Closure of the former Park & Ride site at nearby Lelant Saltings, and development of a large new car park south of the station, has seen some significant changes at St. Erth station, that delightful junction in South West Cornwall for the branch line to St. Ives.
Paying a return visit for the first time in almost a year, it was impressive to see how the new facilities had been completed on both sides of the station, with the station itself (Grade II Listed) looking immaculately tidy, with friendly staff and a charming independently-run buffet.
Since the largest part of the new station car park is south of the station, whose narrow footbridge requires users to negotiate 44 steps, a free shuttle bus (pictured above) has been launched to connect the two sides of the station, as well as offering a new station link from St Erth village and nearby Hayle.A number of passenger trains on the St Ives branch normally run from or to Penzance, notably at the start and end of services.
That has been temporarily halted by delay in repairing a set of points, so the two units operating St. Ives services -150219 (Blue) and 150233 (green) – are stabled overnight in bay platform 3 at St Erth, rather than at Long Rock depot.
On the Paddington-Penzance main line, the biggest change over the past year has been complete replacement of long distance HSTs with the Hitachi Class 80x IET sets, and introduction of the 2+4 “Castle” sets on many stopping services in the Royal Duchy.
Pictured here are 43093/041 with the 07.30 Penzance-Plymouth (above) and 57602 Restormel Castle arriving at 07.45 with the down Night Riviera sleeper service (below).As I wrote last October, St. Erth remains home to the most southerly semaphores in Britain. This pair are down section signal SE7 and up outer home SE68, which can both be seen a photographed from a bridge that stands a 15-minute walk south of the station.
Seen here on 13 September 2019 are 43088/086 (in FGW blue livery) with the 11.41 Penzance-Newton Abbot passing SE68 (above) and 43097/153 in GWR green livery passing SE7 with the 09.26 Exeter St. Davids-Penzance (below).