THE OLD NORTH CORNWALL RAILWAY LINE STORY & PHOTOGRAPHS
The story really began when the line to
Holsworthy was opened in January 1879. The line crossed over the
& continued to Holsworthy via Halwill Junction. The North Cornwall Railway Act
in August 1882 & it was to be operated by LSWR for the owners.
Building the line commenced and by 21st July
1886 Halwill Junction to Launceston
(via Ashwater & Tower Hill) was completed. On 21st July 1891 the NCR
to Delabole line was authorised & by 28th July 1892 part of the continuation of
the line was ready
as far as Tresmeer Station (via Egloskerry). In 1893 another
Act was passed in Parliament authorising the
addition of Delabole to Wadebridge.
From Tresmeer worked continued & it was hoped that Delabole station would be
reached at the same time
as Camelford. Due to the heavy building work necessary as
Delabole was approached, Camelford Station in
fact opened on 14th August 1893 &
Delabole on 18th October 1893.
Two years later on first day of June the NCR line
was completed & opened to Wadebridge (via Port Isaac Road
& St Kew Highway).
Originally there were plans to take the line on to Truro but this did not
However, due to great pressure by Padstow residents, an Act of
Parliament was granted in July 1896 to continue
the line to Padstow. This
necessitated crossing the main road in Wadebridge & level crossing gates had to
there. Padstow was finally reached on the 23rd March 1899. This turned
out to be the end of the line.
The North Cornwall line ran from Halwill Junction
to Padstow & Halwill Junction (via Holsworthy) to Bude.
Tintagel did not have a
rail link & Camelford became our railway station. Fry's Coaches & Southern
collected passengers from the station & goods including mail & the
daily papers were also collected from Camelford.
The line was quite busy even to
closure with goods traffic but passenger levels were never very high in the
In the summer rail was the way to travel to North Cornwall as cars
were not so prolific before the 1960s, and
passenger levels used to be high. The
trip from London originally ran from Waterloo Station but in 1963
when Western Region took over the line, this
changed to Paddington Station as the departure link from
London. Diesel Multiple trains were introduced in 1965 & steam operation became
a memory from the past.
train the "Atlantic Coast Express" started from Waterloo at 11am arriving at
it's final destination
'Padstow' at 5.21pm, a journey time 6 hours 21 minutes.
Today a car can travel to Cornwall from London in
roughly 4 hours. Today's trains
take around four & half hours to reach Bodmin Parkway, our nearest station.
Tintagel was about five miles from Camelford Station but now it takes
forty minutes to reach Bodmin Parkway.
Some progress!!. The North Cornwall
Railway line became to be known as 'The Withered Arm' & sadly on
1966 the lines from Meldon Junction to Bude & Wadebridge closed. Goods were
profits but of course passenger levels had dropped. Closure from
Wadebridge to Padstow followed on 31st
January 1967. The last freight train from
Wadebridge to Bodmin Parkway closed on 4th September 1978.
The old Bodmin Central to Bodmin Parkway line has been reopened as a steam tourist attraction & there is
talk today that the link Bodmin Parkway to Wadebridge could also reopened by
the Bodmin & Wenford Railway.
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