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1846 | Angarrack incline - West Cornwall Railway takes over from The Hayle Railway

The West Cornwall Railway takes over Hayle Railway


West Cornwall Railway

Aug 1935. GWR Centenary.
December 1957.

The West Cornwall Railway was a former railway company in Cornwall. The company was formed in 1844 to operate the existing Hayle Railway between the towns of Hayle and Redruth and extend the railway to Penzance and Truro.

The West Cornwall Railway was leased to the Great Western Railway, Bristol and Exeter Railway and South Devon Railway in 1866 which resulted in direct services to London from Penzance for the first time after the broad gauge had been added to the existing standard gauge tracks.

Following the amalgamations of 1876 the Great Western Railway was the sole leasor until the nationalisation of British Railways on 1 January 1948. The broad gauge was disused after 20 May 1892.

  • 1837 Hayle Railway opened to Pool for goods traffic, also branches to Portreath, Roskear, and North Crofty
  • 1838 Main line competed to Redruth, also branch to Tresavean
  • 1843 Passenger services introduced on main line
  • 1846 West Cornwall Railway replaces Hayle Railway
  • 1852 West Cornwall Railway opened from Truro Road to Penzance, also Hayle Wharves branch
  • 1855 Line extended to Truro Newham
  • 1859 Cornwall Railway opened to new joint station at Truro
  • 1865 Railway leased jointly to the Great Western Railway, Bristol and Exeter Railway, and South Devon Railway
  • 1866 Broad gauge laid along the main line
  • 1877 St Ives branch opened, the last new broad gauge passenger line
  • 1887 Helston Railway opened from Gwinear Road
  • 1892 Broad gauge abandoned, St Ives line converted to standard gauge
  • 1936 Portreath and Tresavean branches closed
  • 1947 West Cornwall Railway Company nationalised into British Railways
  • 1948 North Crofty branch closed
  • 1962 Helston branch closed
  • 1963 Roskear branch closed
  • 1972 Newham branch closed
  • 1983 Hayle Wharves branch closed