Plus parts of East Cornwall and West Devon

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: August 13, 2018
Webpage updated: August 13, 2018

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Wearde Signal Box was opened circa 1904 by the Great Western Railway Company on the original Cornwall Railway Company's line.  It measured 25 feet 3 inches by 12 feet and contained 23 levers.  During the construction work on the new Saint Germans deviation, a loop siding was installed on the Up side of the existing line.  Both were signalled in both directions and the signal box was at the very western end of the siding.  The siding had two run-offs to prevent runaway wagons from blocking the main line.  On the main line was automatic mail exchange apparatus on both the Down and Up sides, although why mail should be sent to this remote spot is not clear unless it was all intended for Royal Naval Torpedo School aboard HMS "Defiance" at Wearde Quay.  To the north of this siding was the cutting where the new deviation was being built.

Once the new route was constructed, and a new Defiance Platform built on both Down and Up tracks, the original track was disconnected form the main line and created a Down siding behind the Down platform.  The loop siding referred to above was also left in situ on what was now the abandoned route.  This was connected by a facing link to the Down line and a trailing link to the Up line, all being worked from the new Wearde Signal Box at 252 miles 20 chains from London Paddington via Bristol Temple Meads Station and Plymouth Station (Millbay).  At some unknown time the Mail Exchange Apparatus was removed and not reinstalled on the new main line. 

To work the revised layout a new Wearde Signal Box was brought in to use on June 24th 1908.  It measured 25 feet by 11 feet and contained 19 levers.  Unlike the old Box, this one could be switched out.

Defiance Platform was taken out of use on or as from October 27th 1930.

In April 1943 the Down Siding was linked to the Down main line  at the end of Coombe-by-Saltash Viaduct to make a Down Goods Loop.

The Loop Siding, which had been used to store empty stock, was taken out of use on or as from November 2nd 1964, and the Down Goods Loop behind the Down Wearde Platform was partially taken out of use on or as from October 31st 1965, leaving only the Saltash Station end of the Loop in situ until October 1972.  Wearde Signal Box was also closed on or as from October 31st 1965.  It is said that the Box was later moved to Pill Bank Junction at Newport, Monmouthshire.