The late Frank Sperritt was a well known and popular signalling engineer who lived in Cornwall. Luckily for us, and posterity, Frank took a number of photographs the negatives of which he passed on to Julian Hanwell. Mrs Sperritt has very kindly, via Julian, given us permission to share Frank's pictures.
An interesting 'point' from Julian Hanwell. Perranwell had the last operating 'point disc' in Cornwall. A 'point disc' is where the shunt signal is operated by the moving points and not by a separate lever. They were used mostly on goods lines after 1900s and are very old. I did notice Roy's comment on the demolition of the lofty signal box there. I can add that although the box closed about 1968, it was still standing in 1971 (early summer) as I saw it then. However after Penwithers Jct closed later that year it was gone (Demolished).
Alfred & Judy
& John Cornelius
What a delightful pair these two four wheel saddle tanks ex Par Docks locos make.They were built by W.G Bagnall for use atPar harbour in Cornwall. The unusually low design was required to cope with extremely tight curves and a very low bridge under the main line. The locomotives are both preserved in operational condition The locos inspired the Rev W. Awdry to include them in his very popular Thomas the Tank Engine books.
Many thanks to John Cornelius for these pictures of these very popular locos.
Hi Keith, Despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions yesterday afternoon I couldn't resist venturing out for 43002's first visit to Cornwall since its restoration to original livery. The train is 1C81, the 12.00 Paddington - Penzance GWR service. Kind Regards Keith Barrow
Just a ticket!
Way back in 1966 I was not really an enthusiast but a TV Broadcast about the forthcoming demise of the Somerset and Dorset Railway caused me to make the effort to make that first and last journey on the S & D. I boarded the 08.15 at Bath Green Park, the train comprised of three green coaches hauled by 8F 48760 which wasn't fitted for steam heating in March! On time, off we went at a leisurely pace up the bank, through the tunnels then passing through some lovely countryside to Evercreech. Here the original main line from Highbridge joined us.
Soon after leaving Evercreech, and just after crossing the W.R. main line we came to a stand at Cole at 09.38. Cole was a small station served by double track, the main station building comprising of a waiting room and booking office, was on the Bournemouth bound side. A few hung out of the windows on the crisp and bright morning. The guard walked up and down the platform announcing that the last Somerset and Dorset tickets were on sale here - anybody for souvenirs? At this, it seemed that the whole train emptied and formed a queue at the booking office which did a fair (fare) trade for several minutes - we were at least five minutes late getting away! Probably the best trade the station had done for some years! KJ
If you want to see more of our coverage of the S & D take a look at the relevant sections of this website.
The Twins at Bodmin
The pair will run together for the last time at the China Clay and Steam Gala weekend at Bodmin on September 9th to 11th finally again on September 17th which will be just hours before the boiler certificate on 098 (30587) runs out.
Yeovil Railway Centre
Mike Bojko visited the Yeovil Railway Centre on Saturday 7th May and sent us this photograph of a coach used on this short but nevertheless interesting railway. For further information on open days, and events etc please click here. https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl#q=yeovil+railway+centre
New Liveries on HSTs in the Westcountry
South Western Limited
On the 2nd September 1962 a railtour was run to commemorate the passing of the Lord Nelson class, it ran Waterloo - Salisbury - Sidmouth Junction Tipton St Johns, Exmouth, Exeter Central, Eastleigh, Winchester City, Waterloo. Luckily for us John Cornelius was there to record the event - many thanks John.
It is very sad to report that today's attempted non stop run Paddington to Plymouth failed at the very last hurdle being brought to a stand at Millbay tunnel by a signal.
Here are the pictures, as they come so to speak, in railtour order.
Paddington to Plymouth
Plymouth to Exeter
Exeter to Okehampton
Okehampton to Exeter
Exeter to Waterloo
D1015 with exhibiting D1058 number and name on the side you see. The train stopped short of Pinhoe platform until it got the green signal and the it accelerated away. It could only enter the simgle line section when the preceding 159’s on the Waterloo service had cleared Feniton. 17.49 on the 7th May 2016 Copyright David Tozer
Remember St Phillips Marsh
Open day a Video - Unusual.
Good morning all.
The link below is to a short video taken at St Philip's Marsh depot during preparations for the recent depot open day (Monday 2nd May) . This highly recommenced video shows the activity going on "behind the scenes" at the depot. It was shot by a GWR staff member but is on YouTube so can be shared. As you will see, there are now many other (longer) videos of the open day on YouTube but this one is a bit different. Derek Buttivant.
Fifty years ago
The first and only ever NON STOP PADDINGTON TO PENZANCE train journey took place. Details courtesy Six Bells Junction
Paddington to Penzance Non-Stop and Penzance to Waterloo
Locos Used were D1010 'Western Campaigner and D823 'Hermes'
D1010 London Paddington - Slough - Reading - Southcote Jn - (via Berks & Hants) - Cogload Jn - Taunton - Exeter St Davids - Newton Abbot - Plymouth - Par - Penzance.
D1010 Penzance - Par - Plymouth.
D823 Plymouth - St Budeaux - Bere Ferrers - Bere Alston - Tavistock North - Lydford - Okehampton - Crediton - Exeter St Davids - Exeter Central - Honiton - Salisbury - Basingstoke - Fleet - Woking - Weybridge - Surbiton - Wimbledon - Clapham Junction - Vauxhall - London Waterloo.
1) The outward journey was non stop albeit a very slow crawl was required approaching the Royal Albert Bridge due to a late running up train. The non-stop run Paddington to Penzance was achieved in 5 hours 13½ minutes. The return journey achieved a non-stop journey from Plymouth to Waterloo albeit with a short signal stop at Keyham. The time between Plymouth and Waterloo was recorded as 3 hours 53½ minutes which beat the Ocean Liner Express of 1904 (see below) by just under 10 minutes!
(2) During the time at Penzance a special helicopter charter was available which provided about 90 minutes on St Mary's in the Scilly Isles.
Just under forty years ago D1010 was in charge of an excursion from Plymouth Dept. 07.45 Plymouth - Newton Abbot to Birmingham New Street then to Oxford [break] returning via Didcot, Reading West Jn, Basingstoke, Salisbury, Yeovil Junction, Exeter Central (Down Through Line), Exeter St Davids returning to Plymouth.
Thanks to Mike Roach for reminding us of this Anniversary.
A couple of links below for information regarding D1015 Western Champion's visit to the West Country tomorrow. Sadly no Cornish leg of the tour but running from Paddington via the LSWR route to Okehampton via Plymouth, recreating part of a previous tour.
Full info on the tour here:
Real time trains timings here:
See you lineside! Regards Ross Griffiths Many Thanks Ross
A Class 68 works the Flask Train
After planning Thursdays trip using a Freedom of the South West Railrover together with purchasing an advanced single to Ivybridge to meet the 09.00 hrs start I learnt from a friend on route that the first Class 68 to come to the Westcountry was to work the Flask train from Bridgewater to Crewe. At Bristol everyone was waiting in anticipation as no departure timings were shown on sites, however a member of the platform staff came along advising that the train was passing Parson Street so within 5 minutes the train arrived in the centre through line.
Beatties at Boscarne
It could have been a scene from many years ago except for the immaculate condition of the locos, the passenger stock, and the platform. Many thanks to John
The Red One Again
Okehampton delivery (2)
Hi everyone. I have a picture of 31452 and 47828 just outside Bow about an hour ago (18:05), the class 31 was pulling the 47 to Okehampton for the summer timetable. Yours sincerely, Alex Gaskell
Quick work, well done. On the web in an Hour and a half. Many thanks.
Okehampton delivery (1)
Evening Keith, I managed to make it to Crediton for the light engine moves to Okehampton.
31452 hauled former DRS Class 47 47828 working as the OZ47 1628 Barton Hill W.R.D. - Okehampton.
As can be seen from the second photograph the Class 47 appears to have been laid up after RHTT duties. It has also been stripped of DRS decals, hence the odd looking livery. A rather grubby looking locomotive.
Regards Dave Many thanks David (Actually Alex Gaskells pictures reached me first but they are in order of proceeding along the line towards Okehampton)
From the train you just can't appreciate how beautiful the Looe Valley is, but here are two scenes taken along the line, it's a smashing day out to take the train part way and walk part. You might even find the Wishing Well at St Keyne!