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The Goonbarrow and Retew branches in the diesel era


TomJ

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I was musing about how these branch lines were operated after steam ended - albeit with somewhat sporadic traffic. In steam days these seem to have been the preserve of small pannier tanks (and prairies on the Retew) - with trains often taken over by the large tanks at the junction. I know that the Goonbarrow Branch survived in part till 1978 and there was very occasional traffic on the Retew branch up till the late 70s. I have seen a photo of a class 37 and a length train of hoods crossing the A30 at Goss Moor so it must have come from the Retew branch between 1978-1980.

 

Which diesel classes operated down these lines and would it have been shunters or mainline locos? Would the 37 have gone right down the Retew line or taken over the train at St Dennis??

 

Thanks. Just thinking about my branch of a branch scenario.

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In the 1960s - Class 22s

In the 1970s - Class 25s

In the 1980s - Class 37s

 

They all went right down to the end of the line at Collins Dryers at Retew.

 

'Gronks' never went there during my time (after 1975), and I don't ever remember anything at all going down the Retew Branch after the strikes in the autumn of 1982!

 

For several years in the early eighties, around 20 'PALVAN's were stored just around the corner from St Dennis Jct S.B. on the branch before the level crossing, and one day a Class 37 was sent from St Blazey to retrieve them in order to send them away up-line for scrapping. When the engine arrived, the crew found that the wagons had actually rusted themselves solidly to the track, and the only way that they found that they could free them, was to use the 37 as a battering ram!

 

AFAIK, that was the last move before the line beyond the level crossing was lifted.

 

'Hope this helps

 

:-)

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That's all very useful stuff - thanks chaps. I hadn't realised that 37s had gone all the way down the branch - I niavely assumed they were too heavy for the line. Mind you on the photos I found on the Cornwall Railway Society website what I really noticed was that the permenant way was in very good condition despite the very sporadic traffic.

 

The 70s and early 80s seem to be a rather unphotographed era. Lots of the steam era and lots from the mid to later 80s but few from the earlier diesels. Maybe people justlost a bit of interest after the steam went? Of course there was a fair bit more freight traffic aside from the clay in that era - Falmouth Docks, Hayle Wharf, chement to Chacewater just to name a few off the top of my head

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Fascinating stuff. Hadn't realised 25s worked the Pontsmill branch. That was always an 08 turn in later years; assume 37s were too heavy.

 

Also Falmouth had regular traffic that late. 

Yes - The trip usually took place sometime between 12noon and 2pm - A maximum of 12 SLU and BV were allowed, the BV being mandatory as it was the lead vehicle when the loco was propelling the train on the outbound trip - A ground frame with 'shut-in' facilities was provided at Pontsmill, and after the trip was inside and the points restored for the main the token was replaced there to allow the withdrawal of another token at Goonbarrow Jct, for the Up Newquay train which was booked to pass.

 

The yard 'Gronk' was the motive power after about 1985

 

 

:-)

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Yes - The trip usually took place sometime between 12noon and 2pm - A maximum of 12 SLU and BV were allowed, the BV being mandatory as it was the lead vehicle when the loco was propelling the train on the outbound trip - A ground frame with 'shut-in' facilities was provided at Pontsmill, and after the trip was inside and the points restored for the main the token was replaced there to allow the withdrawal of another token at Goonbarrow Jct, for the Up Newquay train which was booked to pass.

 

The yard 'Gronk' was the motive power after about 1985

 

 

:-)

 

So what was the motive power for the trip between 1980ish (withdrawal of the 25) and 1985 (the Gronk taking over)??

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