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Cornish Branches - Falmouth to Truro - Prototype Information. - The Prototype. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2008 07:06 pm
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Christrerise
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The Act for the Cornwall Railway to construct a single track broad gauge main line from Plymouth to Falmouth was passed on 3rd August 1846 with the consulting engineer Mr Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

The route from Plymouth Millbay to Truro opened to passengers on 2nd May 1859 and to freight in October of the same year.  The line beyond to Falmouth was opened on 24 August 1863 and into the docks in January 1864.

It crossed the line of the standard gauge West Cornwall Railway from Truro (Newham) to Penzance at Penwithers Junction.

The route to Falmouth was built with space for double track throughout as it was intended to be the main line, although the second track was never added apart from passing loops at Perranwell and Penryn.

Stations were provided at Perranwell, Penryn and Falmouth, with Penmere Platform being added on 1st June 1925.  A new station serving Falmouth was opened on 7th December 1970 and for a while became the terminus of the route with the original line into Falmouth being closed.  On 5th May 1975 this station was renamed "The Dell" and Falmouth station was reopened with trains running through to the original terminus once again.

"The Dell" was renamed "Falmouth Town" on 3rd October 1988 and the original Falmouth station was renamed "Falmouth Docks" on the same date.

A connection to the Falmouth Docks is still in place although it has not seen traffic for some years now.  The most recent traffic handled was containerised coal.

With two major locations at each end and the entire route being relatively built up passenger traffic on this route has always been fairly healthy.  Through trains to London were provided until the 1970s and a run-around loop still exists at Falmouth although all trains are provided by multiple units today.

In the early 1970s all passing loops and signalling were removed from the intermediate stations as were goods facilities.

Passenger growth has been such that an increase in services is now planned with a reinstatement of the passing loop at Penryn in progress.  This will allow a half-hourly service to be provided for most of the day and the Falmouth branch will then join the St Ives branch in having a regular interval service.  Ironically both branches will end up with more frequent services than on the main line!

Finance for this upgrade has largely been provided by the European Union Regeneration Fund as Cornwall is one of the most economically depressed areas in Europe.

 

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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2008 07:46 pm
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Christrerise
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The layout at Penwithers Junction as shown on the signalling diagram: -



The line from Penzance comes in from the left and the line from Falmouth from the lower left.  The original West Cornwall Railway route to Newham to the lower right and the main line to Truro to the upper right.

The simplified layout as in use today: -



The Newham route having closed is no longer shown.

I am in the process of scanning some pictures of this location next.

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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2008 08:02 pm
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Gwent Rail
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Keep going, Chris, the basis for a model layout plan there, methinks.

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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2008 08:22 pm
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Christrerise
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I think so Jeff - I would love to do something on it, along with about 20 other plans I have stuck in my head!

The view from the top of Highertown Tunnel looking west towards Falmouth.  The current main line curves off to the right showing how the original intention was for the Falmouth route to be the main one.



The unit is Class 101 2 Car DMU number L842 on 2nd December 2003 working the 14:40 Falmouth to Truro.  Note that in this direction trains from Falmouth travel "wrong line" towards Truro.

The next picture shows 1C28 1035 London Paddington to Penzance taking the curve round the main line towards Baldhu.



When first opened the line on the right was the single track standard gauge line of the West Cornwall Railway into Truro.  The line of the left was the broad gauge line of the Cornwall Railway to Falmouth and there was no physical connection.  The route to Newham was off to the left and the route from Penzance crossed the Falmouth line on the level a bit above the furthest power car of the 125.

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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2008 09:11 pm
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Christrerise
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As a bona-fide retailer of Middleton Press publications we are permitted to exhibit "samples" of the book as part of a review or advert.  So, a quick plug of their "Branch Lines to Falmouth, Helston and St Ives" is required.



Available on line here

Book Link

Therefore I can submit a couple of images to show what an excellent book this is!

By coincidence they are at Perranwell which is the next station on the line to Falmouth.

The first shows the station looking towards Falmouth taken in 1966 by P J Kelley.



The next shows the signal box and is taken from the opposite end of the station looking towards Truro.  The 21 lever signal box dates from 1894 and remained in use until 18th April 1966 when the loop was also taken out of use.  Photo again taken by P J Kelley



The signalling diagram of the station: -



The same view as the first picture but instead taken by me in 1998!  On 7th January 1998 Class 150 2 Car DMU number 150 249 heads the 1440 from Falmouth towards Truro.

 

Some relics still present in 1998 and I believe they are still there today.  The original station sign: -



A water pump (no longer working): -



Coming next is Penryn.  A little taster for this...



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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2008 09:51 pm
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henryparrot
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Great thread Chris this should give members some inspiration

cheers Brian

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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2008 10:29 pm
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Chubber
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:hmm:hmm:hmm:hmm:hmm

Elevated signal cabin, with o'all dimensions, great space saver......


:hmm:hmm:hmm:hmm:hmm



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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2008 10:33 pm
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Chubber
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Chris---A water pump (no longer working): -

The pump don't work 'cos some vandal took the handle

[Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues 1965?]



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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2008 10:44 pm
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Robert
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Great topic and pictures Chris, thanks a lot.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2008 11:19 pm
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Gwent Rail
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Superb, Chris. What a station that would make as a model. It could be done as a through line or adapted to be a terminus.

"Penwithers Junction to Perranwell". One day, my son, one day :exclam ;-);-) 

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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2008 11:31 pm
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rector
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What a wonderful thread! Thanks, Chris! The book is very tempting!

I had no idea there was a station in Millbay. I must research further...



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 Posted: Mon Dec 1st, 2008 01:34 am
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georgejacksongenius
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Perranwell is one of my favourite stations,Chris.I love the siding behind the platform that passes under the signal box.Gorgeous!!!
  I've just been looking at it again today on a video,B&R Productions volume 129 "Steam into Cornwall".
  (It even has brief tantalising glimpses of the Holy Grail....Perranporth!!)
  Some cracking info Chris lad,keep it coming!:thumbs

Cheers,John.B.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 1st, 2008 07:03 am
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Christrerise
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Thanks guys - more when I get time to scan some more of my photos!

Tim, Plymouth Millbay was between Plymouth North Road and Cornwall, but not on the direct line.  Just beyong North Road there was a triangle junction down into Millbay but most trains did go in there and reverse.

I am working from memory here but I believe they stopped using it for passenger trains during World War II but it was still used for stock storage.  The last train to use the route was the Royal Train of all things and not many lines can make that claim!

The route is still visible today and part of the old viaduct remains.  I will have a look when I get chance to see if I have any pictures but I have never taken many in Devon.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 1st, 2008 07:22 am
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MikeC
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Good on you, Chris. I have a new favourite thread! Very inspiring. 10/10

Mike

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 Posted: Mon Dec 1st, 2008 07:25 am
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henryparrot
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Chris

I was looking at old track plans of Plymouth not long ago and the original track all went from North road to Millbay then came out of Millbay and went to Cornwall.

The part that forms the triangle thats exists today was actually put in at a later date. And from memory it was a 20th century addition not a victorian one.

Trouble is i cant remember where i saw these trackplans :lol::lol:

Cheers Brian

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 Posted: Mon Dec 1st, 2008 07:27 am
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MaxSouthOz
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Chris.  Those pictures could have come straight from Mikec's layout.  It looks like lovely country.



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 Posted: Mon Dec 1st, 2008 11:00 am
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Gwiwer
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Lovely pictorial history and a great reference for us modellers, thanks Chris.

The Perranwell sign was still present in 2007 and I believe might actually be privately owned and (despite its proximity to the platform) be sited on private land.

Another curiosity is that the village adjacent is "Perranwell Station" with "Perranwell" (or St. Piran's Well) itself a short walk away amidst a cluster of other "Perran"'s (Perran Wharf, Perran-ar-Worthal); it also had it's own "Perranwell Station" telephone exchange and dialling code listed in the phone book.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 1st, 2008 09:53 pm
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Neil Wood
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Great stuff Chris.  Some excellent photos and info there.  Next time I build a layout I will take this approach and model somewhere as exactly as I can.



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 Posted: Mon Dec 1st, 2008 10:38 pm
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Sol
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Neil, if you then decide to model German, what would happen to the UK models then? or vice versa?

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 Posted: Tue Dec 2nd, 2008 03:03 am
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Neil Wood
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Sol wrote: Neil, if you then decide to model German, what would happen to the UK models then? or vice versa?
Display cabinet I suppose.:hmm



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