines was taken out of use in January 1986 and the box closed in the same month. Now the site of this once busy little yard is occupied by large road trucks.
A superb shot from the Mike Morant Collection of the up Torbay Express Many thanks Mike
A nice but undated shot of a down Torbay Express leaving Torquay in the charge of Collett Castle class 4-6-0 no. 5059 Earl of St. Aldwyn. The loco sports an 83A shed plate which indicates that this was taken between 6/53 and 8/58 although this can be narrowed down to 1956 or later as the visible rolling stock appears to all be in chocolate and cream livery. Mike Morant collection.