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Brecon Mountain Railway

Launceston Steam Railway

A Cornish Narrow Gauge Line on Former BR Trackbed

The Launceston Steam Railway is a narrow gauge line built on the trackbed of the former standard gauge Padstow line, it runs west from the historic Cornish town of Launceston, through the Kensey Valley, to the hamlet of Newmills.

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Getting there

The Main station on the Launceston Steam Railway is on the site of a rail served gas works just west of the original LSWR station in Launceston. The station is accessed through the car park, which is on the site of the original LSWR station, then under the A388 which crosses on a brick arch bridge.

By Train - Travel to Plymouth or Liskeard on the Great Western main line then use the buses listed below.

By Car - From the A30 trunk road, take the A388 to Launceston and follow the brown tourist signs to the car park (approx 1.5 miles). See postcode above for satellite navigation.

By Bus - Launceston town centre is served by the following bus routes:

See the link below to the Cornwall Public Transport website

Map

The map below shows the location of all the stations on the Launceston Steam 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 Launceston Steam Railway is easy to find from the A30 trunk road, just a short drive along the A388 following the brown tourist signs. Launceston station is to the north of the town centre and is built on the site of a rail served gas works just to the west of the former LSWR station.

The gravel car park at Launceston is on the site of the original LSWR station, a short walk under the A388 road bridge takes you to the station. Despite having been built recently, the station has all the atmosphere of a bygone era. The café and booking office were built in 1919 for the first Ideal Home Exhibition, and were erected as a 3-bedroom bungalow in Surrey. The canopy is from Tavistock North, and was erected in 1986/1987. The workshop and museum buildings were originally used by the Launceston Gas Company.

At the time my wife and I visited the railway in 2011, trains ran hourly between 11.00 and 16:00 from Launceston with returns from Newmills 20 minutes later. The 2.5 mile journey takes a leisurely 10 minutes, on arrival at Newmills the train waits for 10 minutes while the little quarry Hunslet is uncoupled and runs around for the return trip.

The coaches which were built by the LSR include saloons and toastracks suitable for any weather while providing good all round views of the Cornwall countryside and, if you are at the front, the steam engine doing it's work. The first few hundred yards from Launceston are in a cutting so you don't see much but the ground level soon drops as the line passes through the beautiful Kensey Valley.

We intended to spend an hour at Newmills farm park and return on the next train but we enjoyed it there so much that we stayed two hours. It was April but the weather was good and the park was full of families having fun and relaxing.

There were plans to extend the line to Egloskerry in conjunction with the Cornwall Council's proposed multi user trail between Egloskerry and Launceston, this would have extended the length of the line by two miles. However, the Cornwall Council have failed in their land negotiations and the Launceston Railway has formally withdrawn from the project.

Together with the Newmills Farm Park, the Launceston Steam Railway is a popular tourist attraction in East Cornwall and is conveniently close to the A30. A return journey can be made in less than an hour but why not stay longer and visit the farm park and museum.

Attractions and Facilities

Links

Contact Details

Headquarters:





Telephone:

email:

 

Launceston Steam Railway
St. Thomas Road
Launceston
Cornwall
PL15 8DA

01566 775665

 

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

Operation

Service

Trains run at Easter, Whitsun, certain days in June, Daily except Saturdays from July to September  and during the October half-term. Six trains run in each direction on all operating days. See the link below for full details on the Launceston Steam Railway website.

Locomotives

Stock

Brief History

The current narrow gauge Launceston Steam Railway is constructed on the trackbed of the former London and South Western Railway (later Southern Railway) line to Padstow. There were two side by side stations in Launceston, the other was the terminus of the Launceston and South Devon Railway from Plymouth, later absorbed into the Great Western Railway.

Newmills

Station

Postcode

OS map ref

Coordinates

Launceston

PL15 8EX

SX 329 849

Lat: 50.6397N Long: 4.3645W

Hunts Crossing

 

SX 317 849

Lat: 50.6394N Long: 4.3815W

Newmills

PL15 8SN

SX 299 850

Lat: 50.6398N Long: 4.4069W

Launceston Railway at a Glance

Type: Narrow gauge railway on former          standard gauge track bed

Gauge: Narrow, 1’ 11½” (597mm)

Length: 2.5 miles

Stations: 2 + 1 halt

First opened: 1892

Closed: 1965

Re-opened in preservation: 1983

Hunts Crossing
Launceston
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Launceston Steam Railway
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