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Stenlake Publishing - The Helston Branch

The Helston Branch

Author : Stanley C. Jenkins
ISBN : 9780853617112
Cover : paperback
Price : £12.95

The Helston Branch was the southernmost railway on the British mainland, and also the very last branch line to have been built in south-western Cornwall. Sadly, it was also one of the first to close (1962 for passengers, 1964 for freight), and perhaps for this reason it has not enjoyed the attention that has been lavished upon certain neighbouring ex-Great Western Railway lines.

The branch has a special historical significance as railway-owned buses were introduced in 1903 providing a service from Helston to the Lizard. The GWR liked to imply that ‘road motors’ were its own idea. This was not quite true, as a railway-owned parcels van fitted with some passenger seats operated in Northern Ireland earlier than this, and the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway had also operated a short-lived road feeder service. Nevertheless, the bus route to the Lizard is accepted by many as being the first truly railway-owned bus service.

This new, much-expanded edition of The Helston Branch adopts a broadly chronological framework, in that Chapter One deals with the pre-history of the line, while Chapters Two and Three deal with the construction, history and operation of the railway from its incorporation until the end of the GWR era. Chapter Four is a detailed examination of the stations and route of the line, while Chapter Five is devoted to the British Railways period. A considerable amount of additional material has been added, including details of the present-day ‘Helston Railway’, which .has been re-established as a ‘heritage line’ and an added attraction at Trevarno Gardens, between Nacegollan and Truthall Halt.

A5 format, 168 pages, 157 images.

The Helston Branch