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Brecon Mountain Railway

Bodmin and Wenford Railway

Cornwall’s Only Standard Gauge Steam Railway

This claim of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway will not last much longer as the Helston Railway progresses but it will still be Cornwall’s premier steam railway and is one the area’s most popular attractions.

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Getting there

Bodmin Parkway is accessible by train or road, Bodmin General is close to Bodmin town centre, Boscarne Junction is accessible from a car park via the Camel Trail, Colsloggett Halt has no public parking.

By Train - The best way to get there as Bodmin Parkway is on the main Paddington to Penzance line and is served by Great Western and Cross Country Trains. The Bodmin and Wenford Railway uses platform 3.

By Car - Bodmin Parkway is nearest to the A30 and, as it’s name suggests, has ample parking but it is pay and display. Bodmin General is close to the town centre and has free parking for railway users but this may be restricted on special event days. Whichever you choose, follow the brown tourist signs from the A30 (refer to the map above for directions). Alternatively, there is a free car park for the Camel Trail behind the Borough Arms pub in Dunmere on the A389 Bodmin to Wadebridge road. Boscarne Junction station is about 0.4 miles from the car park.

By Bus - Bodmin General is served by Western Greyhound buses from Wadebridge, Padstow, St Austell, Bugle, Roche, St Columb Major, Liskeard, & Dobwalls. Click on the link below for details of services.

By Foot or Cycle - The Camel Trail (Sustrans National Cycle Routes 3 & 32) runs on the former Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway trackbed from Padstow to Poley’s Bridge near St Tudy, and passes Boscarne Junction. From Lanhydrock use the old carriage drive to Bodmin Parkway.

Map

The map below shows the location of all the stations on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. Click on the markers to see the station name. Use the zoom and pan tools to explore the map. Postcodes, OS map references and coordinates are given below the map.

Review

The double branch layout of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway has a habit of confusing visitors to Bodmin General who have not researched the line in advance. On every occasion I have been there, the ticket office queue is held up while the ticket clerk explains to prospective passengers that there are two branches and they can travel on either or both.

Having read this you will not have this problem but you will need to allow time for those in the queue that have. I recommend that you make time for both branches and also, if possible, time to alight at Boscarne Junction and walk some of the Camel Trail.

Walking east a short distance on the trail takes you over a bridge high over the beautiful tree-lined River Camel and onto the restored Southern Railway Dunmere Halt (see picture above). From here, a ramp leads up the cutting bank to the Camel Trail car park and Borough Arms pub.

Even if you don’t have time to explore and have to return on the same train, it is worth getting off to see the station which has been re-created with Southern Railway accessories.

Bodmin General Station has been restored to create a 1950s atmosphere and is popular amongst tourists. Facilities include a buffet and gift shop and a short walk through the car park will take you to the locomotive sheds with a viewing area where you can see work being carried out on the railway’s engines.

There’s not much railway heritage to be seen at Bodmin Parkway as it is a modern station on the national network. The station is served by Great Western and Cross Country Trains from London, Penzance, Plymouth, Bristol, Birmingham and the North.

However, amongst the modern DMUs, HSTs and Voyagers, the old signal box on the down platform survives and is now used as a café operated by the Bodmin and Wenford Railway as a service to main line customers as well as walkers and their own passengers. It’s elevated position provides a good view over the station and makes it a very pleasant place to have a drink and a snack.

The line is steeply graded most of its length, in places as much as 1 in 37. Locomotives work hard on the uphill journeys towards Bodmin General and continual brake application is required as the train descends to Boscarne Junction or Bodmin Parkway. Trains usually only stop at Colesloggett Halt on the downhill journey.

Several Locomotives resident at Bodmin are representative of those used in the area, particularly the Beattie well tank which used to run on the line and the Bagnall saddle tanks from the nearby port of Par. These small locomotives rarely work passenger trains but can usually be seen on Bodmin shed or powering brake van rides at special events. Passenger trains will usually be hauled by GWR tank engines which of course are relevant to this ex GWR branch line.

With the branches being only 3 miles from General Station to Boscarne and 3½ miles from General to Parkway, journey times are short but on the upside that gives time to explore. However, there are only 2 to 3 trains on each branch per day so careful planning is required.

The Railway holds several special events throughout the year, from 1940s wartime weekends to steam, diesel and mixed traffic galas. Whether you visit the line on one of these occasions or just a regular running day, you will experience a railway lovingly re-created with a period atmosphere and operated in a very professional manner.

The B&WR’s tracks are laid in a beautiful part of Cornwall and not far from the narrow gauge Launceston Railway which runs on part of the Southern’s ‘withered arm’. I would recommend anyone to stay in the area for at least a few days and visit both as well as the picturesque Bodmin Moor nearby.

Attractions and Facilities

Links

Contact Details

Headquarters:





Telephone:

email:

 

Bodmin and Wenford Railway
Bodmin General Station
Bodmin
Cornwall
PL31 1AQ

01208 73666

enquiries@bodminandwenfordrailway.co. uk

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Map | Getting there | Attractions & Facilities | Operation | Brief History | Review | Links

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Operation

Service

Trains run daily from late May to early October and on certain days of all other months except November, click on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway link below for timetable and special events. Trains are usually steam hauled except on Saturdays and certain special event days when diesel traction is used. In August trains are also steam hauled on Saturdays.

Locomotives

Stock

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Brief History

The first railway in the Bodmin area was the Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway, one of the first railways in the world, which opened in 1834. The Bodmin and Wenford Railway runs on the former Great Western Railway branch which met the Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway at Boscarne Junction.

Boscarne
Junction

Station

Postcode

OS map ref

Coordinates

Bodmin General

PL31 1AQ

SX073664

Lat: 50.4661N Long: 4.7159W

Boscarne Junction

 

SX041674

Lat: 50.4740N Long: 4.7614W

Colesloggett Halt

PL30 4AT

SX102656

Lat: 50.4599N Long: 4.6747W

Bodmin Parkway

PL30 4BB

SX110640

Lat: 50.4457N Long: 4.6626W

Bodmin and Wenford at a Glance

Type: Preserved Railway

Gauge: Standard, 4’ 8½”

Length: 6.5 miles

Stations: 3 + 1 halt

First opened: 1887

Closed: 1967

Re-opened in preservation: 1990

Bodmin General
Colsloggett
Halt
Bodmin
Parkway
Bodmin and Wenford Railway
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