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Cofga

Buckfastleigh track diagram

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I am looking for a 1930s track diagram for Buckfastleigh, especially a signalbox diagram. I plan to use this as the basis for a through station layout. I’ve seen photos of the current footbridge being installed as part of the heritage railway but was there one there originally? Which begs the question, what was GWR or UK law concerning installation and use of footbridges? If a footbridge was not provided and there were up and down platforms were passengers allowed to cross on a board walkway or did they have to walk to the nearest road crossing to cross over? Thanks—Larry

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ISTR that all passenger trains used the platform where the station building is so no need for a footbridge.  The best references are 'The Ashburton Branch' published by OPC and 'Great Western Branchline Termini Vol2'  by Paul Karau pub. by OPC  - both long OOP but many S/H copies around.  The latter has very useful structure drawings/trackplans included.  Hope this helps.

Ray.

Edit:  Apologies -  I was working from memory.... 'Branchline Termini' only has Ashburton not Buckfastleigh.  I've dug out my copy of 'The Ashburton Branch' and there is a section of the O.S. map showing Buckfastleigh Station and a signal box diagram.  Having just noticed that you're in N.C. I'll try to scan the pages but they're a bit faint. I'll try over the next couple of days. Might be worth looking at the Middleton Press book https://www.middletonpress.co.uk/books/railways/branch-lines/branch-line-to-ashburton.html but I haven't got a copy.

 

Edited by Marshall5
Correction/add'l info.

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There is a road crossing (to the carpark) just at the end of the platforms. 

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6 minutes ago, Kris said:

There is a road crossing (to the carpark) just at the end of the platforms. 

This is a road under-bridge now - I assume it always has been.

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The road underbridge I assume was for non railway access, looking at the signal diagram the loop seems for goods and perhaps the short platform was for goods unloading.

 

I believe the footbridge is a modern addition to allow access to other areas of the preserved railway

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1 hour ago, hayfield said:

The road underbridge I assume was for non railway access, looking at the signal diagram the loop seems for goods and perhaps the short platform was for goods unloading.

 

I believe the footbridge is a modern addition to allow access to other areas of the preserved railway

On the old map it looks like more of a track from near the mill to the station, with a narrow bridge over the stream

The footbridge is a shorter and safer way from the station to the car-park and locoshed etc.

 

Most of the track layout today is nothing like the days of the GWR, the A38 road has seen to that!

Edited by melmerby

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I have both vols of Paul Karau’s book so no need to scan. I viewed a lot of online photos today and the grass covered platform across from the station doesn't seem long enough for passenger use and is centrally located and there is really no place for a footbridge to have been there. There are photos on the South Devon website that shows the present footbridge being installed and they even had to build a small landing on the side opposite the main platform to serve as a base for it. Unfortunately no good historic photos of the general area turned up. At any rate I think you are correct that only the platform in front of the station was used for passengers. 
 

However, back to my second question concerning passengers crossing on a wooden walkway at track level where no footbridge is provided. I noticed that at the Totnes station they have a wide wooden walkway from the car park to the platform for a passenger crossing so does that mean there are no laws against passengers crossing wherever they please? 

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Lore has it that the small platform was for unloading horses on Buckfast Race Days:excl:

 

    Brian.

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8 hours ago, Cofga said:

 

However, back to my second question concerning passengers crossing on a wooden walkway at track level where no footbridge is provided. I noticed that at the Totnes station they have a wide wooden walkway from the car park to the platform for a passenger crossing so does that mean there are no laws against passengers crossing wherever they please? 

 

Members of the public have to cross the lines at an approved point. The crossing at the end of Totnes Riverside takes people to a small animal park. It can only be used when there are are no train movements that cross it. It is controlled by the railway to stop members of the public crossing at these times. 

Edited by Kris

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12 hours ago, Cofga said:

I have both vols of Paul Karau’s book so no need to scan. I viewed a lot of online photos today and the grass covered platform across from the station doesn't seem long enough for passenger use and is centrally located and there is really no place for a footbridge to have been there. There are photos on the South Devon website that shows the present footbridge being installed and they even had to build a small landing on the side opposite the main platform to serve as a base for it. Unfortunately no good historic photos of the general area turned up. At any rate I think you are correct that only the platform in front of the station was used for passengers. 
 

However, back to my second question concerning passengers crossing on a wooden walkway at track level where no footbridge is provided. I noticed that at the Totnes station they have a wide wooden walkway from the car park to the platform for a passenger crossing so does that mean there are no laws against passengers crossing wherever they please? 

There are byelaws, and have long been, about unauthorised people crossing or being on the railway.  However there were more than a few stations, including some on less busy mainlines, where the only way to get from one platform to the other was to use the barrow/foot crossing at the platform, appropriately signed to warn people to 'beware of trains' etc.

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3 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

There are byelaws, and have long been, about unauthorised people crossing or being on the railway.  However there were more than a few stations, including some on less busy mainlines, where the only way to get from one platform to the other was to use the barrow/foot crossing at the platform, appropriately signed to warn people to 'beware of trains' etc.

Saundersfoot was one such station.

 

Dave

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A long way from Devon, but the South Eastern Railway specialised in stations on double track lines with staggered platforms, i.e. not opposite each other, and a foot crossing was often the recognised means of passage between the two. 

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What a pity that nasty road cut it off in its prime. I was lucky to visit the railway after it was closed but before Ashburton was cut off. There are threats of reopening it as the brackbed still goes under the road, just needs a bit more clearance, as for the the rest of the trackbed and buildings ?

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17 minutes ago, KeithMacdonald said:

Here's one I prepared earlier:

 

image.png.a2d66eb3268555b61af3eb804e59faeb.png

 

Looks suspiciously like the map link I posted earlier.:D

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40 minutes ago, The Stationmaster said:

There are byelaws, and have long been, about unauthorised people crossing or being on the railway.  However there were more than a few stations, including some on less busy mainlines, where the only way to get from one platform to the other was to use the barrow/foot crossing at the platform, appropriately signed to warn people to 'beware of trains' etc.

Ribblehead on the S&C has such a crossing to reach the "new" platform:

https://sandctrust.org.uk/stayatastation/webcams/ribblehead2.htm

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14 minutes ago, hayfield said:

What a pity that nasty road cut it off in its prime. I was lucky to visit the railway after it was closed but before Ashburton was cut off. There are threats of reopening it as the brackbed still goes under the road, just needs a bit more clearance, as for the the rest of the trackbed and buildings ?

 

That would be lovely, but does the trackbed still go under the A38? I thought the A38 was built exactly on the old trackbed?

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I was there 2 years ago and started to talk with a volunteer who said it now was quite feasible to physically get a short loco under the road, but it would be a major civil engineering project to create sufficient headroom for both locos and stock. I presume they have bridged the gap    

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Small country stations such as Colnbrook had board crossings. Services were only hourly, and "Beware  of the Trains" notices were put up. Where there were level crossings they usually had a side walk for foot passengers.

The main thing about board crossings is that they were usually at stations which had all stopping services,  and had very few "through" services.  

From memory, fifty or sixty years ago, there was far less fuss about people wandering about at minor stations, even on running lines, if you were daft enough to do it. 

We regularly walked along lines when taking photographs without anybody getting excited. We were really aware of the potential danger of course, and you could (generally) hear a steam engine from a distance (although not always of course).   On the main lines of course we were chased away, quite rightly.  Getting too close to an express is not recommended.

Photos show two typical GWR/WR barrow crossings.  The one with the DMU parcels is at Colnbrook, and was intended for passengers.  The other at Hayes and Harlington was not intended for passengers.  In the latter case there was a notice "Passengers are advised to use the footbridge when crossing the line".

IMG_3483.jpg

IMG_3484.jpg

Edited by jointline
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4 hours ago, KeithMacdonald said:

 

That would be lovely, but does the trackbed still go under the A38? I thought the A38 was built exactly on the old trackbed?

Not totally, it does in some places, not quite in others.

I once saw a diagram that showed there was room for the railway alongside the road with a bit of re-alignment here and there.

Working along these side by side maps you can see that the re-instatement would not be impossible:

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=15&lat=50.4970&lon=-3.7740&layers=168&right=BingHyb

 

The route into Ashburton itself could still be used and Ashburton itself still has some of the railway buildings.

The unmistakable Engine Shed:

https://goo.gl/maps/1Pn6ZewLfAKNEoje9

The Goods Shed:

https://goo.gl/maps/YUUnzKdGHHsQq8xZ7

The Station building (much altered):

https://goo.gl/maps/YUUnzKdGHHsQq8xZ7

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Good to know I won’t be breaking laws with a wooden walkway instead of a foot ridge. And thanks much for the track plan. I want to use the 1935 working schedule for Moretonhampstead as the basis for the branch as it is one of the few in Karau’s book that does not rely only on one loco under steam. I count 25 trains including 2-3 goods and at least 1 engine movement. More than enough to keep several people busy running trains. May even need to cut back on some of those passenger runs. Surprising since Ashburton right next door had about half that many but even 13 is enough to satisfy most model railroaders.

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Wooden walkways where footbridges were provided were usually Barrow crossings as it is a bit of a challenge getting a heavy iron platform trolley up the footbridge steps. Out of major cities 19th century Sapiens had "Common Sense" and by careful co ordination of eyes ears and feet they could often avoid being mown down by the trains which passed by every couple of hours.   My local station, Chedworth MSWJR had neither footbridge,road bridge nor any other way to cross the double track line tom eh far platform except the wooden board crossing.

I believe Buckfastsleigh had a goods platform on the loop, that is a platform more than 3ft above rail height, rather than a Passenger platform. That gives easier loading for vans and wagons but probably did't allow passenger vehicle doors to open.

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On 29/01/2020 at 06:38, KeithMacdonald said:

Here's one I prepared earlier:

 

image.png.a2d66eb3268555b61af3eb804e59faeb.png

Keith, in this diagram there are two short tracks on the left side above and below the incoming track. I assume the lower one is a headshunt but what was the purpose of the upper one? Was is a place to store a loco or car? 

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