sadly the accepted norm at busy times.
Regards Clive Smith
Thank heavens, Clive, for your records of long ago
|Cornwall Railway Society||
Memories of these relief trains from York at Penzance
Two weeks later on 10th August 1985 Another Class 37 arrives at Penzance on a York relief train. I regret not recording its number
Clive writes:- Not content with a very rare passenger appearance the previous weekend on a York - Plymouth relief train, 37024 decided it would pay a second visit to the west country, this time going all the way to Penzance. The loco makes a splendid site and noise at Plymouth on the 10.30 York - Penzance relief on a very wet 27th July 1985. I believe the loco was allocated to March depot at the time and is still going strong as 37714 on the Great Central Railway. Unfortunately relief trains are by and large a thing of the past and overcrowding
sadly the accepted norm at busy times.
Regards Clive Smith
Thank heavens, Clive, for your records of long ago
Exeter St Davids
Yeovil Junction to Pen Mill
Out with the old and in with the new
Guy writes:- Looking at my collection of newspaper cuttings I found two from exactly 20 years ago might be of interest. They feature the demise of the old oil signal lamps at Yeovil Junction and Pen Mill. In more recent times the Junction area has been fully re-signalled with modern LED colour lights but Pen Mill still retains semaphores of both upper and lower quadrant design.
Guy Vincent. N.B. Cuttings and pictures were sent but I feel that these may fall foul of copyright laws.
Updates by Brian Grigg & Chris Osment
Originally thought to be in the Carn Brea area. However correctly positioned as being on the bank east of Par.by Roy Hart, The chine clay dry in the foreground was a clue as was signal wire to Par Harbour up distant. However, a fresh update from Brian Grigg, a retired S & T man who tells us that the train shown is heading east down the bank. Brian was in fact in the house on the right of this picture very recently. (April 2018). Many thanks to Brian. Photo credit Newton Abbot Library
GWR Broad & Mixed Gauge. 1870's. Location unknown Picture sent in by Don Asher, volunteer. Credit Newton Abbot Library. Chris Osment suggests :- Definitely just a guess, but...I wonder if this is a view taken just south of Uphill Junction looking northwards? There are several published photographs of broad-guage trains taken in roughly that area. If you can view a copy of Colin Maggs’s “The GWR Bristol to Taunton Line” (Amberley 2013) and look at the top photo on on p 76 of a BG Up train passing under Devil’s Bridge, note the signal on the ‘wrong’ side of the line. The photo on the CRS site may have been taken from a spot almost under the bridge looking in the opposite direction, showing the back of the same signal. But I may be completely wrong.....:-) Chris
Any further comment on the above picture - seems to fit in to me. KJ
Cornwall Railway Society
Visit to Bristol St Philips Marsh
Saturday 28th April 2018
Would members who have booked on the above trip to Bristol St Philips Marsh Depot please meet at the entrance of Bristol Temple Meads Station at 12 noon. The depot visit commences at 12.30
Plymouth, Bodmin Parkway & Lostwithiel
A very busy weekend
Reported by Craig Munday
I grabbed some pictures for the team of the Plymouth station track relaying in plat 3 at Plymouth station. I was fully signed into the worksite with the ES & COSS when the pictures were taken.
The station was partly blocked and partly open to traffic a tricky job for Signallers Ian Williams, Terry Lyons & Jerry Gould.
Other work saw the commissioning of new signals on the Cornwall mainline in readyness for the 30 minute service from Jan 2019. 4 new stop signals and repeaters were switched on near Menheniot, controlled from Plymouth Panel, and Bodmin Parkway controlled by Lostwithiel.
The AMEY team are pictured on site at Bodmin Parkway & the testing team in Lostwithiel & Plymouth Panel.
Kind regards, Craig Munday
Many thanks indeed Craig for this 'inside report'
Thursdays Treat at the
Yeovil Rly Centre
'Just over two years ago a few of the 'YRC'members started to restore
one of the Port of Bristol wagons with a view to turning it out in Yeovil
Gas Works livery. The restoration was completed in November last year
and it was immediately sheeted over and put into storage.
Today the sheet was partially removed for public viewing and photographs to be taken. The wagon is painted in the brown livery of the early Yeovil Gas Works wagons. This was the first attempt to restore one of the Bristol Wagons and it has been finished to a high standard.
It should be on view at 'YRC' next Thursday (26th April 2018) ,when the 'GREAT BRITAIN' railtour visits Yeovil Junction.' John Cornelius.
Flashback to 20th April 2013, and two pictures taken from the ramparts of Restormel Castle. The HST almost lost in the trees and dodging the shadows is the 0730 Paddington - Penzance, whilst the 150 unit in the other shot is the 1146 Penzance - Plymouth, scuttling along the valley bottom.
Best Regards, Chris Harvey. Bodmin. Many thanks Chris
50 042 Triumph provided the motive power on the Bodmin and Wenford on the 21st April making a good sight in the sunshine.
Many thanks to Mark for his pictures.
An unknown location but possibly Sonning Cutting - from the Newton Abbot Library Collection. Roy Hart suggests :- going by the signal, 1885-1892. Location: Between Taunton and Bristol there are dozens of spots to match this, for example. Sonning is possible: the overbridge in the background might ring a bell with someone. Sonning was only quadrupled after the end of the BG in 1892-4, so that fits.
Royal Oke 2 Special Charter
Enjoying my daily browse of the CRS website a week or so ago I noticed the Oke Rail group's item regarding their special charter to Stratford-on-Avon that ran yesterday (21st). Full credit to GWR for providing an immaculate full green refurbished HST set complete with dining facilities and two 'celebrity' power cars, 43093 and 43188. Also thanks are due to Network Rail for ensuring punctual performance was maintained for more or less the whole day. Hopefully this train will become an annual event as it looked to be very well patronised.
Two photos for you of "Royal Oke 11": 1Z44 0710 Okehampton-Stratford-on-Avon led by 43188 heading east on the Melksham single line near Broughton Gifford, Wiltshire and then the return 1Z45 1613 Stratford-on-Avon-Okehampton speeding westwards past Berkley Marsh, Frome led by 43093.
Note: Please pass on these images to your Oke Rail friends should you so wish, with my compliments.
Guy Vincent. Many thanks Guy, and I'll inform the Oke Rail Friends.
Chudleigh Knighton Level Crossing
Then and now - Colin Burges
Colin Burges, owner and operator of the Teign Valley and Exeter Railway Centre looks for remains of the level crossing.
In winter, anyone sharp-eyed enough when travelling south on the A38 dual-carriageway past the site of Chudleigh Knighton crossing and halt may catch a glimpse of a bit of the branch railway's boundary, which became part of the fence of Chudleigh Bypass in 1973.
Pipehouse Lane, which formerly made a level crossing of the railway, now passes beneath the A38 and continues to serve Level Crossing Cottages, whose occupants have to put up with the incessant din of motor traffic.
The formation of the line is much disturbed here but the new road did not actually make an incursion at this point. The spot where I took this composite from cannot be very far from where the pagoda shelter of the halt once stood.
Re the picture above - I bet you can't see the join. The end of the Level Crossing Cottage is white at the right. The dual carriageway is obvious at the left. The crossing keepers cottage would have been on the edge of the nearest southbound lane.
Re the pictures below. Both are looking back towards the crossing from the Heathfield direction. The Teign Valley line was just beyond the rotting fence. If you were to wait here long enough, you would see an HST power car or a Mk III trailer pass on a low loader. In fact every every commodity and consumable needed by the railway west of Newton Abbot, short of trackwork and ballast, will pass here in nondescript vans and lorries. And when there is disruption, coaches will carry railway passengers past this spot.
It seems odd finding half an old crossing timber, still solid, in the fenceline of a modern road. I wonder what was once fixed to it and where it lay.
A little further towards Exeter, the cylinders of Knighton Bridge lie in the bed of the Teign beneath the dual carriageway's concrete replacement.
Many thanks to Colin for his article and pictures.
Always pleased to help.
Query from Don Asher
It is always nice to receive rare pictures and the one below comes to us from Newton Abbot Library where Don is one of several volunteer assistants helping to sort a collection of over 6,500 photographs. They were under the impression that it could be in the Carn Brea area. However local expert Roy Hart thinks otherwise.
Roy writes :- I am sure it's a clay dry left background. Signal wire is Par Harbour up distant. Don't know if tall chimney is still there. House on right shown on OS maps. I am uncertain where Carlyon Bay golf course begins, but it would be about here (in case you are wondering, the course was laid out in 1926). The land certainly rises above the railway to the cliff here.
Right or wrong, I rest my case, Your Honour. Roy
Many thanks indeed Roy, what you say certainly seems to fit the picture.
We hope to include the next puzzle picture from Newton Abbot Library shortly.
Clive remembers the days when Laira had spare locos to assist crippled HST's over the Devon banks. Many thanks Clive.
New signal testing
Good evening Keith, I was up Bodmin today and towards the end of the day upon my return to Bodmin Parkway the testing of the Banner Repeater was under way. I took a few shots, but the sun was in the wrong place for getting a really decent shot, I have found a good one though, They have cut back the trees on the up line to allow better sighting of the signal just beyond the station, they were testing that one too.
Regards Nick Many thanks Nick
Introducing Tri-Mode Trains
A report by Derek Buttivant
I thought that it might be of interest to CRS members and others to hear about GWR's intention to introduce tri-mode "Flex" trains being made available this year by Porterbrook.
Although we are unlikely to see these units in the west, the concept is an interesting one and might have wider applications in the future. The following is an extract from Porterbrook's description of the trains:
The Class 319 Flex concept is designed to create a bi-mode train by fitting two diesel powered alternators, one under each of the driving trailer cars. The diesel alternators provide power to the existing traction and auxiliary equipment to allow the EMU to operate without an overhead or 3rd rail supply. The systems will provide power through the train’s DC bus, avoiding any significant changes to the existing equipment and creating a unit capable of operating from a number of different power sources whilst maintaining its full capabilities on electrified routes.
The plan is to convert some of the fleet of class 319 units previously in service on Thameslink where their 25kv ac overhead and 750 volt dc third-rail capability was the key to operating services across London from 25kv networks north of the Thames and the Southern third-rail network to the south. In a press release dated 19 April, GWR has announced their acquisition of nineteen of the Flex units and the significance of this is considerable, for example, being able to operate between Reading and Gatwick Airport where most of the route has third-rail electrification but the section from Wokingham to Ash is not electrified. At the same time, these units will be able to use the 25kv system out of Paddington - but could, if required, operate along the Thames valley branches which, under present plans, are to remain unelectrified. GWR's press release describes the company's plans:
Great Western Railway and Porterbrook to introduce the UK’s first tri-mode train
The first fleet of trains able to run on overhead and third-rail electric lines, as well as under their own power, will be introduced onto London and Thames Valley services next year following a deal between Porterbrook Leasing and Great Western Railway.
The 19 Class 769 Flex trains begin to be introduced onto the Great Western Railway network from Spring 2019. This will release a similar number of popular Turbo trains to add capacity in the Bristol area, offering the potential for launching new routes through the city.
This is the latest step in Great Western Railway’s drive to provide more seats across its network and builds on the 8,000 additional seats delivered into and out of London earlier this year.
This innovative fleet of tri-mode trains will operate in four-carriage sets which will be refurbished inside and out, with free WiFi and power at each seat, air cooling, more space for luggage, and new seat covers. Its modern two-engine design will offer a quieter and cleaner experience for customers.
Initially, the fleet will support the introduction of refreshed trains on Heathrow Express services, but will be predominantly be used on routes between Reading and Gatwick, and Reading and Oxford, where the train’s tri-mode can be used to its fullest. However, the tri-mode nature of the train will give GWR maximum flexibility to use them in other areas of the network should they be required.
Final details of exactly how and where the new fleet will be used are currently being drawn up, and expected to be finalised later this year.
GWR Managing Director, Mark Hopwood said: “We are already delivering the biggest fleet upgrade in a generation across the Great Western network, but today’s news shows we have not stopped looking at ways to improve our service for customers by adding extra capacity to our network.”
Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, said: “I am delighted that Great Western Railway have agreed to add our innovative tri-mode trains to their fleet.
These trains will offer GWR greater operational flexibility with reduced operating costs; at the same time their conversion and upgrade will see skilled engineering jobs secured in the UK supply chain.”
How does this affect us?
I think the somewhat hazy connection between the tri-mode announcement and "our area" is that this now looks like the only way to free up more class 165/166 units to cascade westwards following the decision not to electrify the Thames Valley branches and the delay in electrifying from Didcot to Oxford. The 16x units are destined for Bristol and, in turn, class 158s would come further west.
With many thanks to Derek Buttivant for providing us with this important news.
Out in the sun -
with Craig Munday
After the snow the weather was particularly turgid. Thankfully we've had a sustained blast of sunshine which has brought the countryside to life.
Some pictures from the recent week, including an Exeter Riverside shot from today. I was covering the area for a couple of shifts and popped over to see 59005 arrive with the stone working from Westbury.
Kind regards, Craig Many thanks Craig
The IET at Penzance today
Fire Damaged HST to Laira
Class 166 Arrives at Exeter for checking gauging clearances
166203 Arrived in Exeter St David's platform 1 at lunch time to check clearances. It then moved to platform 2 the bay platform, then moving to platform 3 and 4 before returning to Bristol. No doubt in future we may see these units working to Exeter.
David Tozer Roger Winnen
Just thought I would add a couple of extra shots to David’s and Roger's of today's 802 run. by Mick House
Many thanks David
Major Works at