As the modernisation of the former British Railways moved forward into Railtrack and then Network Rail, various schemes to bring the West Country railway network up to date came… and went! Consequently, the far west of the network from Plymouth to Penzance became locked in a kind of time warp of semaphore signalling and cascaded rolling stock.
During the last forty or so years, Cornwall has seen the demise of once common classes of locomotives and the introduction of the famous HSTs, Class 66s and Voyagers, though journey times have changed little – mainly due to the nature of the route, but the largest hindrance to an improved service is the lack of signals. The signalling was over-rationalised, though the issue was partially rectified with minor upgrade schemes.
This book aims to bring back memories of traction once common, or not so common, on the rails of the Duchy of Cornwall.