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Ruthern Bridge Branch - Members Ideas For Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Oct 14th, 2010 02:40 pm
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Janner
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Over the last couple of months I have been pondering what to build as a successor to St Mawgan.  The limited space I have at my disposal (7 feet by 1 foot) does rather restrict things a bit so I have been thinking along the lines of a small shunting plank.  The imminent arrival of the Beattie well tanks has got me thinking about their former stamping ground.  In addition to the well known Wenford Bridge line they also operated an obscure branch to Ruthern Bridge.

The freight only Ruthern Bridge branch was opened by the Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway in 1834, the same date as the Wenford Bridge line.   In 1862 it was proposed that the branch be extended to serve an iron ore mine at Withiel.  In 1873 there was another proposal to extend the line, this time southwards to join with the Cornwall Minerals Railway (later the Newquay Branch of the Great Western Railway) near Roche.  Neither idea came to fruition.

The goods traffic appears to have been mainly agricultural, apart from stone from the local Mulberry quarry. In 1926 the final 26 chains of the branch were taken out of use, leaving just a loop siding in use. With a general decline in traffic the branch was closed completely on 30th December 1933.

The branch left the main B&WR line at Grogley, crossed the River Camel and ran, along side the minor road from Brocton to Ruthern Bridge, for approximately 1½ miles before terminating at Ruthern bridge. At the terminus there was simply a single point to divide the line into two sidings, in 1914 a loop siding was added further up the line.

Thinking that Ruthern Bridge branch would make a possible scenario for a layout I visited the area, it is after all only about 10 miles from where I live, and was amazed to find that even after nearly 80 years much of the track bed is still visible.

The first strech of the line from Grogley Halt, over the River Camel bridge, to the road survives as an access lane to the car park at Grogley.

Looking back towards the junction.  the main Bodmin and Wenford line (now the Camel Trail) is beyond  Grogley halt platform on the right.



Looking along the surviving trackbed that forms an access lane over the River Camel bridge.



The former trackbed runs through an attractive wooded section that nowadays is used as a bridle path.



The remains of ruined buildings along side the line.  Possibly the location of a quarry.



The line at first ran to the left of the minor road but crossed over it part way along.  The location can easily be seen today.



Looking back towards Grogley the minor road is visible on the right



Continuing along the line.



The overgrown remains of the yard at Ruthern Bridge.


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 Posted: Thu Oct 14th, 2010 05:16 pm
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Super D
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Go for it John.

Derek

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 Posted: Thu Oct 14th, 2010 05:30 pm
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henryparrot
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Thats sounds a lovely project John im sure with the experiance gained building St Mawgan you will be able to create a great layout in the space available to you.

Are there any photos of buildings etc around or have you not looked yet?

Brian

 

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 Posted: Thu Oct 14th, 2010 06:24 pm
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Janner
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henryparrot wrote: Are there any photos of buildings etc around or have you not looked yet?
The only photo of a building I have found is in an old Bradford Barton book, it's of the wharfinger's cottage at Ruthern Bridge.  As far as I know it was the only railway related building on the line.  

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 Posted: Thu Oct 14th, 2010 06:44 pm
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Les
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John,

This will be wonderful; it's a fabulous subject. You will need lots of trees. On the way home from the show I stopped at Ruthern Bridge and walked the railway for a little while. It was a damp day and the rain was gently falling from the trees as I walked in complete silence. I'll swear I heard the ghost of a Beattie whistle in the distance. A truly magical place.

When I built Kernow J. my inspiration was a dvd called "Memories of the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway". If my memory serves there was mention of Ruthern Bridge in it. Have you got this dvd and if not would you like me to send it to you?

The trophy for the next Kernow/YMR  exhibition beckons you!:thumbs

Les



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 Posted: Thu Oct 14th, 2010 07:23 pm
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Janner
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Thanks gents. 

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 Posted: Tue Oct 19th, 2010 07:16 am
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Christrerise
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Looking forward to this John, and if you ever need someone to go for a stank with you down there again you know who to call!

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 Posted: Tue Oct 19th, 2010 09:06 am
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Marty
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Sounds like a plan to me John.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 19th, 2010 09:16 am
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ddolfelin
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Fascinating.

I wonder how many of these abandoned railways are preserved in essence through the efforts of modellers.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 19th, 2010 10:06 am
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Les
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Christrerise wrote:  if you ever need someone to go for a stank with you down there again you know who to call!
For those of us whose first language is English, I think a little interpretation wouldn't go amiss here.:???:

Les



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 Posted: Tue Oct 19th, 2010 10:08 am
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Marty
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Les wrote: Christrerise wrote:  if you ever need someone to go for a stank with you down there again you know who to call!
For those of us whose first language is English, I think a little interpretation wouldn't go amiss here.:???:

Les

4 pints of Guiness and a Vindaloo before you go for the walk! Simple :mutley



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 Posted: Tue Oct 19th, 2010 10:13 am
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Les
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:mutley:mutley:mutley Classic Marty!

Les



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 Posted: Tue Oct 19th, 2010 01:19 pm
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owen69
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4 pints of Guiness and a Vindaloo before you go for the walk! Simple :mutley

with that inside you, you will walk alone, pheww...

:mutley:mutley:lol::cool:

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 Posted: Tue Oct 19th, 2010 01:35 pm
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Cobber 55
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There are some great sounding names in there John. What sort of period of time period will you set it in? It has about a 100 years to choose from.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 21st, 2010 11:56 am
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Gwiwer
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I have walked the Ruthern Bridge line on several occasions though somewhat bizarrely have not a single photo of it. :oops:

The entire area is deeply wooded and the route follows a very much older trackway, now a surfaced road, from the former main line at Grogley Halt (where there is no village at all) to the tiny village of Ruthern Bridge.

In the half-light of an evening it can be truly surreal and the faint "toot" of a distant steam engine is easily imagined.

The Ruthern Bridge line seems to have never fulfilled any sort of promise and was never busy. A typical load might be one or two wagons.

What a superb choice of follow-on project as well. Not only with the ability to set the Beattie tanks in the right sort of scenery but using a little modeller's licence to create a branch upon which a modern-image basic passenger service might exist not dissimilar to St. Mawgan.

I look forward to developments here and possibly the opportunity for a few of us to get out and enjoy a stank (nothing to do with Guinness and vindaloo - more a case of putting one foot in front of the other repeatedly).

For anyone with a measure of stamina it is perfectly possible to walk the Camel Trail from Bodmin to Wadebridge or Padstow and include the diversion from Grogley (where the halt was named after a local farm and hillside) up to Ruthern Bridge, and then return by bus. For the more energetic the option to cycle all the way up to Wenford Bridge should not be missed.

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