Published: 7th August 2015
On Monday 27 July the B&WR received an unusual request from West Coast Railways based in Carnforth in Lancashire. Could we do some work on St. Blazey turntable, the only such structure in all of Cornwall and Devon? WCR are operators of mainline steam trains, and were due to bring a Royal Duchy special from Bristol to Par on Sunday 2 August. To be able to return to Bristol facing forwards the steam locomotive (Battle of Britain class 4-6-2 no. 34067 "Tangmere") would have to turn on the turntable, which is owned by the freight company DB Schenker and has not received any maintenance for some years. After considerable negotiation B&WR staff were allowed on site on Friday 31 July. They oiled and greased the turntable, removed large amounts of vegetation and accumulated litter from its pit, and unblocked the drains. On testing it was found to be in good condition, and Tangmere was successfully turned on the Sunday. Is this a FIRST for a British heritage railway?