Published: 2nd July 2015
Cornwall’s railways have a long and fascinating history and the county itself played an integral role in the development of steam locomotion. In 1784, Scottish steam engineer William Murdoch demonstrated the first practical vehicle to run under its own steam and Cornish engineer Richard Trevithick built and ran a steam road carriage in Camborne in 1801.
The growth of Cornwall’s railway network was driven by its industrial activities, with mining and quarrying necessitating an efficient and reliable transport network.
Cornish steam travel still fills many hearts with a nostalgia beyond compare, and a journey on one of the county’s heritage railways is a must if you’re visiting the area.
The 13 mile return journey from Bodmin General Station to Bodmin Parkway transports passengers back in time to the 1950’s. Meandering through the beautiful Cornish countryside, it is the only full-sized railway in Cornwall for steam trains.
One for families, the Lappa Valley Railway is a 15 inch minimum gauge railway, chugging one mile from Benny Halt to East Wheel Rose. The railway runs on a section of trackbed which was built to transport minerals from the mine at East Wheel Rose in 1849.
The Helston Railway is a small track, run by volunteer members of the Helston Railway Preservation Society. The line has an interesting history, and the aim is to restore and re-open a three mile section between Nancegollan and Helston Water-ma-Trout.
This narrow gauge steam railway runs from Launceston through Kensey Valley to Newmills hamlet. The trains are pulled by steam locomotives from the Welsh Mountain Railways. At Launceston station you’ll find a museum housing vintage transport and machinery and the line is perfect for visiting the family attraction of Newmills Farm Park.
While it doesn’t strictly belong in this list, the World of Model Railways is definitely one for the railway enthusiast’s itinerary. With over 30 trains, the main 00 gauge railway incorporates varied landscapes and seasonal themes. Exhibits include hundreds of locomotives and models.
redspottedhanky.com and holidaycottages.co.uk have teamed up to offer one lucky winner a holiday to Cornwall! The prize includes a £500 holidaycottages.co.uk voucher for a stay in the cottage of your choice and £200 to spend on rail travel.
The winner can choose from over 600 cottages in Cornwall. The competition closes on Monday 13th July.