Until the branch closed in the late 1950s Cumbre used to be the junction for the line to San Pedro. Dismantled branch lines were once a common sight on many railway journeys, perhaps less so nowadays as the old track beds have become overgrown but they’re still there if you know where to look for them.

The area of Sierra Oculta around Cumbre on the FCPyF is quite barren so the former branch line is still quite evident. Nothing new here but I have bitten the bullet this evening and wrenched out most of the expanded polystyrene that was used to support the scenery before the glue-shell dried. The main reason for doing this was to allow daylight into the low level staging yard but it also creates a storage area below the mountain.

Visibly new at Cumbre are the rebuilt telegraph office and the water tower, as mentioned in yesterday’s Special Traffic Notice, both buildings give a logical excuse for trains to stop here but without trying to cram a station into the very limited space available. Steam locos will be short of water having climbed to Cumbre (which means summit) from Centrales or Cuarto de Pulgada while both steam and diesel trains can be stopped by the telegraph operator to receive fresh orders from the dispatcher.

A hand operated “highball” signal will be provided for this purpose.

On the topic of train orders, I have added discrete self adhesive two letter telegram codes on the baseboard fascia at each location. GR at Grande, CE at Centrales, RN at Resurreccion, FR at Frog Rock, SF at San Fernandez (staging yard), RP at Rio Paleta, CM at Cumbre and CP at Cuarto de Pulgada. These are inspired in part by the North American practice of identifying switch towers with two letters but mainly by British Rail’s National Teleprinter Network codes that were in use when I worked in the telegraph offices at Manchester (MS) and Crewe (CE). The NTN system used four letters, the first pair indicating the location and the second pair identifying individual offices, for example LDTO was Leeds telegraph office and SGSV Stalybridge supervisor.


About Bob Hughes

Ex railwayman, life long railway modeller, lover of real ale and spicy food.
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