2023.05.01 1964 Cornish motive power
For a series of possible simulations, starting with West Cornwall 1964, we needed to know what motive power would be in use in Cornwall in the mid-sixties. We selected 1964 since we were able to obtain a complete Working Timetable for that year. As it happened, it was a fortunate choice, as by that date the situation was fairly clear.
"Steam officially came to an end on Cornwall's main line on 3 May 1964 when 34002 'Salisbury' made a farewell to steam run from Plymouth to Penzance, 'Salisbury' became the last locomotive to be turned at Penzance."
It is also well-documented that no diesel-electric classes passed west of Plymouth until several years later. The Western Region was keen to show the superiority of its own fleet of diesel-hydraulics. So in 1964 we have basically the four classes of diesel-hydraulic that were based at Laira depot in Plymouth: the Class 52 "Westerns", The Class 42/43 "Warships", the Class 35 "Hymeks", and the Class 22 "Baby Warships". There was also a small class of five "Warships" from the North British company, numbered D600-D604, which would probably have been Class 41 but were never so numbered. These were not often seen in Cornwall, but we allow an occasional appearance.
There's a cloud obscuring the state of the Hymeks, though. There are very few photos of them in Cornwall, and one or two books and articles hint at a prohibition, requiring specific authority for any movement over the Royal Saltash Bridge. We decided to allow just an occasional such working.
Then we come to the diesel multiple units, mostly operating in three-car sets in the summer, though Laira had some single cars and some two-car sets and they may have seen use in Cornwall out of season. The three car sets were either high-density suburban sets of classes 116/117/118 or "cross-country" set of class 120. The latter were probably intended for longer-distance services, but the service pattern in 1964 would have made it difficult to maintain such a distinction.