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Railwatch 072 - July 1997

South West

By Gerard Duddridge

Goodbye heritage units Sprinter workings began on the St Ives branch on 1 April as promised by Prism director Len Wright when he spoke at our annual meeting in Exmouth. The increasingly unreliable heritage units were seen to leave the far South West just two days later for Exeter.

Fanfare for improvements Work has started at Cornish stations including the rather neglected station at Bugle on the Newquay branch. By the beginning of April the platform had been resurfaced, the steps down from the main road repaired and two new light fittings positioned. However, there was still no passenger shelter and absolutely no passenger information.

Cross country A welcome addition to the summer timetable is a daily South Wales and West service from Penzance to Manchester to supplement the one CrossCountry service from Manchester to Plymouth. It will use the traditional Hereford route which in the early 1970s carried trains from Penzance to Liverpool and Penzance to Manchester with a sleeper from Plymouth.

At Whimple, the disused railway goods yard site is currently for sale and is likely to be developed for housing. Some of the land would probably be better used for improved car parking at the station. This would benefit neighbouring communities such as Talaton and West Hill. We have written to Devon County Council to see if they will support us. The village itself is not short of new housing and we estimate that recent developments will increase the 1991 population by 10 to 15%.

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