The Extension of the Long Rock Train Depot
Following your publication of Roger's pictures, perhaps a few historical notes may not go amiss:
Par box dates from the late 1870s ( no exact date seems to be known). It is the last Network rail box to have signalled broad gauge trains -the other survivor is Williton on the West Somerset Railway.
As built, Par was only half the length of the present structure (a look at the rear of the box, where you can see the old chimney breast, shows this). The structure was doubled in length following the conversion of the gauge and the introduction of a new layout, in 1893. For some years prior to this, traffic from the branch (always standard gauge) had to be transshipped at Par, hence the double track goods shed, only demolished in 1965.
Further expansion occurred in 1913, when the present lever frame (57 levers) was installed. During world war 2, the layout at Par was expanded again: the down refuge siding was extended eastwards to form a goods loop (still there) and various signals had 'calling on' arms added, to speed up the addition of bankers to heavy wartime up trains.
Par box still works nearly fifty levers and today has a miniature panel to control the St Austell/Burngullow area.
I notice that a GW style nameboard has been added, replacing the pathetic little BR 1980s enamelled one. The original one on the branch side escaped the 1980s vandalism. Is it still there, I wonder?
Par box is listed Grade ll.
As CRS members may know, Lostwithiel box is also listed. Here, however, the correct and proper 9- pane windows have been replaced with ugly modern ones. It would not surprise me if these are listed too!
Roy Many thanks for this very interesting information Roy
- Craig, is the original sign still on the branch side?
[Mike Morant collection]