John Speller's Web Pages St. Germans & Looe Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Narrow Gauge

St. Germans & Looe Railway
With its strange junctions at Liskeard, steep gradients and sharp curves the Liskeard & Looe Railway has always been inconvenient and expensive to run. With an eye to overcoming this and also with the intent of opening up the beaches at Millendreath and Seaton to tourism, the Great Western Railway in 1935 projected a new 7-mile branch from Trerule Junction, just west of St. Germans on the Paddington to Penzance main line, to Looe. The line would have involved some quite heavy engineering works including tunnels at Hessenford (1 mile), Seaton (1 mile 528 yds) and Looe (700 yds), and viaducts at Keveral and Millendreath. It was proposed to work the line by means of a high speed service using diesel railcars running between Plymouth and a new high level station at Looe, a distance of 16 miles, and taking 35 minutes. The GWR also proposed building a new golf course at Looe. Work commenced on the line 1937 but was suspended owing to World War II and never completed.
Map of the proposed St. Germans & Looe Railway
GWR streamlined diesel railcar at Oxford on 5 May 1956. This was the type of motive power proposed for the St. Germans to Looe run. Image copyright Dr Neil Clifton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Lisence
The existing low-level station at Looe in around 1905, shortly before the Liskeard & Looe Railway was taken over by the GWR. The new high level station would have been above and to the east of this, approximately where the yellow star is
Millendreath Beach in 2004. The GWR station would have been above the buildings to the right, and Looe Tunnel would have run through the cliff to the left. Image copyright Tony Atkin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
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