Relatively recently a bus service to Helston has been advertised as leaving from Platform 3. However it came as a complete surprise to me (KJ) that there once was a fully signalled third passenger platform at the station.
Freight facilities at Redruth were very limited at the beginning of the twentieth century: Redruth station had a small goods yard on the down side and the up side had a short siding leading to a goods shed. There was a depot at Redruth west yard (the old Hayle railway station) as well. In 1911 a new and extensive goods yard was opened at Drump Lane. At the same time the line from Redruth station to Drump Lane was doubled.
This gave the GWR an opportunity to develop Redruth station for passenger trains. The Camborne to Redruth trams opened in 1902 and buses were on the horizon, so the railways needed to meet the competition. The result was railmotors, running from Penzance, which could compete. At Redruth, a new layout was planned: the official Great Western plan was to scrap the down sidings at the station and extend the down platform. A new signal box was to be built on the Penzance end of the down platform, supported on brick arches, and controlling a new up siding extending from the viaduct to a new passenger bay on the site of the old goods shed. It was connected to the up main by a scissors crossover. There was a crossover in the tunnel and another on the viaduct.
The Board of Trade would not allow trains to run straight off the up main on to a dead- end line, so it worked like this: railmotors arrived from Penzance on the up main platform; they then backed over the scissors on to the viaduct siding and pulled forward into the bay. They departed over the scissors on to the up main and crossed over to the down.
All of this died in about 1922, when local railmotor traffic ceased. After this, the up siding and bay saw some use with traffic on Redruth market days, but this was small.
Redruth station box opened in 1914. It had 34 levers and after the end of railmotor traffic was in circuit for just a short time each day. It closed in December 1955 and the siding remained, accessed by means of a ground frame. Traffic was virtually nil and it was all removed in 1964.
Today the remains of the brick arches on which Redruth signal box was built are visible from Bond Street.
The old passenger bay is the station car park.
The present station building at Redruth dates from about 1930: it replaced the rather mean wooden buildings left from West Cornwall Railway days.
Paddy Bradley's photo dates from the 1920s, going by the female fashions. The photo also shows the bay starting signal, which had two arms: the left hand (larger) arm read from bay to down main, while the shorter arm read from bay to viaduct siding. This signal dated from 1914 and was there until 1955.
Thus, the passenger arrangements in the bay lasted until Redruth station box closed.
In December 1955, over a week, Redruth box was replaced by a 4-lever ground frame and a new siding arrangement was laid in; this is shown in your Cornubian photos. There was a new lead from the down main, across the up main via a diamond crossing, while the scissors was replaced by a trailing point at the end of the up platform. The GF was electrically released from Drump Lane. The signal shown in the 1964 photos was Redruth down starting signal, with lower distant arm for Redruth Junction. After 1955 it became Drump Lane advanced starting signal. Goodness knows why they laid in all that expensive pointwork in 1955: I think I saw one wagon in the siding in the space of 4 or 5 years!
...I almost forgot: if you want to see Redruth in all its passenger glory, go to www.britainfromabove.org.uk
..this is the aerofilms archive and there is a peach of a shot of Redruth station from the air in about 1930.
Just follow the instructions on the site.
Very many thanks to Roy Hart for this extremely interesting article