John writes :- Hot news this week is that Network Rail has received no objection to lifting Falmouth Loop and Docks Connection and recovering the two Ground Frames during the 2013/14 financial year. No doubt your local sources will be able to find out the dates when published. In 2011, this connection was placed out of use for two years, but no traffic has materialised. A far cry from the 1970s when dock land was reserved for a Freightliner Terminal; land which on my last visit has never been built on.
Secondly, NR has published a proposal to lift Goonbarrow Up Refuge Siding. This allegedly is not used, but it will of course constrain some flexibility available during perturbation.
This 08 on route to Penzance for an early holiday - seen on the A30 approaching Hayle. Many thanks Mike.
Craig kindly sent in this picture taken at St Blazey The vehicle is called an MPV or Multi purpose vehicle. The idea was that these cab ended double flat vehicles with engines underneath could be used for short haul freight by EWS. They are a bit like a Thunderbird and any type of merchandise can be hauled around. Hereford cider traffic was railed this way years ago. By and large nowadays they are used for infrastructure purposes like RHTT trains and to spray the weedkiller as is happening this week.
They aren't common in Cornwall, I'd rather see the class 20s back with the Fisons train personally!
Sat 20th Apl
0Z83 Exeter Riverside – St Blazey – light loco class 47/57
N Abbt 15.59
1Z83 16.52 Exeter Sd to Par Steam Charter
N Abbt 17.17
Sun 21st Apl
5Z85 08.29 St Blazey to Newquay Class 47/47 leading – steam on rear
St Columb 09.11
1Z85 09.40 Newquay to Cardiff Central
St Blazey 10.54/10.56
Fri 26th Apl
1Z11 09.43 Victoria to Truro VSOE set
Exeter SD 15.23/ 15.25
N Abbt 15.45
Light loco move back to BZ 20.32 Ex Truro Fri & 06.05 Sat morning
Sat 27th Apl
5Z62 08.00 Truro to Plymouth (empty stock) via Penzance
St Erth 08.37
On Thursday 11 April the Teigngrace log train, which in fact loads up at Teignbridge by the level crossing not Teigngrace old halt, ran. 56105 was in charge and was sitting with the very long loaded train outside Newton Abbot for some while, coming into Platform 3 (the up platform, the one nearest the town) at 15.08. After running round she headed the train up to the north. It was still there at 15.22 when I had to go. I understand that she left at 15.26.
A hugely successful Charter train ran faultlessly, crewed by Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association volunteers on 12/4/13 on the Dartmoor Railway with 190 passengers (the max. that could be seated in the 3 coach train - formed; 47375, MkII TSO 5920, ex EMU TSO S70508 and DBSO S61743) which was hauled by 47375 at 1030 from Okehampton to Coleford Jn, reversed then propelled to Meldon and finally hauled back to Okehampton, was organised by Tony Hill for the Dartmoor Society. There is a further report on this train by John Ball at the foot of the photographs
The train, after some doubt, received 'specific permission' to run from the remote mother outfit, IOWA Pacific Holdings of Chicago, following their (increasingly unpopular) recent edict that no Heritage trains are to run in 2013 on the Dartmoor and Weardale Railways run by their British American Railway Services subsidiary.
They plan to now only promote luxury 'themed' lunch, tea and dining trains running up to 4 times a week from June until October and 'Polar Express' trains in November & December, on both these lines.
Those with their feet on the ground are sceptical that these train will prove viable; certainly on the Dartmoor Railway.
It is possible, subject to satisfactory negotiations, that the DRSA may take on the running of Heritage services between Okehampton and Meldon.
Friday 12 April
I went on the Dartmoor Railway special, and can add little to the report from Tony Hill. Both the buffet and the model railway shop at Okehampton were doing good business, but the buffet at Meldon has closed for the time being at least because the regular heritage train was needed to bring in staff and supplies. Another class 47 was in the sidings at Meldon and I saw one coach of the Thumper unit there, as well as an 08. Let's hope that something can be salvaged from this situation. I fear for the future of the line, as there has not been any stone traffic for years and it seems to me that much of the plant at Meldon has been dismantled. it is to be hoped that the dmu service from Exeter will run again this summer on Sundays. I picked up a copy of the Dartmoor National Park newsletter, which ominously made no mention of the Dartmoor public transport network apart from an item on the Haytor Hoppa from Newton Abbot to Widecombe and that part of the Moor.
Report by John Ball
A collection of pictures taken by Roger Salter at the Bodmin & Wenford Spring Gala 2013.
With great appreciation to John Roberts who has sent us details of three websites which merit detailed examination. Many thanks John
1. The latest station usage statistics for 2011-12 are now available. In summary, there was 10% growth in 2012 and passenger numbers have roughly doubled since privatisation.
2. Southwest councils have published a report advocating weather resilience, capacity enhancements and electrification of the West of England Main Lines.
3. You may also be interested in improvements to the A30 Loggans Moor and A38 Carkeel Roundabouts in 2014-15.
Note the trees alongside the line have been cut down in preparation for the new Kingskerswell Bypass
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