SEmG

Bude

Decline and fall summed up the years after the end of WWII. A brief post-war return of traffic either side of nationalisation soon declined as the travelling public found it could afford a motor car, then from April 1950 the Western Region assumed commercial and engineering responsibilities for the line, though the trains were still run by the Southern Region, the lines so operated being referred to as "penetrating lines". In 1958 control was handed back to the Southern Region, but only briefly as, on 1st January 1963, all responsibilies went over to the Western Region, itself heavily committed to dieselisation. The timetable was cut back with the through coaches for Waterloo discontinued, replaced from 1st January 1965 by diesel railcars that connected with services to Paddington at Exeter St Davids, or sometimes a North British diesel with a single coach. Bude did, for a short time, have one direct train to Paddington on summer Saturdays, but the writing was on the wall as the process leading to closure was already under way. First the goods services were withdrawn from 5th September 1964, with the goods railhead removed to Launceston to be carried on from there by lorry, and finally the passenger service, along with the Halwill to Wadebridge route, closing from October 1966, just over 68 years since the triumphal opening. The last train, diesel railcar Nº55012, left Bude for Exeter Central on 1st October, crammed full with the passengers that had deserted the line in their droves.
 
The view towards Holsworthy, slaughterhouse to the left, yellow shunt signal Nº30 (up siding to main) and Nº31 crossover in the foreground.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

Bude
 
Bude The engine shed, inspection pit, coal stage and water tower.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

 
The two gasholders on the down side of the main line.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

Bude
 
Bude The main gasworks building situated beside the down siding, with the main line and part of Nº26 crossover in the foreground.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

 
View from the up yard of Nº23 crossover (bay to main) and shunt signal Nº29 (loop to main), with the gasworks beyond.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

Bude
 
Bude End of the line - the main buffer stops were situated 228 miles 308 yards from Waterloo. Photographed on 1st September 1961.

photograph by A E West

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This page was last updated 10 October 2007

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