This page will describe the Train Services (both passenger and goods) on the former Callington Branch railway line. Please click here for an Index of all Callington Branch pages in RailWest.
To be completed ...
To be completed ...
Click here to see a copy of the BR Working Timetable for the branch commencing 5-June-1950. Read on for a first-hand description of the services in 1953....
The first train of the day was the 5.20 am passenger from Callington. This train of two coaches [`Gate' Set No. 361] would arrive at Bere Alston at 6.08 am and would attach its two coaches to the 6.00 am from Tavistock to Plymouth, which left Bere Alston at 6.13 am. Four and a half minutes were allowed for the attachment. This, of course, was one of the many Southern through services. The engine would work a goods train back to Gunnislake, leaving Bere Alston at 6.25 am and arriving at Gunnislake at 6.45 am. Then the engine would work the 7.08 am from Gunnislake, the engine and two coaches [either `Gate' Set 373 or 374] arriving at Bere Alston at 7.29 am. The two coaches would be attached to the 7.05 Brentor to Plymouth [either `Gate' Set 373 or 374], leaving Bere Alston at 7.35 am. Again, four and a half minutes being allowed for the attachment and making the second through service of the day.
The branch engine then worked the 8.03 am Bere Alston to Callington [either as light engine or with a goods train if required] arriving at 8.39 am. It then worked the 10.15 am goods arriving at Bere Alston at 12.11 pm and returning to Callington at 2.50 pm, when it went to shed. The 10.15 and the 12.40 pm goods were the trains that visited Hingston Down Quarry. The next passenger train from Callington was the 7.16 am which arrived at Bere Alston at 7.59 am. This was a two coach train [the so-called "A" set comprised of Trailer Brake Compos. 6557 & 6558] and it returned to Callington with the 8.24 am train, arriving at Callington at 9.08 am. It then worked the 9.40 am from Callington ["A" set again] with a milk van marshalled next to the engine, and arrived at Bere Alston at 10.23 am. The milk van would be attached to the 10.30 am Plymouth train. The engine then worked the 10.50 am Bere Alston to Callington ["A" set], arriving at 11.34 am.
The next train for this engine would be the 1.00 pm Callington to Bere Alston ["A" set] arriving at 1.42 pm. The return working would be the 3.15 pm from Bere Alston ["A" set], getting back to Callington at 3.57 pm. On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays a train ran to Gunnislake and back before 3.15 pm [1 58 pm Bere Alston, arrive Gunnislake 2.18 pm,.returning at 2.26 p.m and arriving back at Bere Alston 2. 47 pm, using the "A" set]. The next service from Callington would be the 4.23 pm ["A" set], which arrived at Bere Alston at 5.06 pm. It returned again with the 5.23 pm [`Gate' Set No. 361] due Callington at 6.05 pm.
On Monday to Friday the last service from Callington would be the 6.20 pm [`Gate' Set No. 361] arriving Bere Alston at 7.01 pm. The return service would be the 7.10 pm [`Gate' Set No. 361] to Callington arriving at 7.53 pm. The engine would then go to shed and await the working of the following day's 7.16 am train. On Saturdays only there would be a late train from Callington leaving at 9.20 pm, which would return to Callington at 10.05 pm.
Working of the Friary loco.
The engine had worked the 7.34 am Plymouth Friary to Tavistock, the coaches coming off the 5.20 am train from Callington. The train arrived at Tavistock at 8.31 am, then worked back to Bere Alston arriving at 8.57 am and berthedg the two coaches in the Tuckermarsh sidings ready for the 8.00 pm Callington service. After berthing the coaches the engine usually ran light engine to Gunnislake, arriving there at 9.22 am. The engine then worked a goods train leaving Gunnislake at 9.38 am and arriving back at Bere Alston at 10.09 am. The engine would then shunt at Bere Alston if required.
The engine then would then work the 11.13 am goods train to Gunnislake
due at 11.36 am. Sometimes the engine would pilot the 10.15 am freight to Bere Alston
(arrival 12.36 pm). The engine would then run light engine back to Plymouth Friary,
leaving Bere Alston at 12.56 pm and arriving Friary at 1.26 pm. This engine would
then be prepared for working the 4.53 pm Plymouth Friary to Gunnislake. The coaches
[either `Gate' Set 373 or 374] would come from the mornings 7.08 am service from
Gunnislake. The service arrived at Bere Alston at 5.43 pm. The train would shunt from the
up platform into the branch platform, the engine would run around and would leave at 6.00
pm arriving at Gunnislake at 6.21 pm, berthing the coaches which would form the next
morning's 7.08 am service. The engine would then return light to Bere Alston at 6.57 pm,
crossing with the 7.10 pm train at Calstock.
The engine would arrive at Bere Alston at 7.27 pm. It would then pick up the coaches from the Tuckermarsh sidings and leave Bere Alston at 8.00 pm for Callington, getting there at 8.42 pm and would prepare the coaches for the 5.20 am train the next day. The last working for this engine would be the 9.15 pm goods from Callington due Bere Alston at 10.00 pm after which the engine returned light to Plymouth Friary. This is how the services were run for many years before and after 1953.
To be completed ...
© Chris Osment 2005
1950 WTT courtesy Glen Woods.
1953 service details courtesy John Snell and Bruce Hunt, with set details from Glen Woods.
Luggage label, SR platform ticket and BTC railmotor ticket WCRA collection.
BR singles and SR excursion ticket courtesy Courtney Haydon.