Großbritannien - Devon & Cornwall

The far Southwest of England consists of the counties Devon and Cornwall, which can be reached by train on the mainline from London to Penzance via Exeter and a number of branchlines.
The first scenic highlight of the mainline can be found near Dawlish Warren and Dawlish, where the line runs directely along the coast of the English Channel. Although the line frequently has to be closed due to stormy weather, 150 246 has no trouble passing through Dawlish on August 11th, 1995.
Although the tide as started to go out some time ago, the surf is still breaking against the bank reinforcement. Strollers have to be cautious, or a walk can easily develop into a rather wet experience.
The left image shows a HST (High Speed Train) with class 43 power cars on its way to London, on the right 47 828 is hauling a Cross-Country InterCity towards Plymouth.
The most impressive of the many bridges on the line between Exeter and Penzance is the one over the mouth of Tamar River between Plymouth and Saltash, which has been constructed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Most fascinating is, how the heavy steel-structures were lifted on the pylons: Taking advantage of the tide, the big arches were alternatively rested on pontoons and the pylons, thus lifting the brigde step by step to its final position! Do you think the passengers of 158 819 are aware of the technical masterpiece of the ingenius engineer? (August 8th, 1995)
In some places in Southwest England even in 1995 old semaphore signals were left in service. One of these places was the station of Liskeard. Whilst diesel-locomotive 37 638 is passing the entry-signal East of Liskeard with a departemental train on the 8th day of August 1995, 150 261 is pictured at the platform of Liskeard station. Only a few passengers travel on the railcar at that time of the day.
West of Liskeard the mainline runs over one of the countless stone-viaducts, which are typical for that area. Fortunately, the viaduct near Moorswater is fitted with a steel railing instead of the usual stonewalls and is not hidden behind trees and bushes either. While HST 43 146 is significantly late on August 7th, 1995, the English sheep pay considerably more interest to their evening-meal, than to long-distance rail-trips.
Some more miles to the West, the line is surrounded be gentle hills. After its stop at Bodmin Parkway, 43 025 with its InterCity train from London is gaining speed again (left). Near Lostwithiel 37 669 with a china-clay train is coming to a halt at the signal near the local golf course. The photographer was tolerated on the golf-club's property after being advised to watch out for flying golf-balls. (right, both images 9th August 1995).
At Burngallow station, where passenger-trains pass without stopping, the branchline from the china-clay quarries of Treviscoe joins the mainline. Shortly after 43 138, which has temporarily been used as a driving trailer on the east-coast mainline and therefore was fitted with normal buffers and couplers, has passed, 37 696 and four hoppers full of china-clay arrive from the branchline. (10th August 1995)
Almost all passenger-trains west of Exeter are formed of railcars and multiple units. Whilst the HSTs of class 43 are used for long-distance-trains, classes 150, 153 and 158 are in use for the regional trains. In the morning of August 10th, 1995, 158 868 is passing a (possibly mad?) English milk-cow near Trenowth.
Very scenic are some of the branchlines, too, as parts of them run directely along the water. A class 150 railcar has left Looe, one of the classic tourist-places in the area on the 7th August 1995 and is travelling along the East Looe River for a little while.
Only freight-trains run on the branch from Lostwithiel to Fowey. Although the line sees several trains a day, you are likely to wait a while until you get the photo you're after. Train times are somewhat unpredictable, as the trains are operated according to the actual demand, rather than a timetable. Anyway, the scenery of Golant is well worth waiting a few hours, isn't it?
(China-clay trains with 37 637 on August 8th, 1995, and 37 696 on the following day.
Frequent passenger service can be observed on the branchline from St. Erth to St. Ives. Not a big surprise, that is, as St. Ives is a well knon tourist-resort. And again a golf-course provides an open view on the railway and the deep blue St. Ives Bay. The train consists of two-car 101 842, which is supported by 117 305 that has been - although historically not correct - repainted to Great Western colours. (10th August, 1995)

Last update: 09th June 2002