Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Choo Choo to Cornwall

Blogger DeeJohn almost annually takes his holidays in Cornwall and I believe travels there by train. I have seen some of his photos and it looks to be a very nice train trip. The relative warmth and weather of Cornwall attracts many holiday makers, along with its history too. I wold love to travel there by train from London on the Great Western Railway (GWR is not clearly defined. I would say Great South Western Railway).

It was disappointing to recently hear the train can often be overloaded and that even with a seat reservation, someone may sit there and there is not much you can do about it. I don't think Victoria's own VLine conductors would allow such nonsense.

In a terrible storm in February 2014, the line to Cornwall was damaged where it passes along a sea wall in the small town of Dawlish, Devon. The sea wall was badly damaged and the train line left suspended in the air. It took until April for the line to be repaired with repairs seeming to be underway overnight as well. Some interesting flood lights rising from ground at night and the retracting back during the day were used. Most photos are from English media publications.

How pretty it must be to see the sea from the train window as you are off on your summer holidays.


Big waves. Photo by Stewart Armstrong.


Great Britain does really big waves crashing into its coastline very well. Remember the photo I posted of a Blackpool tram with sea water swirling around its wheels as waves crashed over the sea wall, which by the way have been since improved.


The aftermath.


The track welding must have been very good. "You walk across." "No, you walk across first." "Where's the apprentice?"


What a disaster. Peoples, be careful when stepping out your front door.


Yes, it really must be a lovely train journey. Lucky they aren't steam trains as the fire in the boiler might be doused. 1:22



16 comments:

  1. Andrew I love travelling by train but now I drive a car. Definitely it is nice to travel by train in GB

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    1. Gosia, train travel is very restful, not so car driving.

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  2. Wow what a thrill that would be waves over a train I never even been in a train in a big storm well maybe the local ones but I have been in a plane that's no fun very fearful that was.
    Merle,,,,,,,,,,,,

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    1. I agree Merle, it would be great fun to go through the crashing waves.

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  3. Wow. My wussy self would not be comfortable with waves crashing over the train.
    Chuckling at sending the apprentice over that line. Probably close to the mark.
    My mother spent a lot of her childhood in Cornwall. And Devon. Both look lovely.

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    1. EC, well they are waterproof. Those counties seem to be the most picturesque coastal areas of Britain.

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  4. Nope, I'd be jolly well concerned that the waves would knock the train over!

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    1. The tsunami did in Sri Lanka, Fen. But trains are heavy.

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  5. I have never travelled in a train and seen the ocean at the same time. I think I would enjoy that a lot.

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    1. River, we have one suburban line does for a few minutes. It is nice.

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  6. The single carriage train looks odd to me but I suppose it is not much different from a tram.

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    1. Victor,they used to be called rail motors here. I don't know about now or in England.

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  7. Replies
    1. Strayer, it seems everywhere has bad weather at times.

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    2. Strayer, it seems everywhere has bad weather at times.

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  8. Andrew, and all other correspondents, Hi,
    Waves like that aren't necessarily dangerous - they've hit the sea wall and most of their energy is expended pushing the water upwards, unlike a tsunami where the energy is in more of a horizontal plane. Of course, the wind can be a serious factor. The sea wall at Dawlish is subject to constant attacks by the sea and has stood up remarkably well, a tribute to the original designers and workmen. While trains, as you say, are (generally) waterproof, it was found that some of the new ones, with lots of roof-mounted equipment, simply failed. Presumably they could cope with torrential driving rain but not being almost submerged in sea water.
    As for the Great South Western Railway, that is almost true. The Great Western Railway ran from Paddington in London via Reading and Bristol or Newbury to Exeter, thence along the southern coastlines of Devon (think Dawlish, Torquay, Paignton) to Plymouth and so on into Cornwall to Penzance. The London and South Western Railway, however, ran from Waterloo in London, via Salisbury, also to Exeter, whence it served the northern areas of Devon and Cornwall - Barnstaple, Ilfracombe, Okehampton, Bideford and Bude and, eventually, Plymouth. The LSWR route from Exeter, which would have provided a useful diversionary route between Exeter and Plymouth after the Dawlish washout was closed as a through route in the 1960s, so the (vulnerable) ex-GWR line through Dawlish is now the only rail link to Plymouth and the whole of Cornwall. I'm not sure they're unique but at both Exeter St Davids and Plymouth North Road stations, trains towards London could leave the stations in either direction. Maybe it's not surprising that there are now calls to reinstate the LSWR route which, I believe, is still largely extant; trains still run on part of it (Exeter to Okehampton and Meldon Quarry, Gunnislake to Plymouth) and I gather much of the remainder could easily be reinstated, as was the 'Waverley Route' from Edinburgh to Tweedbank less than a year ago.

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