Seasonal area

February 2009

Current Seasonal Area is here

Promises about it never snowing in Cornwall, which instead grows tropical plants in the comfortable knowledge that the temperature never drops below freezing, eventually proved incorrect in the Great Snow of February 2009. On the second day the sun came out and melted everything again, but the snow had done its bit and we had got a picture of it showing the Falmouth Branch train heading out of Penryn station on its way to the junction at Truro.

Penryn originated as a fishing village a little to the north of Falmouth, but it has expanded over the years and the two places now form a continuous development along the old A39 as it heads out of Falmouth past Penryn's quays (although the A39 itself now avoids these quays and bypasses Penryn). The village expanded into a town, complete with clock tower and one-way system. Housing developments in the 1930s and 1950s brought people in and continued the growth. Eventually it was blessed with a university, jointly run by University College Falmouth and the Unversity of Exeter, funded by the EU and sprawled on an area of former farmland now called Tremough Campus ("Tremough" translates from the Cornish as "Pig Farm"). It also has a supermarket courtesy of ASDA ("part of the Wal-Mart family"), lots of buses driving very fast along roads which are six inches narrower than they are, causing traffic jams whenever they meet, and a railway station.

The Falmouth Branch has for some years being worked as a long siding, but work is now taking place to provide a regular-interval half-hourly service between Truro and Falmouth. This will be about double the intensity of services on the mainline. The stock is to be obtained by cutting the current two car train in half (not very difficult, since British Rail did it in the early 1990s, but traffic levels have since increased and so these single-car units have been working in pairs). Penryn station is to be a passing loop and because station footbridges are expensive and foot crossings are banned this is to be achieved by extending the current platform so both trains can stop at it and using the loop line (covered in snow to the left) to allow trains to pass. The left-hand platform is to remain out of use.

Between snowfalls the sun is occasionally coming out, except when it rains.

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