RAILDATE 2023.12.22

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The Weekly Poser: Where is this?

Almost all the railways serving this industrial town have gone, but its main industry still thrives. Where is it?

Last week's Where is this?

We see a 4-car DMU in the mid-1960 at the terminus of a closed branch line. Where is it? Image credit: Peter Green (RCTS Collection)

Answer: Padstow. Congratulations are due to the following for their correct answers: Dave Goodyear, Colin Penfold, John Lacy, Paul Tambini, Ian Lowe, Russel Darling, Paul Hopper, Bryn Pitcher, Ian Bromley, Simon Wass, Andrew Twynham.

[Closer inspection by Dave Goodyear shows that it was actually a 3-car Class 120 coupled to a single-car unit.]

The station buildings still stand, and house the local Town Council. In the background, we can see the Harbour Hotel. The retail units (circled red below) are mostly filled by Rick Stein's fish businesses - his fishmongers, and a chippy. A Raildate reader recommends the bacon sarnies from the shack adjacent to the station building.

The line was once the proud destination of (part of) the Southern's Atlantic Coast Express. The Padstow portion comprised just two carriages as West Country Pacific No. 34096 'Trevone' sets off from Wadebridge for Padstow in July 1960. Image credit: John Courtney-Haydon (RCTS Collection). The holiday service was withdrawn after the 1964 summer season, then the whole line closed in January 1967.

Was I wrong in the question to describe the furthest extremity on the Southern network as a "branch"? Part of the “Withered Arm”, the line to tiny Padstow was in a grey area; too long to be a branch, too peripheral to be a main line. [IMHO]


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©  Matthew Shaw 2023