Helston Railway is getting closer to realizing its dream of connecting to the city with a train service – albeit just for fun at this point.
While ambitions of one day connecting to the main line are still far in the future, connecting the heritage rail attraction to Helston is much more realistic now.
The group of enthusiasts now have the verbal support of all landowners who carry the track between their base in Prospidnick and Water-ma-Trout.
Although some of the paperwork is still being finalized, this means that it is highly likely that visitors will one day, in the not-too-distant future, be able to take trains at a new station to be built in Water- ma- Trout and climb the line to Prospidnick Halt, before returning again.
Steve Curtis, a railway guard and one of the group’s managers, said: “We had the Cober Viaduct inspected and were told it was in as good condition as it was when of its construction 160 years ago.
“We’re looking forward to getting out at some point.”
Colin Savage, Marcus Laugher and Sarah Norris aboard the Peckett 2000 steam locomotive
Before that can happen, however, a huge amount of undergrowth must be cut and the platform cleared – and the group is always on the lookout for new volunteers to help with the work.
The plan is also to create a dedicated entrance for those arriving at the railway at Prospidnick.
In the meantime, the heritage railway, which started in Trevarno in 2005 and is now based in Prospidnick, has resumed operating trains for visitors, running steam services on Thursdays and Sundays each week.
The Peckett 2000 steam locomotive currently hauls a single carriage with a second carriage planned to be added later in the year, with the aim of also operating diesel hauled trains at some point this year.
Finn Holwell, Steve Curtis and Steve Ivill are there to greet guests
Trains depart from Prospidnick Halt at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm, with morning services generally being busier than afternoon services.
Visitors can simply turn up as the railway does not take reservations, but tickets must be purchased from the shop adjacent to the car park.
Helston Railways tickets are the traditional cardboard Edmonson tickets and visitors can expect the guard to punch a hole to say they have travelled.
Visitors are advised to allow at least 15 minutes to purchase tickets and make their way to the train.
The locomotive pushes the train on the outward journey, as the track does not yet have a facility to turn, meaning it is then at the front of the train for the return journey.
Currently, the track is just over a mile long, with the entire trip taking around 40 minutes.
Marcus Laugher helps drive the trains
The end of the line is currently Turthall Halt, which is manned by a stationmaster who greets the train. It is the only station on the original line, which closed to the public in 1962 but has been lovingly rebuilt as a replica of the original and features a pagoda shelter – an exact copy of the structures that once stood a common sight on the Great Western Railway.
Passengers are advised to disembark at Truthall Halt and take a look around while the train waits approximately 20 minutes. Visitors can also enjoy the museum housed in the pagoda shelter and learn about the history of the railway and the work being done to restore it, as well as chat with the train crew. It is even possible to stand on the footrest and feel the warmth of the fire.
Station dog Athena in her special GWR hat
Dogs are allowed on the trains, although the Prospidnick platform may be difficult for some dogs. The railroad has several ways to help dog owners who come to visit, and owners are encouraged to speak to a volunteer if they need help.
The railroad even has its own resident dog, Athena, who can normally be found in the guard’s van or duty manager’s office at the end of the platform, in her special GWR hat.
Before or after their trip, visitors can visit the stationary buffet car, which is now adjacent to the shop next to the car park and serves hot breakfasts, lunches, cream teas and after-teas. midday.
The next big event at the railroad will be its vintage vehicle event in September.
The group plans to clear land to Water-ma-Trout in Helston