Lapford station yard

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by Cowley, 10 Feb 2019.

  1. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Evening everyone.
    A bit of a long shot, but does anyone know when the last freight ran to Lapford and what was carried etc?
    The yard was cut back sometime in the 1980s but still received traffic quite late on.
    It's only recently (the last ten years) that the loop and remaining sidings were taken out. But what was the last working to serve the remains of the yard?
    I've Googled, Googled and Googled again, so I've probably seen most of the obvious stuff (including the excellent Cornwall Railway Society site), but if anyone has any other information that isn't so well known I'd very much appreciate it.
    Thanks folks. :smile:
     
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  3. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    I'll see if I can find some more detail later as I've got to dash out now, apparently fertiliser was delivered to Lapford until 1993 with this traffic ceasing sometime during that year, not sure if anything used the facility after that apart from perhaps the the odd one off service? Will check some more later.
     
  4. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Brilliant. Fertiliser is ringing a bell. Maybe in a single VGA van?
     
  5. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    It was April 1993, the shot below (not mine and credited to Terry Gough) appears to show at least a pair of what look like large bogie Cargowaggons on one of the very last services to use Lapford yard. Apparently they normally arrived very early on a Monday morning or as requested before the first passenger service of the day to give the locomotive time to clear the section on its return to Exeter.
     

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  6. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    That's exactly the sort of thing I need. Shows perfectly what was there at the time.
    I've found these photos on the Cornwall Railway Society site.
    The first two were taken in 1984 by Ron Kosys and show 47128 picking up a single OCA (surely one of the most inefficient workings ever? :lol:) He says that it had possibly dropped off bagged fertiliser.
    IMG_0630.JPG
    Lovely stuff.
    IMG_0108.JPG
    It's interesting to note that some kind of gravel store has been plonked on top of the other sidings.
    The point and spur must've been taken out quite soon after?

    And then there's this picture also on the same site taken by Roger Smith showing what was left in 1986.
    IMG_0632.JPG
    There's a load of logs ready for loading into those wagons, and there's another type of traffic that I vaguely remember seeing. Possibly 33 hauled?
     
  7. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    Some excellent pictures there Mr C! Are those buildings what was formerly the Ambrosia Creamery which no doubt provided the bulk of the traffic at Lapford back in its heyday? Another question....having just been studying Google Satellite and Streetview the loop connection at the Barnstaple end now looks to be removed, yet the line still appears connected at the Exeter end leaving it as a siding, what would be its purpose nowadays do you think?
     
  8. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Well I thought it had all gone when they replaced the track recently.
    I'm working nearby today though so I'll stop off and take some photos this afternoon.
     
  9. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    I think you're right, as I've since had a look at the Apple sat view and that is obviously more up to date as it quite clearly shows newly laid track with sadly all traces of the former loop gone.
     
  10. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Yep. So the only set of points north of Crediton now on the Barnstaple route must be the ones on Eggesford loop.
    Still. It least we've still got the branch.
     
  11. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    Yes thank god, and I think it's also fair to say a thriving one too!
     
  12. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    I think I saw a green 158 go past earlier. Only saw it out of the corner of my eye though so not sure.
     
  13. davetheguard

    davetheguard Member

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    Here's a couple of pictures I took at Lapford station in May 2017 as we were setting off on a walk to Morchard Road station DSC00068.JPG DSC00069.JPG DSC00072.JPG .
     
  14. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    The last one is particularly useful for me because I just had a walk around the station and took some photos:
    IMG_0641.JPG IMG_0645.JPG IMG_0647.JPG IMG_0649.JPG

    Unfortunately my phone ran out of charge before I got to the far end of the platform!
    There's still a little bit of marooned track on the Rose Removals side of the fence - It's the remains of the siding that finished next to the bridge...

    Thanks Dave and Mr Bridge, most helpful. :smile:
     
  15. John Webb

    John Webb Established Member

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    Last edited: 12 Feb 2019
  16. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Up to about 1988 there was an Exeter allocated class 33 for "as required" workings of ex Lapford timber and a rare block load of fertilizer (UKF) - that OCA above would be one from pool 4521.

    This loco tended to be used as a relief engine by the Area Manager Exeter , who had also "acquired" some MK1 coaches.

    Freight sectorisation quickly picked up on this , (i.e a very poor use of resources and a free subsidy to the passenger railway) , and the diagram was withdrawn.
     
  17. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Thanks for that. Very interesting.
    This has bought back lots of memories of what we used to call the 'Exeter Scratch Set' - basically the rake of three Mk1s (two blue and grey half brakes and a Network Southeast TSO), that were often stored somewhere around St David's awaiting the inevitable scrambling due to one too many DMUs overheating on a hot day.
    Here's a photo of said set at Barnstaple with class 50 superpower on the front from 'Wobblewinterwanderings' collection.
    IMG_0656.JPG

    Those blue and grey ones were hilariously rough. They looked like they'd been sneaked out Vic Berry's yard when he was looking the other way. :lol:

    Another question if anyone knows the answer:
    There's lots of photos of Eastleigh based 33/0s on the Crediton to Barnstaple section, but I've never seen a picture of a 33/1 up there.
    I assume that the odd one must have at some point though? They often went to Meldon on stone trains, but I suppose that while regular loco hauled passenger services were finishing around 1988 perhaps the 33/1s were still full time employed on push pull Waterloo to Salisbury diagrams?
     
  18. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    That's a great picture. Thanks John.
     
  19. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    The excellent John Heaton (Area Manager) - refers to the scratch set as "the secret resource" , with vehicles harvested from passing empty coaching sets ........kept the job going. His books are a good read. Explains the challenge of running a railway in increasingly tight times. 33/1's were regulars on such workings as the 4 TC working which connected off the down 0745 Waterloo - Bournemouth , as a fill in for the shuttle to Salisbury from Basingstoke. I commuted on it for about a year.....1984 or so.
     
  20. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    I met John Heaton last year. I've got a friend who works in the panel box at Exeter and he introduced me to him in the pub (they were having a panel box anniversary celebration evening). He was really friendly and interesting (even though I'm nothing to do with the railway).
    I must get one of his books, I've only ever read articles that he's done.
     
  21. davetheguard

    davetheguard Member

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    I've read & enjoyed the first book: "Devon Railways: The Area Manager's Diary 1986 - 1987" which I bought from my usual online book website. A second book is now also out, which is near the top of my to-read pile.
     
  22. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Never met the guy , - but would like to - I enjoyed his books very much , especially as it is good to get an "I was there account" - and also because I knew a good number of his managerial reports in later life. A good record and one that makes people (or some of us anyway) , what a tough but rewarding job an AM had.
     
  23. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Back again with another question... ;)
    These two photos show the points and sidings that were removed in the early to mid 1980s (the furthest ones on the left).
    This by Roger Winnen.
    IMG_0874.JPG

    And this by 'Byndwynder'
    IMG_0870.JPG

    Obviously in this photo the building at the end is more modern and that part of the site is much altered.
    IMG_0646.JPG

    But does anyone know where those sidings ran? I'm wondering if they ran around the back of the warehouse or to something different?
    Bit of a long shot but you never know...
     
  24. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    Mr Cowley take a look at LSWR West Country Lines Then & Now page 151 (I know you have a copy;) ) I think it may answer your question :)
     
  25. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    (Thinks) "Where on various bookshelves is that book..?"

    Give a few minutes. ;)
     
  26. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    It was the Ambrosia Dairy of course!
    I think I knew that too, but there's a very useful track plan in the book that you knew I had... :lol:

    Edit - You said Ambrosia Creamery earlier in the thread and I seem to have had a mental block taking it in.
    I think it's because it was closed in the 1970s and I don't remember it.
    Interestingly the book says the dairy closed in 1970, but the caption of the 25 heading into that bit of yard says 1972 and it looks to me like it's towing a milk tanker?
     
    Last edited: 22 Feb 2019
  27. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    I've just read in a different book for the creamery and it too states 1970 was the closure year, I wonder if the caption date on the picture is wrong?
     
  28. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    It could well be.
    With the milk traffic plus through traffic to Meeth, Ilfracombe, Torrington etc, Lapford must have seen quite a bit of activity still in 1970.
     
  29. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    Just a thought but with you mentioning the above could that milk tanker be bound to/from e.g. Torrington if this formed part of the same working I wonder, or perhaps it was deposited at Barnstaple yard for onward tripping to Torrington which I think still had milk traffic then, if this was the case 1972 could still be the correct date on the photo caption could it not?
     
  30. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Would they have needed to come this far towards Exeter though to do that? I'm not sure I quite understand Mr Bridge.
     
  31. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    Sorry, I was working on the assumption that the North Devon trip workings (inc. milk from Torrington) back then might have worked out from/back to Exeter Riverside Mr C.
     

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