Return to Looe
Exeter St David's
|Cornwall Railway Society||
Return to Looe
We don't have a painting exhibition on the CRS website but if we did this would undoubtedly be the winner of the First Prize. In amongst a series of first class photographs Nick included this copy of his one and only artistic work. Quite an amazing picture of 4559 on a downward run to Looe having just left Terras Crossing behind it continues is journey on level track towards the terminus. The detail contained in this view is quite incredible. We would all like to hang a copy of this on our walls I am sure. Very well done and congratulations Nick - its about time you did some more painting.
Many thanks indeed Nick.
Exeter St David's
Keith, somewhat off your normal area of interest, but the train did originate in the West Country. FHH 59202 in very smart G&W livery with the daily Merehead-Acton-Purley aggregates at the end of its journey today.
Many thanks John.
Many thanks Clive.
50 years ago today
Last Hymek to Penzance
Although you already hold this photo in Cornwall Galleries for Penzance I felt it was worth mentioning that 19th April 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the final appearance of a Hymek at the terminus. Hymeks were never a common sight west of the Tamar although there were flurries of activity around 1964/5 when Laira had a small allocation and on the Kensington Olympia – St Austell Motorail service on Summer Saturdays in 1970/1.
Capturing D7032 at Penzance was a total stroke of luck. At the beginning of 1972 my mother was working in the Education Department at Old County Hall, just up the road from Truro station. During a conversation with the Horticultural Education Officer the subject of a new demonstration garden at Probus came up – plans had been drawn up and work on the site had started, but he ideally wanted a model of the finished product for display at that year’s Royal Cornwall Show in June, but how to go about it? “I’m sure my eldest son would be able to help you with that”, said my mother, “he’s just finishing up in the Vehicle Records Office”, and so it was that I ended up with three 3-foot square boards in an outbuilding behind Old County Hall – within earshot of the main line. The task took me until Tuesday 18th April to complete, a little longer than they had anticipated (and budgeted for) but the result way exceeded their expectations so that was OK!
While building the model I could hear down trains roaring up the incline to Highertown Tunnel, but on that final day at around 14.30 came a Maybach roar with a difference. A Western or Warship in trouble? Hymek withdrawals had commenced in September 1971 and by the end of March 1972 just half the fleet remained in service - considering their rarity in Cornwall when all 101 were extant that possibility never occurred to me, but later that day a friend who saw it from a distance informed me that the extremely unlikely had indeed happened. It was later identified as D7055 hauling three coaches, and a photo of the train at Exeter exists, with the headcode 2B14. Usually there were no down trains at that time but industrial action (we were in the 1970s remember….!) presumably created this working with its unusual motive power. So the next day at 14.30 I waited outside Truro ticket office with camera and return fare to Penzance in hand, peering down the line to see if it would happen again, more in hope than expectation…….and to my astonishment it did! I was already purchasing the ticket as D7032 pulled into Platform 2. I had to jump on board quickly as it didn’t hang about – and with just three coaches in tow it continued to not hang about all the way to Penzance, where I took my photo at around 15.00. Alas the whole thing had caught me unawares and I only had the one exposure left – I tried but failed to find another film in Penzance as it was half-day closing (seaside towns on Wednesdays, inland towns Thursdays – seems very odd now) and having prior arrangements for the evening I was unable to wait for D7032’s uncertain return working and instead had the “pleasure” of returning to Truro in a Class 119 DMU full of schoolchildren! There were no repeat performances and so I had unknowingly captured the last Hymek to reach Penzance and the last on a Cornish passenger working, although it was not the last one seen in Cornwall – D7011 reached Truro with overnight milk empties on 11th August 1973 and D7093 made it only as far as Saltash with a ballast train on 7th March 1974.
Following the devastating Hymek cull throughout 1972 no more were withdrawn until April 1973 when two more went – strangely enough the two Cornish adventurers from a year earlier, D7055 on the 16th and D7032 on the 20th. D7032 had been one of the final Hymek overhauls at Swindon Works in August 1971 so should have lasted longer, but engine failure curtailed its future – despite its still overall good condition a transplant from D7075 was ruled out on cost grounds.
It has been reported that D7032 made an earlier Cornish appearance on 6th January 1965 – at Wadebridge! Route to get there and purpose unknown……
After a difficult few years the Council’s horticultural demonstration garden at Probus closed down in 2004, and I believe the site is still derelict. I’m sure my model is way beyond dereliction by now!
Many thanks for the reminder Neil.
Isambard Kingdon Brunel at
Many thanks Nick - this view shows so well the location of Middleway Ground Frame and the watercourse.
Many thanks Clive.
A couple of photos of the former Exmouth Junction Marshalling Yard with the site of the former Concrete Works/Coal Concentration Depot in the back ground. These photos are now possible following the felling of all the trees that have grown on the site is recent years.
Copyright David Tozer
Many Thanks David
Many thanks Clive.
Many thanks Paul.
When semaphore signalling was finally dispensed with at Newton Abbot somebody had the brilliant idea of locating a gantry close by, now to be seen outside Aldi's on Torguay Road. One wonders who maintains the signals nowadays?
Penzance Signal Box from the old A30
Penzance Bus Rally
A short history of Signalling on the Cornwall Main Line - by John Roberts
(This item was first published in the CRS Magazine Spring 2022)
Early railways from the 1800s ran at low speed and infrequent intervals and required no signalling, generally operated on the time-interval principle. As speeds and frequencies increased, it became expedient to convey some instructions from a signalman to a driver, initially by flag and handlamp, and later by a board which could be turned or lowered. Later still, these boards were controlled by levers which were grouped together and then placed on an elevated platform to give the signalman a better view, and eventually enclosed to become the earliest signalboxes. The application of the electric telegraph from 1835 enabled these boxes to communicate and ensure that one train had arrived before a second one was allowed to follow.
We are sure you'll find this first paragraph interesting for the complete and very detailed article by John Roberts please click here for Features April to September 2022 and look for item 2218.
The following pictures from Steve Widdowson remind us that the railtour season is with us with steam to Penzance on the 28th and from Penzance 30th April.
Many thanks Steve.
Many thanks Clive.
This scene brings back memories - Middleway Level Crossing, a peak, semaphotes, and the crossing box alongside the watercourse.
Thanks for the memory Nick.
The Paignton & Dartmouth Railway
Hi Keith, Engineering work is taking place between Yeovil Jct and Honiton this weekend, with the line shut.
GBRf 66793, in BR Railfreight Construction livery is seen at Chard Jct., along with various plant and equipment, please see photos.
Happy Easter, Bill Elston
Many thanks Bill - excellent views of the trains and crossing.
I was in the Southampton area yesterday (14th April) and took these two pictures at St Denys. 33012 hauled 50026 from Eastleigh Arlington to Swanage. I believe that 50026 is going to the Swanage Railway to get some running time before it’s main line test. It looked very tidy in the Network South East livery. 33012 looked in excellent condition too, Regards, Dennis
Many thanks Dennis, this location used to be frequented by KJ - your pictures bring back memories. At low tide on this bend of the river Itchen a muddy foreshore was revealed which we called 'St Denys beach', a favourite dog walking spot.
Down in Devon
Following several days in Devon last week I thought I would share a few of the pictures I took.
As well as my normal PPE, both pictures involved using waders and a life jacket to gain access to the locations for the inspections to be completed!
Mark Dennis Howells BEng (Hons) MPWI MIAM
Senior Asset Engineer (Drainage & Lineside)
Out on his frequent excursions to very remote inspection sites Mark gets where we could never get. Many thanks Mark.
Many thanks Martin
Just to introduce myself, I’m Clive Nye, living in Kent, a acquaintance of Mick House (met on a trip to Burma). I first fell in love with Devon and Cornwall whilst chasing the class 52 “Westerns”. After which I spent a few years photographing Class 33 which were my local engines. During this time, I managed to Photograph the class in various locations in Devon along with some other classes in the west Country.
I’ll send over all the shots and let you choose any suitable for your website, this will take several days.
The first 3 Pics are of the 08.45 Plymouth Friary to Fawley dated Freight [Headcode 6094].
Many thanks Clive - some 'gems' here - from what you have sent I see that I already have am impressive 'bank' to draw on. These will appear from time to time as and when we have the space.
Train of many destinations
Today (14th April 2022) saw Preserved Pacer 142023 out at the Plym Valley Railway for the day, I spent a few hours photographing.
Thanks, Mark Lynam
Following on from Roger Winnens extensive coverage of a few days ago one would think that there is a limit to the number of picture of the same Pacer at much the same locations. However it is thanks to either the guard or driver that a variety of destinations is displayed. What a good idea - many thanks PVR and Mark. As this unit once served on Cornwall it is a pity that it is not displaying St Ives!
Coat of any colours
Having seen yesterday’s photos of HST power car 43049 on the Blue Pullman prompted me to delve into my collection of HST photos
of same, and found the following shots of it, all at Exeter St David’s, all on cross-country turns.
a) dated 8/12/87. b) dated 29/5/93. c) dated 5/7/97.
Hope they of interest,
Best wishes, Bill
Many thanks Bill - thank you for delving in collection. I hope you don't mind me adding the one below of 43 049 in its latest coat by Clive.
and finally as very recently repainted a picture by Clive Smith
I enjoyed the short article by Michael Roach concerning the fire at Totnes station in 1962 and the three accompanying photographs taken by the late Sid Sponheimer.
Being slightly pedantic can I question the caption regarding the third photograph which states that a “55xx waits to continue its journey” I think you will find that this is in actual fact a 41xx/51xx probably on banking duties (note the target number 2). My reasoning for this is the chimney is broader/shorter than those fitted to a 45/55xx. In addition, on a 55xx the running plate level runs straight in a unbroken line from the smokebox end to the rear buffer beam. The loco pictured clearly shows a step down on the rear framing under the bunker which indicates to me back a large prairie not a small one.
Regards, David Cook
Many thanks for your comments David - as undoubtedly an expert on Prairies I very much appreciate your words which add to the fuller picture. Sadly our good friend Sid passed on several years ago now and cannot answer for the words of his caption - no doubt he would appreciate, as do I your wisdom.
Good Friday 16th April 1976
A selection of photographs taken this day with glorious weather
Station buildings destroyed by fire
Michael L. Roach
TOTNES FIRE 1962 Michael L. Roach
It was 60 years ago today on Saturday 14 April 1962 that Totnes Station was devastated by a fire which started in the early hours. The fire destroyed all the main buildings on the downside i.e the Plymouth-bound platform, including the booking hall/office, the parcels office and refreshment room. The debris was cleared and the platform used for the day's train service as normal. A Portakabin was delivered next day and used as a booking office and waiting room for some time. Thanks go to The Railway Observer for recording this item. On the same page of the same Railway Observer (June 1962) a news item records that the complete dieselisation of the Cornish main line and its branches is nearing completion with very few steam turns remaining.
MLR / 12 April 2022
Many thanks to Michael for reminding us of this anniversary - we also remember our very good friend the late Sid Sponheimer.
43046 in matching blue pullman livery leads the 1Z51 16.15 Kingswear - Bangor 'Midland Pullman' through Newton Abbot under a grey sky while short sighted spotters should have no trouble with newly Inter City liveried 43049 on the rear. Nice to see a power car in this livery following the demise of the much missed 43185 in May 2019.
Regards, Clive Smith.
Many thanks Clive - if only all HST power cars had their numbers displayed as in the lower picture!
Blue Pullman at
A couple of photos from a rather gloomy Exminster of the 0515 1Z50 Bangor - Paignton - Devon Pullman. Note the leading power car was in a different livery and very smart too.
Many thanks David.
Blue Pullman at
Paul and Alison Barlow
A few shots of the Blue Pullman, a bit of a dull day but the rapeseed field has made up for it a bit.
This is the Youtube link to my wife Alison's video on the return run https://youtu.be/o1HUBBNcX9M
Kind regards, Paul.
Many thanks indeed Paul and a special thanks to Alison for the video - well worth looking at on Yotube - the yellow field of rape seed makes for unusual and interesting pictures.
Blue Pullman at
Creech St Michael
The Devonian Pullman from Bangor to Kingswear operated today, and is seen passing Creech t/t by Inter-city liveried 43049 and blue 43046.
All the best, Bill
Many thanks Bill - well caught.
A visit to
Andrew continues his exploration of the eastern extremities of the Freedom of the South West Railrover. On my return from the Isle of Wight I visited the classic location of Eastleigh for a few hours photography, still a fair bit of variety to be had there
All the Best, Andrew.
Many thanks Andrew - smashing pictures and detail.
West Country Westerns
Firstly thanks to Neil Philips for his wonderful 'period' photo of D1021 at Patney on Saturday May 8th 1976. Looking on 'Track Record Press 1976' (an invaluable source for checking out the workings of most of the 'Westerns' during 1976), Neil was lucky to record D1021 on the 1B39 1056 PAD-PNZ as approaching Westbury it was diverted into the station and declared a failure with D1071 taking the train forwards. This would have taken some organising as 1B39 was an 'express' in every sense of the word with the first stop being at Totnes at 1423! After repairs at Westbury diesel depot D1021 spent much of the remainder of the month working off Westbury before disappearing at the start of June. I've included a scan of an Instamatic colour print I took dated 15 May 1976 showing D1021 engaged in shunting wagons at Westbury.
Now to Martin Scane's photos of the Royal Train and support loco D1010 at Trowbridge. On 2nd June 1966 D1010 worked the train to Yeovil, then presumably as ECS back to Westbury before returning to Frome for the evening pick-up of the royal party. I've a picture in an Ian Allan book taken early in the evening of the ECS at Clink Road Jcn, about to go into Frome with D1010 displaying headcode 1X00. At Frome D1010 would have run-round before setting off to Holt Jcn. A further photo in another book shows D1041 at Hawkeridge, dated 3rd June 1966 so confirming when Martin made his sightings and that D1010 must have followed the train to Castle Cary, displaying headcode 0Z00. The two locations near Trowbridge are fairly close to each other and the bright sun on D1010 from the right suggests early to mid-morning. Sun would not have affected the photo of D1041 so much due to being in a cutting at that point.
Just 4 weeks beforehand on May 7th 1966 D1010 had made it's record-breaking non-stop run from Paddington to Penzance hauling a 6 coach special 1Z40 0735 Paddington - Penzance run by Ian Allan Ltd. See Six Bells Junction for info and pictures.
Wonderful locos, great stories..
Many thanks indeed Guy for your information and picture.
Many thanks Nick. The bright red of the semaphores certainly makes this picture.
Thanks Ken - colorful shots.
Isle of Wight
Although not strictly within the scope of Freedom of the South West Railrover and our coverage it is only a ferry away from Portsmouth and was the subject of a CRS railtour some years ago. Furthermore the line has recently been reopened after a 'facelift' and receiving refurbished stock.
So thanks to Andrew we bring you these pictures.
Many thanks Andrew.
2nd May 1983
Isle of Wight CRS
Proof we were on the Isle of Wight 39 years ago!! It was a wet day!!
Naming of the locomotive
City of Truro
I see that Neil Phillips has been rummaging in his collection, so I thought I’d do the same – and attach a not very good photo of 1660 City of Truro at Truro (in perhaps 1972).
As you’ve covered before, D1660 was named City of Truro on 8th June 1965. I did once get agreement from the management of the West Briton to go through their archives, but was never able to make the appointment. Is anyone ever going to come up with a picture from that event??
Many thanks Simon - keep rummaging.
Class 50s Dawlish
Many Thanks Michael
Singling the Main Line Long Rock Mexico Crossing to Penzance
23rd June 1974
For further photographs on the singling of the main line to Penzance
The resignalling of Penzance Station and track alterations.
6th December 1981
For further photographs on the resignalling of Penzance Station
Go into Features April to September 2022 Item 2217
Western at Patney
I have managed to locate my only photo of a Class 52 Western diesel on the Berks & Hants line – here is D1021 Western Cavalier heading west through Patney & Chirton station site on 8th May 1976. I didn’t bother much with the B&H route as there was always far more going on at Swindon, which was also much closer to home. On this date I also went on to Crofton and in total saw six Class 50s and seven Class 47s as well as this solitary Western. When it came to working out where I wanted to watch the passing of the ‘Western Tribute’ tour on the third and final side of its basically triangular route nine months later this visit and footbridge came to mind.
Note how ‘open’ it all looked back then compared to Guy Vincent’s first photo – is it really the same place?! I’m sure it is - a black & white chevron sign just visible below the footbridge in Guy’s photo would confirm the basic orientation of the road.
Many thanks Neil. How the scene has changed, from what I remembered eleven years prior to your photo when, although in decline, Patney and Chirton station was still there.
Many thanks Paul
Keith, I've recently obtained a copy of Operation Cornwall which is a commentary on the Summer 1957 passenger timetable. It raises several queries, the first three of which relate to passenger services run for specialist groups and therefore not advertised in the public timetables. Hence I've only just become aware of them and wonder if our readers can help. John Roberts.
1. St Austell dockyard train - 05.10 St Austell to Plymouth and 16.20 SX (12.00 SO) return (times ECS ex-Marsh Mills).
This was the first Up train of the day from mid-Cornwall, well before the 06.25 Penzance which was useless if you worked in Plymouth. Rather inefficiently it had a dedicated set of five coaches (a 5-set) which spent the day at Laira Carriage Sidings. As the light engine had to start from St Blazey and shunt at St Austell, wouldn't it have been easier to start from Truro, or were the clay-workers of St Austell seen as skilled men ripe for poaching by higher wages in the docks (ironically it called all-stations except Dockyard and Ford)?
It's also shown in the 1949 WTT so when did it start? And when did it finish - was it replaced by the Up Golden Hind which started in the 1970s? Was it the only passenger train ever booked to originate or terminate at St Austell (apart from the Motorrail)?
2. Hayle school train - 08.30 SX Penzance to Hayle (school terms only).
This dedicated coach ran a grand total of 15 miles per day. The Up Hayle Wharves engine conveyed one BC (non-corridor) coach, which it then attached to the 06.50 Plymouth to Penzance, presumably at the rear, which called at Hayle at 09b34; letter b means that this train stopped for only 2 minutes which must have meant some spirited shunting. It's also shown in the 1949 WTT, but in the 1911 WTT there's an 08.45 Penzance to Camborne Passenger Motor which could have provided a similar service, so when did it start and finish? Was it the only train ever booked to terminate at Hayle?
Which school did it serve; did the school or the council contract it or was it provided by the railway? Unless 12 children travelled First Class, one BC has seats for only 18 or 24. Why wasn't it more efficient to put the children on the 18 bus, as at over 3 miles from the school the council had to pay anyway?
3. Camborne-Redruth holiday train - 07.55 MFO Camborne to Bristol.
Two dedicated 10-sets formed the 07.20 MFO Ponsandane to Camborne ECS. The Friday set formed the next day's 09.35 SO Bristol to Penzance, but the Monday set continued empty to Swindon to form the following Saturday's 07.00 SO Swindon to Penzance, provided mainly for rail workers' holidays. The Up Camborne was a booked service, rather than an excursion which would have had a Q-path (run as required). It's not shown in the 1949 WTT; when did it start and finish? Was it the only express train ever booked to start from Camborne?
I remember the 08.30 Penzance to Hayle which normally left from the front of Platform 1 at Penzance. It conveyed children to Hayle Grammer School a fee paying school. This train was normally hauled by a 45xx Tank which would then go on to Gwinear Road after attaching its coach (6333) to the rear 06.50 Plymouth -Penzance at Hayle.
On one occasion 4095 Harlech Castle left Penzance with its one coach to Hayle.
Hi Roger, I caught this train daily with four other pupils to Hayle C.S/school which was new then, I don’t recall seeing any pupils from another school, A pannier tank was the usual loco from Sept 59 to July 63 regards Many Thanks
Roger Salter writes
I attended Hayle Grammer School for 5 years from 1958 to 1963. This school had 110 pupils when I joined split into 5 classes. The 08.30 from Penzance to Hayle was for pupils of The Grammer school only, no doubt others may have had a free ride from time to time
Many thanks John - the queries you have raised are extremely interesting.
I also like the idea of our 'News Column' becoming a 'Chat Column', no one knows what might be 'unearthed' of general interest information which can at least can be dispersed to a wider field.
Guy Vincent's report concerning the Royal train at Holt.
Hi Keith Guy’s note from today regarding the Royal Train stabling near Holt brought back memories. I was aged 11 and armed with my box brownie, I captured the same train at Trowbridge. As you see one photo is better than the other but of interest is the fact that the goods loop, long since lifted, is still in place. D1041 is clearly identifiable in the first photo heading towards Westbury so that must, I think, be the morning of 3rd June. It’s not clear if the other photo is of D1041 or more likely D1010. The actual course of events has faded in the mists of time but the photos have been, I think, taken from different locations suggesting different days. The first is I believe from the rear of Seymour Estate whilst the second appears to have been taken from our favoured spotting location of Black Bridge near Ladydown Mill. Great days Cheers Martin
P.S. From Martin - I forgot to mention that Seymour Estate is just West of Trowbridge station and Black Bridge is a further 600 yards or so towards Bradford on Avon. Black Bridge is just before the bridge carrying the Kennet & Avon canal over the railway. How I and my friends knew about the royal train I cannot remember. I do know however that there was no one else about (so presumably it wasn’t common knowledge) and If I remember rightly the train was running rather later than we expected. Cheers Martin
Many thanks Martin - ancient history but extremely interesting.
47497 at Bristol
Many Thanks Michael
Patney & Chirton
& Stert Junction
also a Royal Visit
Futher information on the area west of Patney & Chirton towards Stert where the 'new route to the west' leaves the original Berks and Hants Extension line from Hungerford to Devizes.
1) A panoramic view of the old GWR footbridge that still spans the site of the former station at Patney & Chirton. Woodland Road bridge is visible in the background. The single track Devizes line ran parallel to the up main line from just beyond the platform end as far as MP 81.111, Stert Junction (or more accurately, divergence, see below).
2) 'Thames Turbo' 165117 in First Great Western's 'Dynamic Lines' Blue livery speeds westwards under the bridge at 1440 hrs on Wednesday April 3rd 2013 working a special 1K38 1330 Reading - Westbury. This was due to major engineering works taking place at Reading during the large-scale remodelling of the station and its approaches. A couple of Mr Howells' concrete drain covers can be seen to the right of the up line!
3) Looking west where the original route towards Devizes started to curve northwards away to the right of the new Stert Valley route, (MP 81.111 visible on right). The Devizes line ran adjacent on a steadily rising embankment for approximately half a mile before disappearing at Lydeway, a location known locally as 'The Clock Inn' and now the site of a mobile home-type retirement park. The line crossed the A342 Devizes-Andover road on a long-demolished bridge and approx. 500 yards south of this the A342 crosses the main line by way of a 3 arch bridge (photo 3, looking west). In the mid 1930s this structure suffered from major subsidence and was partly infilled during repairs. It has been proposed that a Parkway station be built near here to serve the Devizes area although works have yet to start...
4 and 5) Looking east at MP 81.111, the approximate site of Stert Junction and east again at MP82 showing the start of the rising grade that was until 1966 the single track BHE line to Devizes and beyond to Holt Junction.
6) Photo image of a late period token covering the entire Patney - Holt Junction single line section. This would have been used following the closure of Devizes signal box on 4th July 1965. It appears that Devizes has simply been ground off and Holt stamped in its place.
The milepost references are: Woodlands Road bridge 80m79ch; Patney Footbridge 81m09ch; Stert Junction, (former divergence of the BHE & SWY lines) 81m60ch; A342 Clock Bridge 82m64ch.
Footnote. On the evening of June 2nd 1966 the Royal Train (1X01) was stabled on the northern end of the Devizes branch between the closed Holt Junction station and a river bridge over the Avon near Whaddon. Two ex-works class 52s were used, D1010 Western Campaigner and D1041, Western Prince. D1010 brought the train onto the branch from Frome where the Royal party had boarded following visits to Duchy estate properties in Somerset. D1041 arrived light from Bristol Bath Road minutes after the train had stabled and once it had attached to the rear D1010 departed 'light engine' for Westbury via Devizes, Patney & Chirton (rev) and Lavington. D1041 remained with the train, departing at 0855 the followig day for Castle Cary (for the Bath and West show). D1010 reportedly returned to Holt via Patney and Devizes so was either attached to the rear of the train before departure or followed it light. Both locos happily survive in preservation, D1010 at the West Somerset Railway and D1041 at the East Lancashire Railway. Ivo Peters photographed the train at Hawkeridge near Westbury but the rear is not visible.
Photo 7 Royal train on Devizes branch near Holt Jcn 3.6.1966 (photographer believed to be the late John Sawtell).
According to the 'Royal Train List' Royal Journeys 1966, File G5/66 held by the NRM York the complete itinerary was: 02.06.66 Paddington - Yeovil and 03.06.66 Frome to Windsor & Eton Central. Stock used was 3209, 77, 806, 495, 2013, 2901, 499, 798, 799, 5155. As Windsor & Eton Central is a dead-end station I would suggest the latter train was top and tailed by the 'Westerns'
Hopefully of interest!
1) A panoramic view of the old GWR footbridge that still spans the site of the former station at Patney & Chirton. Woodland Road bridge is visible in the background. The single track Devizes line ran parallel to the up main line from just beyond the platform end as far as MP 81.111, Stert Junction (or more accurately, divergence, see below). Copyright Guy Vincent.
2) 'Thames Turbo' 165117 in First Great Western's 'Dynamic Lines' Blue livery speeds westwards under the bridge at 1440 hrs on Wednesday April 3rd 2013 working a special 1K38 1330 Reading - Westbury. This was due to major engineering works taking place at Reading during the large-scale remodelling of the station and its approaches. A couple of Mr Howells' concrete drain covers can be seen to the right of the up line! Copyright Guy Vincent.
3) Looking west where the original route towards Devizes started to curve northwards away to the right of the new Stert Valley route, (MP 81.111 visible on right). The Devizes line ran adjacent on a steadily rising embankment for approximately half a mile before disappearing at Lydeway, a location known locally as 'The Clock Inn' and now the site of a mobile home-type retirement park. The line crossed the A342 Devizes-Andover road on a long-demolished bridge and approx. 500 yards south of this the A342 crosses the main line by way of a 3 arch bridge (photo 3, looking west). In the mid 1930s this structure suffered from major subsidence and was partly infilled during repairs. It has been proposed that a Parkway station be built near here to serve the Devizes area although works have yet to start... Copyright Guy Vincent.
Many thanks Guy for your detailed report and history on the area.
Last train from Devizes
One wonders what the thoughts of the driver of this, the very last train from Devizes must have been - he probably drove the return working through Devizes as well. I guess that the signalman at Stert Junction was soon to lose his job too. Sad times.
Carn Brea view
I spent a lovely few hours on Saturday 9th exploring the top of Carn Brea with the camera, and the attached shot is the best of the bunch. Looking very small in the landscape, the 0800 Cardiff Central - Penzance heads west towards Camborne.
Best Regards, Chris Harvey.
Many thanks Chris
You'll all know the story of the two giants, one on the distant St Agnes Beacon, 'tother on Carn Brea battling it out throwing rocks at each other. 'Afraid Carn Brea lost hence all the rocks! But then again that was before the railway came!
Many thanks Paul.