04 January 2013

Plym Valley and PCT PG

RAIL passengers rolled back the clock when they stepped aboard a train to mark the reopening of a branch line. Aubrey Hawke and Bernard Mills were among those on the last train to use the old branch line between Plymouth, Tavistock and Launceston 50 years ago.

Fifty years ago Mr Hawke was the last passenger to board the line, which was severed by Dr Beeching's axe and closed earlier than planned because of winter snow. Bernard Mills, a photographer and founder-member of the Plym Valley Railway, was also on the last train 50 years ago and on the first train.

The railway will open to visitors on certain Sundays from 11am, starting from Easter Sunday.

This is Plymouth

Jason Beverley was there with the PCTPG and took quite a few photos of the PCTPG fleet which of course ran a a free bus service to the event. His photos can be found here on his Flickr account

Plym Valley 301212 057 Plym Valley 301212 075
Both pics ©Jason Beverley.

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  1. any chance of a map of the line and some pix of trains?

  2. Sloppy journalism from the Herald/This is Plymouth I'm afraid. The Beeching Report (actually called 'The Reshaping of British Railways') was published in March 1963 and the Plymouth to Tavistock South line was closed on December 29th 1962 so this closure was nothing to do with the 'Beeching Axe'.

    1. Yes, once again we can rely on the Herald to get all their facts wrong as per normal! As correctly stated, closure of the Plym Valley line was nothing to do with Beeching. The line was already scheduled for closure. From what I was told, the severe winter of 1962 / 1963 caused major damage to the signalling along the line, so it was easier to just close the line early to passenger traffic.

      Over Christmas I've started going through my late grandfathers slides (he was a keen photographer). I've come across some photographs taken at Gunnislake in the 1960's / 1970's showing some lovely old BR DMU units. Quite a few historic photo's of Plymouth and the surrounding area from around the same era. I'm hopeful there's some more, so once I've scanned them in, documented and cleaned them, I'll share some links on here.

  3. Has 52 been fit with a new blind?!

    1. Yep, 52 has been fitted with an LED destination display. I'm not sure if they've been able to program in destinations to the display yet as they're missing the thing that's like a USB stick that you plug into the computer to 'copy and paste' destinations created in HELEN, the sign editing program, and you then plug that 'stick' into the controller on the bus. It's called a 'KEYLO' - picture here if anyone's interested.


  4. Any predictions for 2013 ??? First, Citybus, Target etc ????

  5. no we havent yet tom. only dests on it atm are things like go ahead first cymru brighton and hove etc

  6. Ralph Delbridge Chairman PCT PG6 January 2013 at 22:02

    Target Travel assisted in us acquiring the destination for which we are very grateful (and a fee pennies lighter!).
    Watch out for 7552 at future events and it's programmed destinations.


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