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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by 50044 Exeter, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. Old Kent Biker

    Old Kent Biker Member

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    Here is one photo, taken after closure. Others including some taken around the same time and during operation at http://www.009.cd2.com/albums/lynbarn/ covering the whole line.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Axe +1

    Axe +1 New Member

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    Further to my previous post, I can reveal that when the Southern Railway took over, the Ticket Office and Waiting Room at Chelfham were reversed from the layout as originaly built . The smaller Ticket Office accomodation became the new Waiting Room, and the Ticket office was enlarged by moving it into the space of the Waiting Room. The move included the stove and the chimney, thereby resulting in the chimney appearing on the gable facing south towards Snapper Halt and Barnstaple. There is, therefore, no reason whatsoever to suggest that the new stove pipe is not prototypical and historically incorrect.

    Under the preservation era the internal layout of the Chelfham station building has reverted back to the original 1898-1923 layout. A modern wood burning stove has been installed in the large Waiting Room so as to one day benefit our future passengers, and for that reason the chimney has been retained where it was erected in the 1920s by the Southern Railway.

    You may be interested to view the page on the L&BR website that details the history of Chelfham station at
    https://www.lynton-rail.org.uk/page/chelfham-station
     
  3. Michael B

    Michael B Member

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    The information on the signals erected provided to the Board of Trade by the Engineer of the Company in April 1898 in advance of the Inspection was based on the opposite principle - viz Up signals were listed as Down, and Down signals as Up, as we understand it today. The Engineer (Mr Chanter) converted distances from feet to yards from a schedule provided to him by a man called W Gamble, a 30-year-old London based signal fitter based in Wood Green, Middlesex (per the 1901 census) For example they recorded the Chelfham up home signal as being 579 feet (193 yards) from the cabin and the down home signal as 390 feet (130 yards). The longer distance was clearly referring to the signal facing northbound trains at south end of the viaduct, and the shorter one the signal facing southbound trains on west side of the cutting at the north of the station. Of course, these were the only signals at Chelfham at this point - the starter signals came later. The signals at all the other stations were also recorded by Mr Gamble, and hence Mr Chanter, who was a Civil Engineer but with no experience of railways, Up for Down and vice versa compare with present day practice. Perhaps some knowledgeable person familiar with signalling at the end of the 19th century can say what the usual convention was in 1898.
     
  4. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    >>>Perhaps some knowledgeable person familiar with signalling at the end of the 19th century can say what the usual convention was in 1898....
    Hmm. I'm not sure that I fit the criteria, but to pass an observation or three anyway....

    A convention did indeed evolve that lines were Up to London and Down going away from London, possibly because many of the original long lines started out on the basis of going from somewhere to London - eg the Great Western from Bristol to London, the London & Southampton (later L&SWR) from Southampton to London etc. The driver for the railway was usually the business people in the 'remote' location wanting access to London, rather than vice-versa. Other railways in areas that were not London-centric adopted their own directions - eg IIRC the Midland Railway went Up to Derby.

    As regards dead-end branch-lines, then the usual convention was extended to be Down from the Junction to the terminus and Up from the terminus to the Junction, simply on the basis that you had to go to the Junction as the start of a longer journey Up to London. Of course, when it came to though branch-lines which inter-connected two other lines, then quite often there was no obvious 'closer to London' end and so the choice may have been somewhat random.

    Like most things on railways there were always 'oddities', many of which can be explained by a knowledge of the railway's history. Two 'local' cases would be the S&DJR's lines to Burnham and Bridgwater, both of which were Up to the terminus for a very simple reason.... The S&DJR began life as the Somerset Central Railway, which was a dead-end branch from Highbridge to Glastonbury and so followed the convention of being Up to the Junction at Highbridge and Down to the terminus at Glastonbury. When it was extended eastwards through what later became Evercreech Junction it continued to be Up to Highbridge and that was maintained when it was extended westwards to Burnham, despite the latter being a terminus. When the Bridgwater Railway was opened in 1890, because the physical junction at Edington Junction faced Up trains coming from Glastonbury the new branch was designated as Up to the terminus at Bridgwater.

    Quite what happened with the L&BR can only be guesswork at the moment, but I would offer the following possibilities for consideration:-
    1. Gamble either did not understand the prevailing convention, or did not give much thought to the matter so chose Up and Down as he saw fit
    2. Given that Lynton station was much higher above sea-level than Barnstaple Town, then Up and Down were based on geography
    3. Given that there would be no through traffic at B/Town because of the gauge difference, then maybe 'going to London' issue was considered somehow irrelevant and so the geographic option was applied instead.

    Chris
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I would have thought that by 1898 the convention of “up” towards London was pretty well established so the apparent reverse on the L&BR is something of an oddity, particularly because it connected at a junction (Barnstaple Town) with well defined up and down.

    A couple of other observations: in our household, a day in London was always referred to as going “up to town”, even though geographically it was more “across”. I’d also note that a prospective student refers to going “up to Oxford” and, if committing some faux pas, “being sent down”, ie away - that usage predates the railways and supports your contention that up and down are defined in terms of from where you are to where you wish to go.

    Tom
     
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  6. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    I think that the London centric version of what constitutes Up and Down rather clouds the issue. What about railways that go nowhere near London (such as in Australia or New Zealand)? A better explaination of the terms is surely that the Up direction heads towards to the zero mile post, where ever that may be, and the Down away from it. To take the S&DJR as an example, the zero mile post was at Bath Junction so the Up line heads towards Bath and the Down line heads away from it towards Bournemouth. As they say.... Simples!

    Peter
     
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  7. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    Certainly not! The GCR London extension goes (and despite some opinion to the contrary, always did go) Up to London, while the zero milepost is at the ‘country’ end. No, mileposts cannot be relied upon to decide Up and Down lines.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  8. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Quite. For example, the Bridgwater Branch mileage started at Edington Junction, despite being Up to the terminus.
     
  9. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    I stand corrected - sorry. Interestingly the gradient book for the GC line into Marylebone shows the route milage from there but not the milepost mileage.

    Then on my own area of knowledge, I had forgotten that the S&D's Highbridge branch ran from a zero post at Evercreech Junction, but the Up direction faced away from there towards Highbridge. It is probably not surprising that the Bridgewater branch followed the same pattern.

    However as a general rule, it is usual for milepost mileage to indicate Up and Down directions, but I accept now that this is not an absolute.

    Peter
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    As far as I'm concerned, it is and always was, down to London, just like it is up to Newcastle, quite simply because that's how it is on the map. You will be the first to admit that I live up north and I bet you refer to yourself as being down south. When it comes to railways, I suspect that the majority of lines that were not part of the big railway system would refer to up as being to the higher end of the line. That's certainly the case with the Talyllyn and I think it is on the Ffestiniog although I'm happy to be told that's wrong. Not as sure about the VOR but, again, I think up is towards Devils Bridge.
     
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  11. Llwyngwern

    Llwyngwern Member

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    I think the Taff Vale, Rhymney and others also went up the valleys and down to the coast.
     
  12. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    Presumably the general principle was that a through train would not switch from being an up train to a down train on the course of its journey. That would not be a consideration for isolated lines, particularly where there was a break of gauge. (Apart from physically climbing up the valleys later on the RR and TVR joined the standard gauge LNWR at their northern ends; indeed the Rhymney was the LNWR's route into Cardiff where that company had a goods station at Tyndall Street).
     
  13. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Well-Known Member

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    All fine until two companies meet. At Wilton Junction the Down Westbury joins the Up Main, and the Up Westbury leads off the Down Main. (Can't blame the GWR (curses!) as the line from Westbury loops back towards Salisbury.)
    Pat
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I don't think that is correct. Trains did start their journeys on (say) an up line and transfer to a down line part way. They would be referred to relative the line they were on.

    Trains could (and do) depart to London from Exeter St Davids in both directions.
     
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  15. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Equally, at any junction where a dead-end branch trails into the Down line, then usually an Up Branch train will become a Down Main train and and Up Main train will become a Down Branch train (eg Exmouth Junction).
     
  16. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    ..and also Plymouth North Road at one time :)
     
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  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Likewise at Exeter St David’s. The Southern, being a proper company, had their up trains running quite correctly from Cowley Bridge to St David’s and ultimately on to London. Whereas the backward heathens elsewhere on the station, for reasons known only to Swindon, insisted a train travelling from Cowley Bridge to St David’s was inexplicably going “down”.

    Tom
     
  18. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    But that conflates whether a train is going "up" or "down", with the track that the train is running on - two different things. So, taking the Exmouth branch as an example, a train may go "down" to Exmouth (given that "Down" is towards Exmouth according to my copy of the relevant Quail atlas), but it will be on the Up line before it gets to Exmouth Junction.
     
  19. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    This old chestnut always makes my head hurt! :Depressed:
     
  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I get like that as well whenever I’m forced to think about Swindon matters.

    Tom
     
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