Plus parts of East Cornwall and West Devon

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: March 25, 2019
Webpage updated: March 25, 2019

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Whiterocks Siding, owned by the Hingston Down Quarries Company, was situated between Chilsworthy Halt and Latchley Halt on the Down side of the line accessed by a facing connection for Up freight trains.  The points were controlled from a Ground Frame released by the Electric Token.

The Siding was apparently brought in to use by the Southern Railway Company on November 3rd 1925.  The  Siding was listed in the Railway Clearing House "Hand Book of Railway Stations, etc." for 1929, although under Luckett, not Latchley.  In fact the Porter from Luckett was deputed by the Company's Regulations to assist the Guards of freight trains calling at the Siding.

For 450 yards from the boundary gate the first siding rose at a gradient of 1 in 40.  This terminated in a shunting neck 100 yards long.  Two further sidings extended from the Quarry Company's works also on a rising gradient for 360 yards to the west.  These were linked by two crossovers, the westernmost being for wagons only and not locomotives.  'Under no circumstances must the Company's engine pass beyond, or over, the second of the two crossover roads', stated the Regulations.  When shunting was commenced, the Porter was left in charge of the wagons left on the main line attached to the brake van.  The Guard had to make sure the brake was properly applied and also pin down enough brakes on the wagons to hold them in place.  The wagons that had been detached were then hauled up to the shunting neck.  Great care had to be taken when shunting because there were trap points in the sidings and at the foot of the incline.  Once the shunting had been completed, the Guard had to ensure that a sufficient number of wagon brakes were applied before the engine propelled the wagons down the incline and on to the wagons that had been left attached to the brake van on the main running line.  The train, with the Luckett Porter, then proceeded to Gunnislake Station, where the Porter could catch the next rain back to his home station. 

The British Railways Southern Region Sectional Appendix Regulations of October 1960 stated: 'There is a steep rising gradient to the shunting neck and thence to the sidings and special attention is drawn to Rules 111, 115 and 151.  During shunting movements the points to the single line must lie for the sidings'.

According to the Working Time Table that commenced June 12th 1961, the Whiterocks Siding was visited by two freight trains.  On Mondays to Saturdays the 10.15am from Callington Station, after collecting the Porter at Luckett, called between 10.41 and 10.57am and proceeded to Bere Alston, where it was due to arrive  at 12.11pm.  On Mondays to Fridays only, the 2.10pm from Hingston Down Siding called between 2.12 and 2.32pm before proceeding to Gunnislake.  Any wagons on that train were conveyed to Bere Alston by the 9.07pm freight train from Callington, which was due to collect them from Gunnislake between 9.28 and 9.34pm.

The Works served by the Siding was originally operated by Messrs Charles Bolt and Sons, who produced setts and roadstone.  In 1901 it passed to Messrs F W Bolt and Company along with Jessie Bolt and Company.  The Hingston Down Quarries Company took over in 1914, after which it was joined to the railway.

Whiterocks Siding was taken out of use on September  23rd 1962.