Many thanks to Roy Hart for these very interesting notes.
In 1948, at the time of nationalisation, there were no less than eight signal boxes between Camborne and Drump Lane, Redruth (nine if North Crofty is counted). Between Drump Lane and Truro were four more. Thus, it was possible to have many trains in transit between Camborne and Truro; some of the block sections were very short, but line capacity was enough to sustain the variety of passenger, perishable, mail and freight traffic which characterised the Cornish main line.
By 1970, when Camborne box closed, there were still four block sections between Roskear and Truro, plus the IBS at Baldhu: theoretically, five trains could be held in transit between Camborne and Truro.
Today, Roskear Junction Up Home signal, at the end of Camborne up platform, is the last ‘stop’ signal before Truro Up Home, near Penwithers: one train capacity! In the down direction, Baldhu IBS (Intermediate Block Signals –in effect an extra block section) remains, controlled by Truro, which permits two trains between Truro and Roskear, with a third train at Camborne station.
The new plan, for which the contract has been let, is for the installation of an OCS (One Control Switch) panel at Roskear Junction, which will control a series of (mostly) 2-aspect colour light signals between Baldhu and Hayle. At present, the Roskear Junction signals are controlled by individual switches on the shelf –a leftover from when the old (1895) lever frame was condemned, having failed a test of the interlocking some years back. The OCS panel combines signal switches with visual display whereby the signaller will have a display of all movements between Truro (exclusive) and St Erth (exclusive). Truro and St Erth will retain their present signalling for now.
The original master plan was for the entire Cornish main line, along with Bristol, Westbury, Exeter and Plymouth panel boxes in their entirety, to be absorbed by the new Thames Valley Signalling Centre at Didcot; it now seems more likely that a modified Exeter panel will eventually take over the work of the existing Exeter panel, plus Plymouth panel and the remaining seven boxes in Cornwall.
Many thanks indeed Roy for your reminders of the past and a glimpse of the future.
I have not contributed before but thought some pictures I have taken today 15 June of the new Hitachi Azuma 800 trains may be of interest.
Today (15th June 2017) at Taunton, 2 test trains from London/Swindon to Taunton in full GWR livery arrived almost together.
Set 800003 named Queen Elizabeth 11 one end & Queen Victoria the other end
Set 800004 named Isambard Kingdom Brunel one end & Sir Daniel Gooch the other end
I managed to take some interior shots through the windows, it looks mostly various shades of grey.
Regards John Simons
PS I enjoy what I see on your website.
Many thanks John, and welcome to the website.