Some extremely interesting information from Roy Hart (Rangoon)
Julian's pictures bring back a host of memories: like Julian, as a local schoolboy I haunted Carn Brea Yard in the early sixties. At that time it was a fascinating place. There were, behind the box, sidings with ashpits between the rails -relics of the old engine shed (closed in 1917) together with the stone-built repair shop, trackless by then, and the massive granite coal stage, surmounted by a large water tank. This is visible (minus the tank) in one of the photos. Because CBY had the only water facilities on the main line between Hayle and Truro, the Drump Lane pilot made a daily trip to the yard at about 2pm every day to fill up. There was a 'parachute' tank on the up side, beteen the up main and the Portreath branch, and a conventional water column on the down main al ost opposite the box.
Behind the old repair shop was a derelict siding of Barlow rail ( a failed type of rail used by Brunel) which ran across the roadway into an overgrown walled coal yard.
The outermost of the sidings was a private siding for Carn Brea mine (known as 'mine siding'). It was still fenced and gated, the fence made of old boiler tubes (waste not, want not on the GWR).
In the early sixties, the yard was used for the storage of condemned stock and, as Julian mentions, was employed as a depot for refurbishing concrete sleepers recovered from the Perranporth and Helston branches. These were relaid mostly on the Falmouth branch and when replaced in recent years, were donated to the Helston railway - a supreme irony as this is where they started off!
The yard was closed and the points disconnected and spiked, the associated signals removed, in 1967. In 1969, the siding nearest the main line was reinstated as part of an abortive local freight sceme. This failed and Julian's pictures date from shortly after this.
The old Carn Brea station box controlled the station sidings, together with a down refuge. The box was opened just for the daily 'mineral' to shunt and was manned by a porter-signalman for that hour or so each day. The box closed in September 1953 and the yard points at the station operated by a ground frame, electrically released from the Yard box.
Until 1900 Carn Brea Yard had the only repair shop on the main line west of Plymouth; it had busy coal traffic connected with the mines and it was the junction for the Portreath branch. Today, looking at the site from the overbridge at the Redruth end it is hard to believe that anything existed there.
Many thanks Roy - this has been added to the section featuring Carn Brea Yard in the main website.
This photo was taken outside the ex GWR buildings before gentrification and was an ideal location, to observe, some very enthusiastic shunting manoeuvres.
Best wishes for the New Year Andrew Jones Many thanks Andrew