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1  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: General Information - Plymouth to Penzance (refreshing, March 2020) on: January 09, 2022, 12:43:06 am
Provisional data - please, experts on Cornwall, post follow ups which I will write in to a final thread.  It's when I try and write something like this I realise how much there is to say and how little I know!

In due course, this thread and another / others for the branches will replace http://www.passenger.chat/1740 as the board's pinned post - an excellent piece of work by Phil, but now 10 years old.



Name

Cornish Main Line

Description

From Plymouth (in Devon) entering Cornwall at Saltash, via Liskeard, Bodmin Parkway, St Austell, Truro, Redruth and Camborne to Penzance.  Double track most of the way, with single line stretches between St Budeaux and Saltash, Liskeard and Bodmin Parkway (Largin), and St Erth and Penzance.

Rolling stock used

London trains are now in the hands of class 802 IET (Intercity Express Train) (Intercity Express Trains) which most commonly run through Cornwall as 5 carriages, leaving / joining up to a further 5 carriage set at Plymouth for the London run.  

History


Western and Warship diesel hydraulics replaced the Kings and Castles from the late 1950s, and those in turn gave way to other locomotives (hydraulics being phased out as none-standard) and then to High Speed Trains which were the standard train for around 40 years.

A couple of points, the single line between St Erth and Penzance is between Marazion and Penzance. About two thirds of London trains are 9 car IETs, it tends to be only some up in the morning and some down in the evening (which stop at Saltash and St Germans) that are 5 car IETs in Cornwall.  'Other locomotives' would be classes 45/46/47/50.

Best, KM
2  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion on: December 21, 2021, 12:07:06 pm
I did the 14.03 Paddington to Penzance throughout on the 19th, it was very full but the 9 coach IET (Intercity Express Train) just about coped with it. It left Pad 40 mins late (late getting in) and arrived at Penzance 55 mins late, no trolley appeared at all, in fact no staff appeared at all after Reading but, I guess, at least the train ran.
3  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Truro on: September 27, 2021, 07:19:27 pm
I noticed the other day that the west end of the up platform at Truro has been extended slightly (hurrah!), work appears to also have included laying tactile paving. Many, if not most, IET (Intercity Express Train) services from Penzance to Paddington seem to be in the hands of 9 car IETs these days.
The platform 4 side has received similar treatment, which is curious as platform 4 has no track.
4  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: Boardmasters etc on: August 23, 2021, 07:37:16 pm
The buses don’t serve the suburban stations. Not sure if an alternative arrangement is made

Passenger numbers at Dockyard, Keyham and St Budeaux are very low and I doubt there are (m)any for those early trains / buses.  The outbound  train is express to St Budeaux Victoria Road anyway.  Inbound, the train has a historic use for people working in Plymouth including at the dockyard, but passenger number figures would suggest this is now little used for that purpose - OR there's a quirk in the data, for example with everyone using Plymouth tickets and leaving / joining short.

Devonport figures are higher; the big flow there is to and from schools ... so not August and not this early in the day.



I accept that footfall for the Plymouth suburban stations may not be that high, but surely if you cancel a train and say it's being replaced by a bus/buses, but don't tell people that the bus doesn't serve all the stations that the train would have, then surely that's a bit misleading, and could cause significant inconvenience?!
5  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: Boardmasters etc on: August 17, 2021, 10:03:13 pm
Monday 16 August
• 0457 Plymouth to Gunnislake is replaced with a bus
• 0542 Gunnislake to Plymouth is replaced with a bus
The route will be interesting, I wonder if it's an amphibious bus?!

Gunnislake is always 2 small buses. 1 for gunnislake and Calstock. The other for Bere Alston and Bere Ferrers. Oakleys coaches were covering the evening runs recently with  small Optare Solos
I'm wondering what happens with the Plymouth suburban stations, that the train would have called at?
The timings must be interesting (and presumably fairly longer than by train), Bere Ferrers to Plymouth is fairly circuitous in order to get over the River Tavy, likewise Calstock to Plymouth is fairly circuitous in order to get over the Tamar. I imagine you would need to bear that in mind especially if connecting into other services.

BTW (by the way) re Boardmasters, the 10.32 Newquay to Paddington and 12.31 Newquay to Paddington were both 9 car IETs (Intercity Express Train) on Monday and apparently very well filled! I don't know about the 08.37, 14.19 or 16.20 NQY (Newquay (Station)) - PADs» (Paddington (London) - next trains).
6  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: Boardmasters etc on: August 13, 2021, 06:06:43 pm
Monday 16 August
• 0457 Plymouth to Gunnislake is replaced with a bus
• 0542 Gunnislake to Plymouth is replaced with a bus
The route will be interesting, I wonder if it's an amphibious bus?!

Btw for those interested, the Cornwall Railway Society website is reporting that the 06.20 Plymouth - Penzance and 09.25 Penzance - Edinburgh has been a Cross Country HST (High Speed Train) all week instead of the usual Voyager.
7  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Boardmasters etc on: August 12, 2021, 09:58:40 pm
From the GWR (Great Western Railway) website:

To better serve customers for Falmouth Week and Boardmasters in
Newquay, we have made a number of changes to our train service.
Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 August
• All trains between Par and Newquay from 0818 to 1914 are replaced by buses
• 4 extra trains will run from Plymouth and Par to Newquay
• On 11 August only, 0637 London Paddington to Penzance terminate at
Plymouth. This connects with an additional 0945 Plymouth to Penzance
• 0904 London Paddington to Plymouth no longer calls at Totnes
• 1004 London Paddington to Penzance terminate at Plymouth
• 1736 London Paddington to Plymouth does not run
• 1804 London Paddington to Penzance calls additionally at Castle Cary
• 1412 Paignton to London Paddington starts earlier from Paignton at 1336
• 1215 Penzance to London Paddington terminates at Plymouth. This connects
with an additional 1415 Plymouth to London Paddington
• 1615 Penzance to London Paddington starts at Par at 1717
• On 11 August only, Falmouth Town station is closed all day. Customers should
use Falmouth Docks instead
Friday 13 August
• All trains between Par and Newquay from 0818 to 1719 are replaced by buses
• 3 extra trains will run from Plymouth and Par to Newquay
• 0904 London Paddington to Plymouth no longer calls at Totnes
• 1736 London Paddington to Plymouth does not run
• 1804 London Paddignton to Penzance calls additionally at Castle Cary
• 1412 Paignton to London Paddington starts earlier from Paignton at 1336
Monday 16 August
• All trains between Par and Newquay from 0712 to 2021 are replaced by buses
• Additional trains run from Newquay to London Paddington at 0835, 1032,
1231, 1419 and 1631. An additional train also runs to Plymouth at 1758
• 0457 Plymouth to Gunnislake is replaced with a bus
• 0540 Plymouth to Penzance does not run
• 0542 Gunnislake to Plymouth is replaced with a bus
• 0637, 0804 and 1004 London Paddington to Penzance all terminate
at Plymouth
• 0712 Plymouth to Penzance is replaced by an additional 0715 train run by
CrossCountry and runs non-stop Plymouth to Liskeard
• 0815, 1015, 1215, 1415 and 1615 Penzance to London Paddington do not run.
Alternative services run from Penzance to Plymouth, where customers can
change into direct services to London Paddington
• 0945 Plymouth to Penzance runs additionally
• 1030 Penzance to Plymouth is an additional train run by CrossCountry
• 1225 Penzance to Par runs additionally
• 1404 Par to Penzance runs additionally
• 1515 Penzance to Plymouth departs at 1520 and terminates at Par
• 1615 Penzance to Plymouth runs additionally
Other service changes may be made at short notice
8  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: G7 Summit - Cornwall - June 2021 on: June 13, 2021, 02:45:12 pm
Events of this nature do indeed attract protests, some of which can be violent.
A train should still be doable, with proper security precautions such as armed police or troops, and not advertising the timings or the route in advance.
After all the Royal Train was considered safe for Her Majesty, so another special train should be safe enough for the PM and entourage.
It took The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William to St Austell (for the Eden Project). It was 67005 and 67006 topping and tailing 10 carriages, mainly mark 3s. Not sure if it has a buffet car, but it probably has room for some surfboards!
9  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: G7 Summit - Cornwall - June 2021 on: June 11, 2021, 08:33:56 pm
I noticed a special train at Plymouth yesterday, Friday 10th at about 1230. An IET (Intercity Express Train) showing Truro and Penzance. A member of staff said it was for the media and it did look like that as they were all spaced out sitting at laptops. I think it was a 9 car. It was temporarily stopped at Plymouth because of a fatality.

I believe that on the 8th and 9th June there was a special 12.45 Paddington to Penzance and on the 10th June an 08.45 Paddington to Penzance special all believed to be IETs. Presumably there will be some return specials next week?
Btw The Royal train has entered Cornwall (from Windsor and Eton Riverside) and is believed to be stabled at Burngullow.
10  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: G7 Summit - Cornwall - June 2021 on: June 10, 2021, 06:08:39 pm
A mini fleet of coaches behind the APCOA (Car parking company used at GWR (Great Western Railway) - controlled stations in the area) Car Park at Truro this morning, dispersed a little tonight. A 'little' bit 'posher' than your usual Rail Replacements too. While we're on buses, quite a fleet of Bristol based new First Bus double deckers on the road yesterday in West Cornwall, some with obscure destinations showing (Presumably the Security forces 'camp' sites). Huge effort going on. 
Indeed I'm often impressed and intrigued at how well bus/coach companies respond to passenger surges, sometimes at short notice, plenty of buses on hand and plenty of drivers to drive them, presumably in addition to providing for their normal services. I think they could possibly teach today's railways a thing or two. I know that the G7 and sports events, music festivals, Christmas shopping, seaside events etc are all "one-off" events but when you add them up throughout a normal year they're basically regular events but at different places.
11  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: G7 Summit - Cornwall - June 2021 on: June 07, 2021, 07:48:37 pm
According to The Falmouth Packet "The Dell car park at Falmouth Town train station will remain open to the public", which begs the question why Falmouth Town station is being closed for the G7? Or is it just going to be open Lympstone Commando style for the Press etc?
12  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Problems with IET trains from April 2021 on: May 11, 2021, 04:37:30 pm
Agree, that is why obtaining extra stock, even if not compliant with every rule, is in my view urgent.
If Tornado is allowed to the West country on a charter, then why not daily ?
If a heritage diesel is allowed on a charter, then why not daily ?
Could not preserved DMUs (Diesel Multiple Unit) be used on West country branches ?

Time to start planning NOW rather than wait until the last minute and then "it might have been a possibility, but there was not time for all the paperwork/training/derogations/appeasing the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers)."
I have to say that I agree, although the situation is a very unfortunate one, and the issues surrounding the IETs (Intercity Express Train) have been widely discussed on here and I'm sure will continue to be so, this situation is also an opportunity for the railway to show how well it can respond in a crisis and hopefully look back with a sense of pride in the future at how well it did so. Far better to look back and say 'Yes things went wrong but didn't we respond well'  than a 'Well things go wrong, don't travel by train' attitude. Moving stock around and obtaining extra stock from wherever necessary should be a priority as should providing staff for assistance at stations and on social media. Most passengers would rather get a train, however unusual and/or older the rolling stock than wait on a platform for five hours for something usual and/or new to turn up that's absolutely rammed and/or quite possibly less comfortable as well
13  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: Newquay a place to avoid from WEDNESDAY 11 august 2021? on: May 09, 2021, 12:34:14 am
From the CrossCountry Trains website:

'Our new timetable commences on Sunday 16 May. We are continuing to operate a special timetable on some routes to keep services running throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

With the continuing need to run fewer but longer trains for the foreseeable future, this year we will not be operating the summer weekend train services to and from Newquay. Or the enhanced Saturday service to and from Paignton.'

Also nowadays CrossCountry services to Penzance have been cut by around two thirds compared to pre-Covid levels.
14  Journey by Journey / Cross Country services / Re: Covid 19 Timetable on: May 09, 2021, 12:24:52 am
From the CrossCountry Trains website:

'Our new timetable commences on Sunday 16 May. We are continuing to operate a special timetable on some routes to keep services running throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

With the continuing need to run fewer but longer trains for the foreseeable future, this year we will not be operating the summer weekend train services to and from Newquay. Or the enhanced Saturday service to and from Paignton.'

Penzance nowadays only has one CrossCountry departure in the morning (compared to three pre-Covid) and only one CrossCountry arrival in the evening (compared to three pre-Covid).
15  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Dawlish - permanent resilience work - ongoing discussions on: January 16, 2020, 11:28:08 pm

I travelled on the 1100 St D to Paignton cl150 + 143 today and found,an hour after High tide, the waves and sea spray crashing over the line and trains which as by no means exceptionally rough in my many years of traveling on this 'fragile' South Devon line.
Windows being damaged / broken does very occasionally happen  due sand and shingle being conveyed in the waves.
However I wonder if the activities of Network Rail's Contractors who have been excavating, disturbing, loosening and moving around lots of beach material is now a contributory factor.

Today's 1052 Paignton/Paddington failure is at least the fourth or fifth IET (Intercity Express Train) failure /major service disruption incident due the effects of waves and salt water ingress on these new IETs; despite assurances from Hitachi that these new multiple unit trains could cope with waves and sea water.
Surely it can't be long before NR» (Network Rail - home page) Operating Chiefs extend the ban, that applies to
XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)) Voyagers, to IETs operating between Exeter and N. Abbot when strong and gale force Southerly and SE winds coincide with times of high tides.


Yes I thought that the new IETs were supposed to be Salt water proof and I'm surprised (but not that surprised really) at the amount of cancellations caused by salt water ingress to IETs. In fact there was a thread somewhere on this forum about how the IET's were being salt water proofed prior to their introduction.

On another note what happened to single line working between Teignmouth and Dawlish Warren during rough weather, does this still happen? Or do they just keep both lines open (or both lines shut)? Mind you I guess if you're on a Pacer, the ride next to a rough sea is only marginally bumpier to a normal ride on a Pacer!  Tongue

If any line has a big Neon sign over it saying 'Reopen me for God's sake!' the Plymouth - Tavistock - Okehampton - Exeter route surely must be a prime candidate. The populations of Tavistock and Okehampton make it a contender anyway before you even look at the route's diversionary possibilities.
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