A cold trip up through Cornwall in February in 1986 by Mike Roach
Starting from Camborne Mike Roach took a rather chilly trip up through Cornwall on Monday 24 February 1986. With a layer of snow on the ground the scene takes on a very different look, the track work appears highlighted where it appears through the snow. With the aid of his pictures lets enjoy his journey without the cold! The first three pictures were taken earlier the same day; the rest were all taken from the train which left Camborne about 14.20 hours. In 2014 the Penzance to Paddington route still has HSTs and is likely to have for several years to come. They are one of the very few trains in Britain still to have slam doors and opening windows (because the door handles are outside the door). So it is still possible to repeat this exercise, if we had some snow.
St Euny Church lies in the foreground, beside it, to the left is the old vicarage, and at the back of the vicarage grounds is Church Lane, a very old highway between Redruth and the Church. One story often told, both in respect of a full size carriage & one of his models, is that one night Murdock decided to test his carriage outside on the open road (This was down Church Lane behind the old vicarage) and it soon outpaced him, leaving him to chase after it. Whilst chasing it he encountered a local clergyman in a state of considerable distress who had mistaken his carriage, with its billowing smoke and fire burning under the boiler, for the devil. This story may be accurate, however is more likely to relate to a model than to a full-size steam carriage. (Wilkipedia). The weather vane visible on the outbuilding backing onto Trevingey Road, very clearly depicts the Reverend being chased by Murdocks engine. This is thus the first place in the world ever to have witnessed a steam powered road vehicle. Wheal Uny mine is on the hill to the left. This picture February 1986 Copyright Mike Roach.
The approach to Redruth over the viaduct. The viaduct is three tracks wide at the east end to accomodate a head shunt for the Goods Shed which was served by a bay on the up platform. February 1986 Copyright Mike Roach. N.B. The terminus of the Redruth and Chasewater Railway which ran to Devoran lay behind but close by the chimney stack (Originally five tiers) of Pednadrea Mine.
Running into St Austell station where the platforms have been swept clear of snow. The down platform here has since been considerably lengthened at the this, the west end. The station buildings on the down side were subsequently swept away to be replaced by a new design. The covered Great Western footbridge still survives in February 2014. Copyright Mike Roach
Running down the bank into Par Station at 15.12 hours. At least one other hardy soul is looking out of the window enjoying the cool crisp air. The metals of Chapel siding stand out very clearly against the snow. Note the signal box on the platform, and the public house opposite the station. February 1986 Copyright Mike Roach.
The approach to Lostwithiel in February 1986. Of interest here is the Fowey branch (Carne Point) coming in to join with the main line. At one time the branch continued on into Lostwithiel yard thus enabling Fowey trains to run to and from the bay platform without joining the main line. The original route which can be seen beyond the signal and catch point ran over a separate bridge. Also in this shot is the former broad gauge goods shed that was tragically destroyed once it had been moved to a new location for preservation. Copyright Mike Roach
Entering Bodmin Road Station (now Bodmin Parkway). Note the signal box (now a café). Quite a bit has changed here since February 1986. The track alongside the Bodmin and Wenford platform has been replaced (It was removed in 1963). The railings alongside the platform face now used by the b & W have been removed. The siding serving the bay has been recovered. Copyright Mike Roach
Undecided whether (weather!!) you'd like this picture very cold or a bit warmer here are two versions.
Entering St Germans in February 1986. At that time St. Germans still had a "signal box" located in the station buildings seen on the down platform. This was the fringe box to the Plymouth MAS box. This function is now performed by Liskeard box. On a journey from Paddington to Penzance the first semaphore signal to be seen on the journey is at Liskeard 243 miles from Paddington. Copyright Mike Roach
- and what was it like at Penzance you may ask.