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Devon Diesel Era Photo Record


Garry Morris
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  • RMweb Gold

Hopefully you are right, Capt'n.  Some Roundup to kill the weeds and a quick rub with emery cloth on the rails will work wonders! 

 

Brian

Indeed, but that is mostly the responsibility of the freight operator now known as DB Cargo (formerly DB Schenker), as they retain the lease for most of the yard.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's been a most unfortunate last few weeks for mishaps on Devon's railways.  Collisions in particular have been scarce with exception of one at Newton Abbot a few years ago. The safety record being extremely good. This is 37670 that was involved in an incident at Tavistock Junction Yard some years ago.

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  • RMweb Gold

Devon's brief experience with Class 142. Can't work out why the current ones are better than these. 142 020 Paignton.

The current ones are 'ok' on continuous rail with larger curves, I believe the original 'Skippers' suffered when put onto lines with sharper curves, gradients & jointed rails - for example, Looe, Gunnislake, Newquay, St Ives..... well, pretty much all the Devon & Cornwall branches!

A lot of track has been renewed in the interim, but still prefer a 153 if travelling. Despite being derived from the same Leyland National body, at least the 153s have proper underframes with bogies and they benefit from a better window to seat ratio than the 150s.

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None of the current 4 wheelers are scheduled on branches which asks the question why didn't they just switch the Skippers to mainline only? On a still night you could hear a 142 leave Bere Alston from standing on Gunnislake Platform!

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  • RMweb Gold

None of the current 4 wheelers are scheduled on branches which asks the question why didn't they just switch the Skippers to mainline only? On a still night you could hear a 142 leave Bere Alston from standing on Gunnislake Platform!

Agree with your thoughts on limiting the original Skippers to mainline - at least it would have limited the number of 'heritage' ('banger') units needed! But, I'd say the Barnstaple & Exmouth lines are still branches and are still being served by the 143 units today; yes, with better track but still a bit lively on parts of the Barnstaple route...!

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In a perverse way the lively ride these units give is a retro experience. Am I the only person that will miss these oddities when they are gone? Imagine the outcome if one of these had been involved in the shunt at Plymouth!

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  • RMweb Gold

None of the current 4 wheelers are scheduled on branches which asks the question why didn't they just switch the Skippers to mainline only? On a still night you could hear a 142 leave Bere Alston from standing on Gunnislake Platform!

 

Simples - it was very quickly found they could not be relied on to operate track circuits and indeed some trials on the Exmouth branch to study their riding showed how it was in many respects down to the suspension, wheels can't be relied on to operate track circuits when they aren't touching the rails ;)  Thus apart from the near instant dislike the trains attracted from both staff and passengers the reason they were in fact sent away was based strictly on safety grounds and the refusal of the WR to accept that the trains could be safely operated in passenger service.   It would seem that whoever got them instead wasn't quite so fussy or had far worse track because the problems were worse on track with a  really good 'top'.

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  • RMweb Gold

So what changed in the 20 odd years before the 143s pitched up in the area? Improved suspension to give better rail contact, or worse track...?

The track on the Devon branches is a lot better than it was 20 years ago. The Exmouth branch is 100% CWR now, and the Barnstaple line is approx 65% CWR.

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  • RMweb Gold

The track on the Devon branches is a lot better than it was 20 years ago. The Exmouth branch is 100% CWR now, and the Barnstaple line is approx 65% CWR.

 

Absolutely, but Mike (Stationmaster) said:

 

Simples - it was very quickly found they could not be relied on to operate track circuits and indeed some trials on the Exmouth branch to study their riding showed how it was in many respects down to the suspension, wheels can't be relied on to operate track circuits when they aren't touching the rails ;)  Thus apart from the near instant dislike the trains attracted from both staff and passengers the reason they were in fact sent away was based strictly on safety grounds and the refusal of the WR to accept that the trains could be safely operated in passenger service.   It would seem that whoever got them instead wasn't quite so fussy or had far worse track because the problems were worse on track with a  really good 'top'.

 

which implied that they worked better on poor track - so in theory, they should now be worse on the better track we have now!  :scratchhead:  :no:  :O

 

Yours

 

Konfused of Kenton

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  • RMweb Gold

Absolutely, but Mike (Stationmaster) said:

 

 

which implied that they worked better on poor track - so in theory, they should now be worse on the better track we have now!  :scratchhead:  :no:  :O

 

Yours

 

Konfused of Kenton

All I can say is that over the last few years I've not known any cases of 143s failing to operate track circuits on any of these branches, unless it was the first train on rusty track after a blockade (in which case the Rules & Regulations make appropriate provision).

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  • RMweb Gold

So what changed in the 20 odd years before the 143s pitched up in the area? Improved suspension to give better rail contact, or worse track...?

 

Or the safety card wasn't played?  However I expect the fitting of track circuit activation devices might have ensured reliable track circuit operation.

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So what changed in the 20 odd years before the 143s pitched up in the area? Improved suspension to give better rail contact, or worse track...?

Track circuit actuators, they are the big bar like things behind the cab end wheel sets.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Belmond British Pullman is in the Duchy today (formerly VSOE?)  A pair of 67's (005/006) were used for the day trip out from Plymouth into Cornwall of wining and dining. 66027 was on the back having brought the stock up to Plymouth. Here it is heading through Saltash. A great contrast with the state of Saltash station.

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The Belmond British Pullman is in the Duchy today (formerly VSOE?)  A pair of 67's (005/006) were used for the day trip out from Plymouth into Cornwall of wining and dining. 66027 was on the back having brought the stock up to Plymouth. Here it is heading through Saltash. A great contrast with the state of Saltash station.

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57 316 formerly FAB1, 47290 and D1992 was used as the assisting loco for The Great Britain IX railtour from Victoria to Penzance 26/04/16. Attached to the rear of the train it took over at Plymouth for the last leg of the journey to it's destination. This loco was never a common sight in Devon as it spent most of it's life on the East Coast route. 

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This is the same loco (body at least) as the one in the last picture but 45 years earlier. Allocated to 52A Gateshead it is seen here as 1992  on the up Devonian at Exeter St Davids (3.4.71). This service regularly produced a non Western Region loco though more often a class 45 or 46 working down on the same service the previous day and stabling overnight at Newton Abbot. The loco would work a three coach early morning commuter service NA - Paignton and back before bringing the 'Dev' empty stock to Goodrington for the run round. This in all likelihood was only one of a handful of visits west of Bristol for this loco, clearly it was deemed suitable to use up one of a precious 8 shots on a roll of 127 film! What was special about 'The Devonian'? It carried a First Open coach fully laid up for eating meals as well as a catering vehicle - how standards have slipped now! It was always 1E37 in the 70's, previous to that it was 1N37.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Laira Open Day 26/9/70. This end of the depot looks like the working end for the day rather than the display end as its full of home allocations. Star of the show was a full Blue Pullman alas not in original livery. More interesting is the Cortina, Traveller and Countryman! Brownie 127 so not very clear I'm afraid. Still enjoy seeing that French designed stylish main shed. Laira must be one of the last depots of it's size to retain all of it's site.

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I'm sure it's not for any want of trying on the part of the Network Rail Property Lunatics.

 

I wonder how long it will remain in its current state though, and not just due to changes in engineering requirements for the fleet. A NR building surveyor friend tells me that the structure of the older part of the depot is giving cause for concern. :(

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Laira would be very difficult to offer for non rail needs as it is surrounded by track and infrastructure.  The triangle is still of use for turning especially with St B turntable in limbo - incidentally, where is the nearest turning facility otherwise?  Also all the ground pollution of a century or so, let alone it is all reclaimed land.  Laira shed stood for nearly seventy years and it would have still been there if it weren't demolished so how come a much younger structure gives cause for concern?

 

Brian.

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  • RMweb Gold

I wonder how long it will remain in its current state though, and not just due to changes in engineering requirements for the fleet. A NR building surveyor friend tells me that the structure of the older part of the depot is giving cause for concern. :(

That may well be. If the building has to come down (and I'm sure that's a big 'if' in itself), then any replacement would be discussed and agreed between Network Rail (as the landlord) and the then-franchise holder of the GW franchise.

 

There are no plans to remove the triangle, nor any of the associated running lines. Some changes to siding layout within the depot lease area is not beyond the bounds of possibility, however, depending on what the future franchise holder deems necessary.

 

The signalling - the last I heard, anyway, when the vexatious Plymouth & Cornwall scheme was under discussion, was likely to have to be controlled from the Great Western ROC, at Didcot, although there had been a suggestion that it could be locally controlled by the TOC, just for the depot area. Whilst there were merits in this, I'm not sure whether, on balance, that the TOC was wholly happy with this notion.

 

Certainly the lines up to Friary and beyond to Cattewater, being essentially on handpoints anyway, were not part of the resignalling scheme at all, and didn't appear on any versions of the track and signalling diagrams produced in association with the scheme, being simply left 'as is'.

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