Services on the St Ives branch were disrupted this morning due to the failure of the diagrammed unit. Certainly the 08.40 arrival from St Ives and the 08.57 to St Ives did not run. Roger was later at St Ives and noted that 150130 now running on the St Ives branch - Severnside Community Rail Partnership - approx 2' high Vinyl white signs on either end of the coaches.
It was reported that this morning, 26 October 2011 the down sleeper had come to grief. The sleeper departed Bodmin Parkway at 06.21, had come to a stop when the sleeper's motive power 57605 'Totnes Castle' had struck the 5' trunk of a fallen oak tree. The train was later terminated at Lostwithiel and the stock placed in the loop. Fortunately there were no injuries. 57605 was returned to Laira for repairs to the damage sustained which included the snow ploughs having been bent back. Due to the disruption caused by the fallen oak several down trains were delayed and consequently services out of Penzance were severely affected. The 08.44, 09.40 and 10.46 services from Penzance were cancelled. The 10.00 Penzance - Paddington service was re-timed to depart at 10.30. The sleeper stock was still in the Lostwithiel loop at midday.
However normal service was resumed when 57605 'Totnes Castle', looking slightly battered, was reported as having arrived at Long Rock at 14.30.
Railway Historian Maurice Dart sends us regular reports for the Cornwall Railway Society Magazine for which we are most grateful. Several particularly interesting items follow.
Caffa Mill Pill Incline, Fowey MD
Further investigation has taken place and the track of this line can be followed from the summit of the incline alongside a hedge across two fields to where it crossed Penventinue Lane and ended in what appears top have been an ore/coal storage yard. A local resident confirmed that rails crossed the road at this point and entered the yard. A large stone sleeper block containing two pairs of holes is to be seen in a field adjacent to the yard. The upper section of the incline is rather overgrown, from where it can be walked exercising great care. Many stone sleepers remain ‘in situ’. The bottom section which is more overgrown is steeper and passes below a bridge which was part of a Lime kiln.
Hillhay Incline, Fowey MD
This incline has been investigated and can be walked. It forms part of one of the access routes to Hillhay Farm. This incline is several hundred yards large in length and is on gradients of roughly 1 in 7 to 1 in 10. A large multi-storeyed building at the summit appears to contain some machinery in its basement which may have operated the winding gear. A large torch is required to properly investigate the interior.
Fowey Consols mine inclines MD
Two inclines ran from the mine to the original canal basin at Pontsmill which is some distance south of the later canal basin which is near the bottom of Carmears incline. The first was the southern incline which was designed to carry ore from the mine to canal boats. This had a length of 1127ft and rose 80ft , cost £630 to construct and was in use from 1829. This incline was self-acting counterbalanced with a passing loop. The second was the northern incline which was designed to carry coal and other supplies from canal boats to the mine. This had a length of 2640ft and rose 280ft , cost £2819 to construct and was in use from 1834. It was worked by a 30hp water wheel. A 10t load could be hauled up in 15 minutes. Both inclines pass beneath Penpillick Hill on the St. Blazey to Lostwithiel road in tunnels which were extended using tubular sections when road widening took place in the 1950s. The northern incline tunnel was originally 840ft long and measured 9ft X 9ft. Both inclines became disused in 1851 when the tramway was extended to the new canal basin at the foot of Carmears incline to replace the canal. The lower tunnel portals are reputed to be able to be seen, one being behind waste dumps from Wheal Hope Stamps. The northern incline crossed the minor road to Pontsmill on a bridge, the northern buttress of which remains ‘in situ. Above this a short heavily wooded section of the incline can be accessed where a boundary stone inscribed with T and K (Treffry and Kendall) remains in place. Below the road the next section of this incline has been removed to permit housing development to take place. The southern incline appears to have been lost in the dense vegetation that fills the area.
Cement trains continue to run irregularly. On 17 October 66555 arrived with a long train and departed away from Liskeard with the empties at 16.30. The next working was scheduled for 28 October.
Railhead treatment train MD
From October this has been working in the area in charge of very dirty 66199 and 66006 working in ‘Top & Tail’ mode. On 17 October the train came down through Liskeard at 16.10 running 30 minutes late.
Class 59 Trials MD
During the first week in October an unidentified member of the 59/2 class visited St Blazey on a light engine trial run. Early on the second week of the month 59205 arrived at St Blazey on an engineers train and worked similar trains east of Par for the remainder of the week after which it returned to Westbury. It is understood that to enable heavier loads to be carried these loco may replace class 66’s as haulage on the long DBS air braked services which arrive empty at St Blazey on Wednesdays and return as two loaded trains on Thursdays and Fridays.
It was reported early in the day that no Gunnislake trains were running, however, a check in the afternoon showed services as normal. Probably due to the overnight storm.
Day 3 of the four day disruption of train services due to the re-decking of Liskeard viaduct. Roger reported today at 17.30 that the 17.00 Penzance - Par service had been declared a failure. Passengers were being shepherded onto two class 153's due to depart at 17.45. Message timed at 17.43.
Work started on the replacement of the decking on Liskeard viaduct on Saturday 22 October 2011. Four days have been allowed for the completion of the the work. There are no train services between Par and Plymouth. Two class 66 powered engineering trains were observed standing on the viaduct loading and removing ballast from the viaduct.
There were problems with the replacement trains due to the cancellation of the 18.55 Par - Penzance service train service. This was caused by a points failure at Penzance. However FGW are to be congratulated on the replacement bus service for passengers to Penzance who arrived only two mins after the train should have arrived. Passengers for Truro, Redruth and Camborne were less fortunate having to wait for 75 m
Roger Winnen on his way back from London today noted two class 150's both in Green Centro livery. The first, seen at Totnes was 150 102, probably on the service due to depart from Plymouth 15.57 for Penzance and the second, similarly numbered 150 202 at Plymouth.
Over the weekend 15 and 16 October a coach service was provided by First replaced train between Truro and St Austell - the buses took about half an hour for the journey between the two stations
It is understood that the footbridge at Dawlish station will soon need replacement.
A check yesterday found that there were no publicity leaflets at Camborne, Truro, or Exeter. It seems that FGW don't really want people to know about the scheme.
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