John Speller's Web Pages Truro & Newquay

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Narrow Gauge

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Partly to eliminate any possibility of the London & South Western Railway getting a foothold on the north coast of West Cornwall, the Great Western Railway decided to build a second branch to Newquay, and Parliament passed an Act to incorporate the Truro & Newquay Railway, which received the Royal Assent on 3 June 1897. Although Newquay is 24 miles from Truro, only 12 miles of new railway were actually needed -- the line ran over the West of England Main Line from Truro to Blackwater Junction, just beyond Chacewater, then over the new line to Shepherds, where it met up with the former Cornwall Minerals Railway, then to Tolcarn Junction where it met up with the GWR's other branch -- the Newquay Railway -- which ran from Fowey via Par on the main line to Newquay. The line between Blackwater Junction and Tolcarn Junction was single tracked, and there was a 40 mph speed limit. The main engineering works on the line were the Goonbell and Cox viaducts. It is a pity there was never an end-on junction between the two branches, as this would have created a loop off the main line which would probably have been much more profitable, and would also have been a useful diversionary route.

The section from Blackwater to Perranporth opened on 6 July 1903, and from there to Shepherds was completed on 2 January 1905. At first there were only three stations -- St Agnes, Perranporth, and Shepherds -- but halts were added at Mount Hawke, Goonbell, Mithian, Perranporth Beach, Goonhavern and Treamble on 14 August 1905. Though the was a decent tourist trade in the summer, the line was never particularly successful, and even before the Beeching Report it had closed on 4 February 1963.

Map of the Truro & Newquay Railway and associated lines
Postcard view of the road bridge at Blackwater, shortly after the opening of the line
Postcard view of Newquay station around the time the Truro & Newquay Railway opened
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