- Atlantic Coast Line, Cornwall
Atlantic Coast Line
The line at St Blazey Bridge
alongside the remains of the Par Canal
Overview Type Community rail System National Rail Status Open Locale Cornwall Termini Par
Stations 7 Operation Opened 1874 Owner Network Rail Operator(s) First Great Western
DB Schenker (freight)
Depot(s) St Blazey Rolling stock Classes 43, 150, 153, 221 Technical Line length 20.75 miles (33 km) No. of tracks 1 Track gauge 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) Standard gauge Loading gauge RA6 / W6A Operating speed 50 mph (80 km/h)
The Atlantic Coast Line starts from Par station, in the village and port of Par. The station is located on the Cornish Main Line, and trains to Newquay must first traverse a near 180 degree curved chord line before joining the route of the former Cornwall Minerals Railway (CMR) near the former St Blazey station. The route of the CMR is followed for the rest of the journey.
From St Blazey, the CMR route utilised the route of the even earlier Par Canal, originally built to serve the nearby Fowey Consols mine, as far as its terminus at Pontsmill, where the Luxulyan Valley is entered. The thickly wooded terrain and steep granite slopes of this valley surround the fast-flowing River Par, contain a large concentration of early 19th century industrial remains, and have been designated a World Heritage Site.
Shortly before reaching Luxulyan station, the line passes under the Treffry Viaduct, a historic dual-purpose railway viaduct and aqueduct that was built in 1844. This both supplied water to the Fowey Consoles mine, and also carried the main line of the Treffry Tramways, a precursor to the CMR.
Between Roche and St Columb Road stations, the line passes through Goss Moor nature reserve. The bridge over the A30 road has been the site of many road accidents. In the past it has been proposed to divert the line, so that it starts from St Austell railway station and continues via the old Newquay and Cornwall Junction Railway freight-only line, joining the current route at St Dennis. This proposal has now been dropped as a suitable new route for the road has been found that will avoid the bridge and nature reserve.
The busiest station on the line is Newquay, where more than 10 times the number of passengers arrive and depart each year than the other stations added together. The annual passenger usage is based on sales of tickets in stated financial years from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. The statistics are for passengers arriving and departing from each station and cover twelve month periods that start in April. Please note that methodology may vary year on year.
Station Name 2002-2003 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 Luxulyan 1,005 791 1,160 1,252 922 1,214 1,372 Bugle 836 1,362 1,661 1,691 1,557 2,606 3,694 Roche 574 1,137 1,222 1,041 1,123 1,242 1,570 St Columb Road 813 733 1,031 1,390 783 1,222 1,590 Quintrel Downs 879 918 928 794 334 578 974 Newquay 76,103 83,712 71,301 77,188 87,550 126,244 102,232
The statistics cover twelve month periods that start in April.
The Atlantic Coast Line is one of the railway lines supported by the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, an organisation formed in 1991 to promote railway services in the area. The line is promoted by many means such as regular timetable and scenic line guides, as well as leaflets highlighting leisure opportunities.
The Atlantic Coast Line rail ale trail was launched in 2005 to encourage rail travellers to visit pubs near the line. There were originally 16 pubs but one has since closed. There are three in Newquay, two at St Columb Road, six in and around Par, and one each at Quintrell Downs, Roche, Bugle and Luxulyan. 5, 10 or 15 stamps collected in the Rail Ale Trail leaflet entitle the participant to claim special Atlantic Coast Line Rail Trail souvenir merchandise.
The local passenger service over the line was designated by the Department for Transport as a community rail service in September 2006. This aims to increase the number of passengers and reduce costs and includes the investigation of how to get a better spread of train times during the day, and how to increase.train services in the peak summer season. The designation allows for improvements to the long-distance summer trains and the freight traffic.
Focal, a local "friends of the line" group helped to achieve a 75% increase in Par to Newquay passenger services through negotiation and cooperation with the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership and First Great Western.
The line is single from St Blazey to Newquay. A passing loop is situated just south of Bugle, originally built for the china clay freight trains going to Goonbarrow freight yard. These days it is also used for the summer trains to pass each other, so one train can enter the line before the other is out. The loop uses semaphore signals.
Atlantic Coast LineLegend Cornish Main Line to Penzance 0.00 Par Cornish Main Line to London St Blazey engine shed 0.50 St Blazey Middleway Bridge Crossing St Blazey Bridge Crossing Pontsmill Siding Pontsmill Viaduct (Rockmill branch) (Carmears Incline) Rockmill Viaduct 3.75 Treffry Viaduct 4.25 Luxulyan Rocks Siding (private siding) 5.75 Goonbarrow Junction (Carbean branch) Molinnis Crossing 6.25 Bugle (Wheal Rose branch) (Carbis Wharf branch) 8.75 Roche 12.50 St Dennis Junction (branch to Burngullow) Toldish Tunnel 14.25 St Columb Road Coswarth Tunnel 18.25 Quintrell Downs Trencreek Crossing 19.75 Tolcarn Junction (branch to Perranporth) Trenance Viaduct 20.75 Newquay (Newquay Harbour)
Local passenger services are operated by First Great Western. On summer weekends all the local services are withdrawn and replaced by a mixture of First Great Western trains from London Paddington and CrossCountry trains from the North of England. Most CrossCountry trains do not call at Par. First Great Western generally add an additional (ninth) coach to their HST sets which was used exclusively for luggage. Crowd-control measures, comprising additional barriers, staff and ticket checks, are often in effect on summer Saturdays.
In 2007 First Great Western began running a through service from London Paddington on Mondays to Fridays in July and August in addition to the two or three running on summer Saturdays and one return working on Sundays. Many of these workings are named The Atlantic Coast Express. Some of the Saturday direct services are true express services calling only at Par, Plymouth (set down only), Exeter St David's (set down only) and London Paddington.
The eastern section of the line - as far as Goonbarrow Junction - sees a large amount of china clay freight traffic operated by DB Schenker. This company operates a depot to service locomotives, which is situated at St Blazey, north of Par.
A freight spur connects the line at St Blazey with Par Harbour, passing under the main line from Par to St Austell on route. Although originally built as part of the Cornwall Minerals Railway to convey mineral traffic into the harbour, today it is principally used to convey dried china clay from the clay dries at the harbour.
On 25 May 1991 the first train of the day from Newquay to London Paddington derailed in the Luxulyan Valley. The passengers were moved into the HST's rear power car which, unusually, was then uncoupled and ran slowly back to Luxulyan railway station where the passengers were transferred to road vehicles to continue their journey.
On 30 December 2006, heavy rainfall caused a landslide on an embankment near St Blazey, blocking the line to both passenger and freight trains. A replacement bus service was run to cover for the passenger service, until the line reopened on 8 January 2007.
On 12 June 2007 a train collided with a car crossing a level crossing at Chapel near Newquay, there were however no barriers on the crossing, but early indications were that the siren and warning lights were working. No passengers on the train were injured, however the car driver was. Previous accidents had happened at the same level crossing. As a result temporary bus transport was organised.
- ^ "Great Scenic Railways of Devon and Cornwall - Newquay". Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070927234323/http://www.carfreedaysout.com/newquay.htm. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
- ^ a b c Ordnance Survey (2005). OS Explorer Map 107 - Fowey, Looe & Lostwithiel. ISBN 0-319-23708-3.
- ^ a b "Luxulyan Valley". Cornwall & Scilly Historic Environment Service. 2006. http://www.cornish-mining.org.uk/sites/luxval.htm. Retrieved 24 May 2007.
- ^ "A30 Goss Moor Briefing". Cornwall Friends of the Earth. http://www.foecornwall.org/goss-moor.html. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
- ^ "Moor dualling plans get go-ahead". BBC. 29 November 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/4052133.stm. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
- ^ Ordnance Survey (2005). OS Explorer Map 106 - Newquay & Padstow. . ISBN 0-319-23707-9.
- ^ "Station Usage". Rail Statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/nav.1529. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- ^ Department for Transport, Rail Group (2006), Route prospectus for the … The Atlantic Coast Line
- ^ "Local". Celebrating Success. Local. 2008. http://www.focal.org.uk. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
- ^ Vaughan, John (1991). The Newquay Branch and its Branches. Sparkford: Haynes/Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-86093-470-5.
- ^ "The Atlantic Coast Line - Par - Newquay - Timetable" (PDF). Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership. Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070126011557/http://www.carfreedaysout.com/timetables/newqaytt.pdf. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
- ^ "Depot Information - Wales and Western". thejunction.org.uk. http://www.thejunction.org.uk/depot_w.html. Retrieved 24 May 2007.
- ^ "Transport Background Technical Report - South West Regional Spatial Strategy" (PDF). South West Regional Assembly. September 2006. pp. page 20. http://www.southwest-ra.gov.uk/media/SWRA/RSS%20Documents/TransportBackgroundTechnicalReport.pdf. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
- ^ Surl, Malcolm (2007). "Solo HST power car". Modern Railways (Ian Allan Ltd) 64 (705): 32.
- ^ "Landslide closes rail branchline". BBC. 3 January 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/jersey/6228627.stm. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
- ^ "Driver injured in train collision". BBC. 12 June 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/6744815.stm. Retrieved 13 June 2007.
- Great Scenic Railways in Devon and Cornwall.
- The Focal group - working for improved passenger services on the Atlantic Coast Line
Railway lines in the South West Primary Secondary LocalAtlantic Coast Line · Avocet Line · Bristol to Taunton Line · Cornish Main Line · Cotswold Line · Gloucester to Newport Line · Golden Valley Line · Heart of Wessex Line · Henbury Loop · Looe Valley Line · Lostwithiel to Fowey · Maritime Line · Portishead Branch · Riviera Line · Severn Beach Line · St Ives Bay Line · Tamar Valley Line · Tarka Line · Wessex Main Line Heritage
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