Birthday Treat

Thought I's share an email I have received from a visitor who we arranged to spend yesterday "driving" the train. Nice to make visitors happy!

"Just a quick email on behalf of myself and my family to say a massive thank you for allowing my father in law to visit today. He had a truly wonderful day and hasn't stopped smiling since. He said he was made to feel so welcome by the entire team and that the camaraderie between everyone was wonderful. Please pass on our sincere thanks to everyone who made his birthday treat so special and a huge thank you to you for your assistance in arranging. We look forward to visiting you all again at Christmas."

Early signs of a great heritage railway

Early signs of a great heritage railway

A slow trundle through beautiful Cornwall countryside in a railway guards van awaits any who want to witness the very early beginnings of a heritage railway. 

It's the painstaking work of dedicated enthusiasts with a vision to open up a stretch of the original Helston railway closed in 1964 for the enjoyment of visitors. 

A makeshift platform, a diesel shunter and a goods brake van provide visitors with a 10 minute each way journey of just over a mile, passing proper station platforms under construction, and ending with glorious views from the summit. 

What a friendly welcome we received! How difficult it was to find! But they have a good website and we'd encourage them to provide stronger signposting and give more detailed directions, as the postcode, fed into a satnav, takes you into someone's front garden!! 

Once you find them, enjoy the idiosyncratic ride, and encourage these enthusiastic visionaries in their journey towards creating Britain's most southerly railway for the enjoyment of visitors to Cornwall. 

Richard Wells

Little Gem of a Railway

This really is a little gem of a railway to visit.

I took my Father for his first ride on the Helston Branch since the early 1960's, and he had a fantastic time recounting childhood memories of using the branch regularly.

All the staff are so friendly and helpful, and the ride down the line to just outside Truthall Halt through the beautiful Cornish countryside is delightful. The guard's knowledge of the history of the line added to the whole experience.

Once back at Prospidnick, a visit to the shop and buffet is a must. There is a good selection of gifts to purchase, and the food in the buffet is excellent.

Small and Friendly Railway

A small but very friendly little railway. The entrance to the car park makes you feel like you've come to help out on the farm. However everyone is so friendly and the ride in the breakvan 'entertaining' with the lady guard and her colleagues telling us the history of the line as the beautiful Cornish scenery slipped slowly past. A fellow passenger, a young lady celebrating her 103rd birthday with her family also added to the charm especially when we learned from her grandson he used to live and work in Leighton Buzzard, where we are from. The converted dmu buffet/shop was well run and we had a lovely cup of coffee and a bun! Well worth another visit next time we come that far west.

Magical Railway

Magical little hidden railway, quirky from the moment you pull into the farmyard car park wondering whether you've actually found the place. Really friendly people couldn't do enough for the kids, delightful ride in a brake van pushed by a little shunter, refreshments in a lovely old coach and a well stocked shop with plenty of 2nd hand railway books. A gem of an operation and long may they prosper!

Truthall Halt Reconstruction

Sithney Parish asks for Truthall Halt to be built – well, yes it did in 1905! From the Sithney Parish Council Minutes March 1905.

"It was moved from the chair that this Council petition the G. W. Railway Co. to construct a Halt between Helston and Nancegollan stations to enable the inhabitants of the following hamlets to have the benefit of the new Rail-motors, about to be inaugurated on this Branch: Tregathenan, Trannack, Prospidnick, Truthall, Gwavas, Sithney Green, Coverack Bridges etc.

The distance between Helston and Nancegollan stations is about 4 miles, and there is no doubt that this Halt will be a great convenience to the inhabitants of the north of the parish, as well as a source of profit for the Company."

The photo is from Chris Heaps book "The Helston Railway" (available on our website) and shows the new Rail-motor in Praze station in about 1911. Photo from the John Alsop collection.

School Trip

Superb day today as we played host to Parc Eglos school in Helston.

60 children with their teachers and all had a very exciting time - especially those who had never been on a train before.

They are learning about transport and we were delighted to help them - Culdrose even put on a helicopter display for us - what more could we ask! Come back soon!