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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Apologies again - computer, internet and other problems (eg faulty guttering causing problems in recent heavy rain!) have got in the way yet again in recent weeks and have put me off posting.

I'm taking a look at the former London and SW Railway line to Plymouth from where the line to Bude, Padstow and Barnstable via Bideford branched off here:
Meldon Junction

© Copyright Tony Atkin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Some miles of the line are now a cycle/walking route:
Granite Way crossing farm track

© Copyright David Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Not all of the route has been smoothed out - this section of some 230m is under private ownership and remains relatively untouched:
Granite Way

© Copyright Guy Wareham and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Some substantial engineering works remain:
Lake Viaduct on the Granite Way

© Copyright David Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Lake Viaduct

© Copyright Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The first station after Mendon Junction was at Bridestowe - from 1964, four years before closure:
Bridestowe Station

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
And in 2010:
Last Train is gone LSWR former Bridestowe station

© Copyright roger geach and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The "Granite Way" cycle path once deviated onto nearby roads about half a mile north of the station; a new stretch was built to just avoid this preserved and private property and make the cycling safer about 8 years ago.

North of the village of Lydford, the cycle way ends at a minor road bridge - there is not much to see of the railway south of this road:
LSWR former railway track bed not much of a view

© Copyright roger geach and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Close to the village is another substantial viaduct:
Lydford Viaduct

© Copyright M Hunter and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Little sign of the station about a mile SW of the village:
Lydford change for Launceston , Plymouth and Exeter

© Copyright roger geach and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
From here the LSWR main line and the GWR branch to Launceston from east of Plymouth ran parallel to each for some distance SW-wards.
Seen here in 1964:
Brentor Station

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The GWR branch is the single line in the background.
And a view from 2015:
Brentor Station

© Copyright Andrew Bodman and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Near Mary Tavy the two lines were close but at different levels:
Mary Tavy: old railway embankments

© Copyright Martin Bodman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

After the split between the lines, this is a view NE of Tavistock of the L&NWR route:
National Network Cycle Route 27

© Copyright N Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
I'm a bit puzzled - the photographer says this is part of Cycle route 27, but no current mapping shows it as such!

We approach Tavistock via another viaduct:
Crossing the Wilminestone viaduct

© Copyright N Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

And arrive at the North Station:
Tavistock North Railway Station

© Copyright Andrew Bodman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
LSWR former Tavistock North station frontage

© Copyright roger geach and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Carrying on at Tavistock, two views of the GWR station, known in BR days as the South station. First view in 1962 shortly before closure:
Train for Plymouth at Tavistock South

© Copyright Richard Green and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Some five years later:
Tavistock South station

© Copyright Richard Green and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The site has been cleared and built on, partly with fire, police and ambulance stations, according to maps.

Back to the L&SWR route to Plymouth. The line ran SW from Tavistock and then south and west - the trackbed is not a formal path:
Old Railway Trackbed

© Copyright Guy Wareham and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Seems remarkable a double track main line ran through here!

About 2 miles from Tavistock is another large viaduct:
Shillamill Viaduct

© Copyright Tony Atkin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
No view from the viaduct itself.

A short distance further on:
Disused railway tunnel entrance

© Copyright Crispin Purdye and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

And further south still:
Former LSWR railway Exeter to Plymouth

© Copyright roger geach and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The next station is still in use - seen here in 1964, 4 years before the main line closed:
Bere Alston Station

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Trains from Plymouth now reverse here to reach Gunnislake on the truncated branch to Callington.
Bere Alston railway station, Devon

© Copyright Nigel Thompson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Looking the other way:
The railway tracks leaving Bere Alston

© Copyright David Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

About halfway between Bere Alston and the next station:
The Tamar Valley Line

© Copyright roger geach and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The next station, seen here in 1964:
Bere Ferrers Station

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

A similar view from 2010:
Tamar Valley line Bere Ferrers Station

© Copyright roger geach and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The station is privately owned and the former goods yard forms part of a railway museum, hence the coaches etc visible in the above photo.

We are getting nearer Plymouth - this bridge cross the River Tavy as it joins the River Tamar:
Crossing the Tavy

© Copyright roger geach and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The branch line seen from a train on the approach to Brunel's Saltash bridge:
The railway line to Gunnislake passes under the Tamar Bridge

© Copyright Roger Cornfoot and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
And looking in the opposite direction from the road bridge:
Cornish Main Line crosses the Tamar Valley Line

© Copyright N Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Nearby is this station:
St. Budeaux Victoria Road railway station, Plymouth

© Copyright Nigel Thompson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The L&SWR line ran separately but near to the GWR line for some distance before joining the GWR a short distance from the main Plymouth station. Traces of the L&SWR line are getting fewer - this viaduct has been demolished since this photo was taken:
Former LSWR railway viaduct St Levan Road, Plymouth

© Copyright Crispin Purdye and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

John
 

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Thanks again John for those photo's. Isn't it remarkable how clean and tidy the old stations were compared to most nowadays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
QUOTE (hoonsou @ 31 May 2021, 00:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks again John for those photo's. Isn't it remarkable how clean and tidy the old stations were compared to most nowadays.
At that time the stations were usually manned and perhaps the British public dropped less litter?

John
 

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QUOTE (John Webb @ 31 May 2021, 08:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>At that time the stations were usually manned and perhaps the British public dropped less litter?

John

There was quite a lot of personal pride involved, and a good dose of competition between Stn Masters, too. Most of us will remember the flower beds and Hanging Baskets that were a familiar sight on stations back then. I have a vague, but rather uncertain, memory that there were annual competitions, for the best looking / organised stns, run by the operators.

Julian
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Back to the North of England for today's offerings - a look at the Haltwhistle-Alston branch which survived until 1976; in part because the winter of 1962/63 had shown local roads to be problematic in bad weather while the railway had kept running!

We start at Haltwhistle with a 1964 picture of the branch line train, by then a DMU:
Branch train for Alston stands at Haltwhistle

© Copyright Roger Cornfoot and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The branch junction with the Carlisle-Newcastle line was controlled from this box:
Haltwhistle train station

© Copyright Ian S and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The box is Grade II listed with the other station buildings including the typical North Eastern Railway footbridge.

Leaving Haltwhistle in an easterly direction the line swung south to cross the River Tyne on this viaduct:
Alston Arches Viaduct

© Copyright Mike Quinn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The trackbed now forms the South Tyne Trail, National Bike Route 69, so much of this branch can be explored directly.

It then headed generally SW until reaching the first station at Featherstone Park:
Featherstone Park Station

© Copyright Oliver Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
A history of this station and the branch and more photos can be found at http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/f/feath...ark/index.shtml.

The line then turned southwards and soon afterwards came to Coanwood Station:
Coanwood Station, ( Haltwhistle - Alston)

© Copyright Les Hull and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The station house is set back from the line and in 2009 seemed to be in a parlous state:
Coanwood Station Master's House

© Copyright Les Hull and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
But it was subsequently bought by someone and restored and enlarged - as seen here in 2020:
Former Coanwood Railway Station

© Copyright Les Hull and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
(It was at right-angles to the railway line, which ran to the left of the photographer.)
More about the station at http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/c/coanwood/index.shtml.

A short distance further on was Lambley station, the railway reaching it via this viaduct over the South Tyne:
Lambley Viaduct

© Copyright Brian Norman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
There are substantial remains of this station, seen here in 2005:
Lambley Station, ( Haltwhistle - Alston)

© Copyright Les Hull and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Unfortunately the private ownership of the former station and land means that there is a diversion of the trail. This photo shows the junction between the Bampton Railway and the Alston branch:
The junction of Lord Carlisle's Railway and the Haltwhistle to Alston branch line at Lambley station

© Copyright Mike Quinn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The Bampton Railway, also known as Lord Carlisle's Railway, was built to serve numerous collieries in the late C18th, and was one of the first non-Stephenson railways to convert to the 'standard gauge' of 4ft 8.25in.

We're roughly halfway along the branch, so I'm stopping here here, hopefully to resume next weekend. (The grass needs a trim!)

John
 

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QUOTE (hoonsou @ 7 Jun 2021, 01:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Wasn't the Alston model shop the highest in England?
Possibly - I recall when we visited Alston back in 1994 we were told it was the highest town in England. Older maps show a benchmark on a town centre building given as 969 ft above sea level. Unfortunately the narrow gauge railway wasn't open the day we went to Alston but we did stop at the preserved lead mine at Killhope a few miles away. The next round of photos will include some of Alston station back in the 1950s.

John
 

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QUOTE (John Webb @ 7 Jun 2021, 10:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Possibly - I recall when we visited Alston back in 1994 we were told it was the highest town in England. Older maps show a benchmark on a town centre building given as 969 ft above sea level. Unfortunately the narrow gauge railway wasn't open the day we went to Alston but we did stop at the preserved lead mine at Killhope a few miles away. The next round of photos will include some of Alston station back in the 1950s.

John

I get confused about claims such as this. I think that there are higher points in the town of Alston; perhaps as much as 1,000ft. That said, Buxton in Derbyshire has a market place with an elevation of 1,030ft. What we need is a reincarnation of Major Lambton.

Best regards .............. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
QUOTE (Greyvoices @ 7 Jun 2021, 14:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I get confused about claims such as this. I think that there are higher points in the town of Alston; perhaps as much as 1,000ft. That said, Buxton in Derbyshire has a market place with an elevation of 1,030ft. What we need is a reincarnation of Major Lambton.

Best regards .............. Greyvoices (alias John)
Alston is on the east side of the steep valley of the South Tyne and has parts that are over 1,000 ft. Buxton and it would seem to be close contenders - lack of detail on maps of Buxton don't help; remarkably no buildings in the market place appear to have benchmarks on them!

John
 

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We start off this weekend with a final look at:
South-west end of Lambley Viaduct

© Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
As seen in 2015.

The South Tyne Trail picks up again south of Lambley station:
South Tyne Trail, Bowden's Banks

© Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

This is something rather more modern:
Laying fibre-optic cable beside trackbed of Alston Railway, Bowden's Banks

© Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Apparently being laid for local communities and for future narrow-gauge railway use.

Continuing southwards there is yet another viaduct:
Trackbed of the (former) Haltwhistle to Alston branch line on Burnstones Viaduct (2)

© Copyright Mike Quinn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Which looks like this:
Burnstones Viaduct (west side)

© Copyright Mike Quinn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

From 2005:
Slaggyford Station

© Copyright Brian Norman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

From 2007:
Former Slaggyford station

© Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

More about Slaggyford station at http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/s/slaggyford/index.shtml

But in 2018 the narrow-gauge railway reached here:
Slaggyford Station

© Copyright Christine Johnstone and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Looking the other way in 2020:
Slaggyford Station

© Copyright Les Hull and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

South of Slaggyford in 2013:
Cutting on the (former) Haltwhistle to Alston branch line

© Copyright Mike Quinn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
No one has yet provided the Geograph website with a photo since the line was rebuilt through here.

Until the extension to Slaggyford, this was the North end of the line, seen here in 2011 under construction:
Lintley Station

© Copyright Peter McDermott and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

It was brought into use in 2012.
Locomotive running round train, Lintley

© Copyright Richard Vince and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
(There was not a station here on the original standard gauge line.)

This photo shows how the South Tyne Trail and the railway share the trackbed:
South Tyne Trail and Railway

© Copyright Les Hull and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
(Very similar to how the Bure Valley railway and a similar trail run together in Norfolk.)

The next station:
Kirkhaugh Halt narrow gauge railway station, Northumberland

© Copyright Nigel Thompson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

An intriguing sign:
County border at Gilderdale

© Copyright Brian Norman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Another previous terminus of the narrow-gauge line, seen in 1987:
Gilderdale Halt

© Copyright Colin Smith and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Since the extension northwards this halt has been closed.

At last we approach Alston, marked by various railway buildings:
Engine sheds, Alston

© Copyright Bob Embleton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

From 1951:
Alston station, with train 1951

© Copyright Walter Dendy, deceased and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

1954:
Alston station, general view 1954

© Copyright Walter Dendy, deceased and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

By 1987 the station had lost the overall roof and the narrow-gauge railway had started:
Alston Railway Station

© Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

2001:
Alston Station on the South Tyne Steam Railway

© Copyright Clive Nicholson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Can never resist a signal box:
Alston signal box

© Copyright Bob Embleton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

In 2017, the station acquired a second platform and a new roof over the tracks and platforms:
Alston Station - South Tynedale Railway

© Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

More on this station at http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/a/alston/index.shtml

More on the South Tynedale Railway at https://www.south-tynedale-railway.org.uk/

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Another Branch Line today - the one to Windermere from Oxenholme, although I'm starting off at the terminus:
Windermere station, with train, 1951

© Copyright Walter Dendy, deceased and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

From 1977, by which time the station was reduced to a single platform and 1st generation DMUs were in use:
Diesel train at Windermere

© Copyright Dr Neil Clifton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

From 1988:
Windermere station and Booths supermarket

© Copyright Stephen Craven and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
By this time the original station and overall roof had been lost to the railway and converted into a supermarket, as the photographer describes in his caption.
Former Windermere Railway Station

© Copyright Alexander P Kapp and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

More modern unit from 2011:
Platform at Windermere Railway Station

© Copyright Les Hull and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

And when Northern were having problems in 2018 and West Coast Railways stepped in :
Arrival from Oxenholm

© Copyright Roger Cornfoot and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The next station towards Oxenholme in 2010:
Staveley station

© Copyright Derek Harper and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The entrance:
Stavely Railway Station: mid-February 2015

© Copyright Basher Eyre and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Before the next station at Burneside there is an open level crossing, seen here in 2018:
The Lakelander at Burneside north level crossing

© Copyright Nigel Brown and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

From 1966 we have the next station:
Burneside Station

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

In 2012:
Burneside railway station, Cumbria

© Copyright Nigel Thompson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The level crossing serves just one private house!

Another level crossing south of the station on a public highway retained the manually operated gates in 2010:
Waiting. Level crossing at Burneside

© Copyright David Brown and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Regrettably there are no old photos of Kendal Station - both these photos are relatively recent:
Kendal Railway Station

© Copyright JThomas and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
And the platform:
Kendal railway station

© Copyright Roger Cornfoot and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

We reach the WCML at Oxenholme, where the branch line joins the main line. Oldest view:
Railway station at Oxenholme, 1979

© Copyright Trevor Littlewood and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
From 2013:
Oxenholme railway station, Cumbria

© Copyright Nigel Thompson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Nice to see the overall roof of the branch line platform not only still exists but has been renovated!
and from 2019, a wider-angle view:
Oxenholme railway station

© Copyright Andrew Abbott and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

John
 

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Apologies for no postings for a couple of weeks - lot going on as we hopefully head for the end of Covid restrictions...
Then again John, you did find time to add a kind message to Ann's retirement card. Hopefully we will see you at the 2022 CMRA show if it is possible to hold it, or alternatively at a certain signalbox...
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Then again John, you did find time to add a kind message to Ann's retirement card. Hopefully we will see you at the 2022 CMRA show if it is possible to hold it, or alternatively at a certain signalbox...
That's one of the things I've been busy with.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
I've decided this weekend to look at Preston, on the West Coast ML, mainly as Ben Brooksbank took a number of photos over the years of this busy spot. We start in 1950 looking at the south end of the station:
Summer Saturday excitement at Preston in 1950

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
(Nice signal gantry and group of spotters!)

1959:
Southern approach to Preston Station, with train

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

1962:
Blackpool Illuminations Special entering Preston

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The line was electrified - no photos of that in progress, alas! This photo is from 1975:
The view from Preston Station

© Copyright Andy Beecroft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Despite electrification, diesels remained - from 1981:
Preston Station

© Copyright Martin Addison and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

But steam hasn't completely gone - from 2009:
A1 Loco Tornado

© Copyright David Ashcroft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Also from 2009, a general view of the station:
Preston railway station, Lancashire

© Copyright Nigel Thompson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

A Virgin 'Pendolino' train at Platform 5 of Preston Railway Station

© Copyright Nick Harling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

It looks like the station has undergone some cleaning and restoration in recent years. I'll pause here for today before heading north through the station next time.
 

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Thanks again John. In the second photo I can see a large white disc on the signal gantry. If it's not my eyes playing tricks on me, what is it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Thanks again John. In the second photo I can see a large white disc on the signal gantry. If it's not my eyes playing tricks on me, what is it?
It's the back of a 'banner repeater' - it's made of glass or plastic designed to diffuse the light from the source, which is the black 'lump' visible. Hope that explains things - I can only find a front view of our one at St Albans:
Plant World Cloud Sky Font
 
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