Exeter New Yard to Exeter New Yard via Par
A footnote, this weeks Devon and Cornwall runs are all cancelled and at the moment the first run seems to be on Sunday.
Kind Regards Karl Hewlett. Many thanks for keeping us up to date.
Wartime Diary Part 7
Covering 1945 & Other engineering works.
Updated January 1945
The Big Four railway companies (GWR, SR, LNER and LMS) announced that ‘peacetime services would resume soon.’ CM 25 Jan.
Thursday 12th April
Capt L J Harrisburg Bodmin’s first POW released by Americans returns by train to Bodmin General. CG
Any further detail or dates on the items below greatly appreciated:
Bodmin – Wadebridge branch line – upgrade including concrete sleepers to provide an alternative route if the Royal Albert Bridge should be bombed. The route, including 4 reversals, was used for trains to Exeter during the Plymouth Blitz with its damage to lines & stations there and also for troop trains, hospital trains and ammunition trains.
Southern Railways drop the title ‘Atlantic Coast Express’ from their fast service from Waterloo to Padstow, Bude and Ilfracombe. The train was given an earlier departure along with many more stops and often more carriages (sometimes 16 plus), leaving even the best of the Southern locomotives struggling, so that it was no longer an express. (The Southern Railway Handbook 1923 – 1947 by David Wragg)
Four War Department oil sidings on the up side of Penmere Platform, Falmouth, were opened for military traffic. The sidings were linked to the main branch by a goods loop line that ran by the halt, also on the up side. The sidings were in use until 1967. (Illustrated History of the Cornish Main Line by John Vaughan)
The GWR suspended the compulsory retirement of staff at 60 years of age. (The GWR Handbook 1923-1947 by David Wragg)
The GWR locomotive Clifford Castle, built 1938, was renamed ‘Spitfire’, while Compton Castle, built 1938, was renamed ‘Hurricane’. (The GWR Handbook 1923-1947 by David Wragg)
Royal Albert Bridge, Saltash – Both ends of the bridge were covered by pillboxes. The rails were “decked in” to allow tanks to cross the bridge in an emergency. GWR
War Department sidings at Woodgate Pill one mile north of Golant. The plans were dated as early as 1940. Locals say it served a munitions store. ECMR
War Department sidings to the east of Doublebois station. Fan of 4 sidings with a headshunt was constructed.
Nancegollan – Four War Department sidings constructed.
The US Army established Railway Transport Offices at the following locations:
Bodmin Tel Bod 293
Launceston Tel Laun 5392
Liskeard Tel Lisk 363
War Department siding built west of the bridge on the up line at Grampound Road to service US troops in vicinity.
The 310 Quartermaster Railhead Company was at St Austell and the 556 and 557 Quartermaster Railhead Companies were at Carclew. (US Navy documents)
In 1944, Field Marshal Montgomery and General Eisenhower arrived at Bodmin by train when visiting the barracks. (Bodmin & Wenford website)
The wartime Cornish Riviera 125, usually with 14 carriages, left Paddington 10:30am, arrived Plymouth 3:25pm and Penzance at 6:25pm. The Cornish Riviera 615 left Penzance at 9:30am, left Plymouth 12:30pm and arrived Paddington 5:30pm. The Cornish Riviera was one of the few trains to maintain its pre-war livery - most GWR passenger carriages were painted reddish-brown with a bronze waistline and black roof while locomotives were painted plain green. (The GWR Handbook 1923-1947 by David Wragg)
Chacewater to Newquay Branch Line - During the Second World War the line was upgraded to mainline standard for use as a diversionary route in case the line between Truro and St Austell was blocked by an enemy air raid. The bridge at Metha was widened in order to allow wartime traffic, including tanks on flat wagons, to pass through. (Lappa Valley Railway website)