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Hayle Wharves Branch - Old Rights Of Way, Railway & Model Railway History - The Prototype. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon Jun 9th, 2008 07:24 pm
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Christrerise
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A fascinating little branch that I will add more detail too in a later post. Briefly it was just a mile long and connected the wharves at Hayle Harbour to the main Great Western Railway route.

Visitors to Cornwall today often forget just how industrial it used to be and I remember often waiting at the level crossing barriers on the main road in Hayle for the branch train to pass with coal, oil and general box vans. There used to be a power station on the beach at Hayle and I remember the competition that was run to select a school child to blow the stacks up back in 1981.

In the last few weeks plans have been published to redevelop the entire area and so I thought I would get down and get some pictures before it all vanished for ever.

Starting at Hayle Station, this is the view looking towards Camborne. The Hayle Wharves branch passed to the left of this platform.



Turning around this is the view in the opposite direction towards Penzance. There used to be a point giving access to the branch right where the silver protection grid is now sited.



The old bridge is still in place. This is the view of the now trackless section at the former junction with the main line, immediately adjacent to the previous picture but looking a little further to the right.



Looking the other way this is the trackbed going down the 1 in 30 gradient to the main road. The footpath markes the route of the former branch, with the area between this and the station platform on the right being filled with sidings.



I will add more as I get more pictures taken as well as adding more historical views as well.

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 Posted: Mon Jun 9th, 2008 08:12 pm
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georgejacksongenius
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Chris,
I sat on that platform last August,near the old chocolate and cream coach after visiting the Hayle MRC show!!!The wife,mother-in-law and kids went to St.Ives,where I met up with them after a railway detour via St.Erth,Marazion,(what there was left of it!),Penzance.then by bus to near Carbis Bay,and a lovely coastal walk following the railway!
Second best day of the holiday,after the trip to Bodmin station!!! :lol:

Cheers,John.B,

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 Posted: Mon Jun 9th, 2008 10:49 pm
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MikeC
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Please keep them coming, Chris. They're all fascinating, right down to the weathering on the face of the platform.

Mike

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 Posted: Tue Jun 10th, 2008 05:54 pm
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Gwent Rail
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Chris, I agree with Mike. This type of post is always interesting and details can be picked up which are very useful.
Keep them coming :!:

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 Posted: Tue Jun 10th, 2008 07:09 pm
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Christrerise
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John,

I am amazed that you came that close to our shop and visited one of our exhibitions but never came and said hello. No excuses about not being members of this forum at the time or not even knowing each other either!

I had a rare midweek day off today so I went armed with my camera and walked the entire route exploring as I went. I have probably gone way overboard with pictures, but as I mentioned there are plans to redevelop the entire area and then all the history will be lost for ever...

Some more pictures of the Hayle Station area with some archive pictures for reference. The archive pictures were taken by Craig Munday and are reproduced with his permission. Some of the pictures were taken by Craig's Dad as well. They are both regulars in our shop and also lovers of Cornish Railways. Check out his website at http://craig-munday.fotopic.net/ for many more amazing pictures.

Hayle Signal Box controlled access to the branch. In later years it was only open when the branch train was running. The waiting room is still standing but the signal box is long demolished. You can just make out the signal controlling the branch behind the box. St Erth is to the left and Camborne to the right in this view.



A general view of Hayle Station from 1967. Warships D869 and D870 head towards London with a train from Penzance. The branch left the main line about where the 4th / 5th coaches are in this picture. You can also see the track bed of the goods loop behind the up platform. This was lifted in the early 1960s.



The same view today. The platforms are quite short and only hold about 4 - 5 coaches.



Looking in the other direction you can see the stop boards still in place showing where trains should stop. In today's modern railway loco-hauled trains are a thing of the past down here, but at one time it was marked from 6 - 12 coaches the exact position where the driver had to stop. The closest board is for 6 coaches and you can just make them out at 1 coach intervals beyond this, with the final 12 car board right up near where the track disappears from view.



Getting back to the branch, this is a view of the trackless bridge in my original post, viewed from the road below.



Getting back on to the track bed, this is the view down the gradient. The area to the right was once full of sidings. The track bed follows the course of the footpath.



The next image was taken from the last part of the footpath visible in the previous picture. You can tell how steep the gradient is now as the previous picture was taken from the same level as the station.



Turning around this is the view in the opposite direction



The next image is taken from the last part of the footpath visible in the previous picture. The overbridge is visible and many photos of trains coming over the main road were taken from that bridge.



Having walked through the bridge this is the view looking back towards it again.



This is the view from this bridge looking back up the line towards the station. The sand drag used to run to the right and the branch was to the left.



The view the other way looking towards the main road again.



I will leave it there for now as I need to get some more archive photos scanned for this section and I can already sense your eyelids drooping!

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 Posted: Tue Jun 10th, 2008 08:40 pm
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Gwent Rail
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An excellent record of the decline of rural branch lines, Chris.
Glad someone had the foresight to record these scenes before they were obliterated forever.
Excellent record, well done.

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 Posted: Tue Jun 10th, 2008 11:11 pm
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MikeC
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Thankyou Chris. It'll be a sad day when even the abandoned remnants are developed. Love that view from the footpath looking back at the bridge.

Mike

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