13 May 2008

Fuel Terminal Railway


Fuel Terminal Railway

©Highton-Ridley (Flickr)

Came across this wonderful picture on Flickr the other day and then came across this piece of news today:

I don't think it has already been posted, but unfortunately, the Esso bitumen plant at Cattewater is closing in July. The last bitumen has been delivered by rail. There will be a trip to the plant, probably Tuesday next week to collect the final empty wagons
and then that will be it. The loss of traffic seems to be an Esso decision as they did not
want to replace the tank wagons whose bodies have pretty much reached the
end of their working life. Instead, Esso have invested in new lorries and lorry drivers in order to deliver the bitumen by road.

If this is indeed true, and it seems that it is, then its another sad end of a little of of transport history in Plymouth. The last train onto the site may well be tomorrow (14th May) by the sound of it, although I have yet to see confirmation of this.



  1. I was amazed to see the other week a good train along making its way along this line. I did a double take.

  2. Im one of the last two remaining staff at the bitumen plant..there was only 4 of us!! Our last train was yesterday (Friday 16/5/08) which came in at 6am to take the empties from our last delivery. Indeed it is a very sad day and ive enjoyed every minute of the last 10 years ive spent there. The site officially closes on the 30th june 08 and will be decomissioned by the 31st july. Another peice of plymouth railway and industrial history lost forever.

  3. Hi, Highton-Ridley here... thanks for saying nice things about my photo. As it happens, I've got an exhibition starting Sept 10th in Tamar Science Park (by Derriford Hospital) and this is one of the images that will be on canvas... in case anyone's interested ;)


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