Cornwall Minerals Railway

Cornwall Minerals Railway
[v · d · e]Cornwall Minerals Railway (1874-1896)
Continuation backward
Great Western Railway
Station on track
0.00 Lostwithiel
Junction to left Track turning from right
Abbreviated in this map Bridge over water
River Fowey
Abbreviated in this map Stop on track
3.75 Golant
Abbreviated in this map Non-passenger station/depot on track
4.75 Carne Point
Abbreviated in this map Station on track
5.25 Fowey
Abbreviated in this map Enter and exit tunnel
---- Pinnock Tunnel
Station on track Straight track
0.00 Par
Straight track Straight track Non-passenger head station
Par Harbour
Junction to left Unknown BSicon "KRZu" Unknown BSicon "KRZu"
Great Western Railway
Straight track Junction from left Track turning right
Straight track Level crossing
Par Bridge Crossing
Track turning left Junction from right
Station on track
0.50 St Blazey
Level crossing
Middleway Bridge Crossing
Level crossing
St Blazey Bridge Crossing
Track turning from left Junction to right
Non-passenger station/depot on track Straight track
Unknown BSicon "xABZlf" Unknown BSicon "KRZo" Non-passenger terminus from right
Pontsmill Viaduct, Rock Mill Tramway
Unknown BSicon "eABZ3lf" Unknown BSicon "KRZu" Track turning from right
The Treffry Viaduct, Colcerrow Tramway
Junction from left Track turning right
Stop on track
4.25 Bridges for Luxulyan
Junction to left Track turning from right
5.75 Goonbarrow Junction
Straight track Non-passenger station/depot on track
Straight track Non-passenger end station
Level crossing
Molinnis Crossing
Stop on track
6.25 Bugle
Junction to left Non-passenger terminus from right
Wheal Rose Branch
Junction to left Non-passenger terminus from right
Carbis Wharf Branch
Stop on track
8.75 Holywell
Straight track Continuation backward
Newquay & Cornwall Jn Ry
Straight track Non-passenger station/depot on track
Junction from left Unknown BSicon "ABZgf"
12.50 St Dennis Junction
Straight track Non-passenger end station
Retew Branch
Track turning from left Unknown BSicon "xABZrf"
Straight track Unknown BSicon "exTUNNEL2"
Toldish Tunnel (line diverted 1874)
Track turning left Unknown BSicon "xABZlg"
Stop on track
14.25 St Columb Road
Enter and exit short tunnel
Coswarth Tunnel
Level crossing
Stop on track
18.25 Quintrell Downs
Level crossing
Level crossing
Trencreek Crossing
Unknown BSicon "ABZld" Non-passenger terminus from right
19.75 Tolcarn Junction and Treamble Branch
Large bridge
Trenance Viaduct
Station on track
20. Newquay
Non-passenger end station
Newquay Harbour
The line of the former Cornwall Minerals Railway passing under Par Viaduct and the Cornish Main Line, near the entrance to Par Harbour.

The Cornwall Minerals Railway operated a network of railway lines in Cornwall, United Kingdom. Based at St Blazey, its network stretched from Fowey to Newquay and lasted as an independent company from 1874 to 1896, after which it became a part of the Great Western Railway.




The Cornwall Minerals Railway was authorised by Act of Parliament on 21 July 1873 and opened on 1 June 1874. The act allowed the CMR to take over and replace several earlier railways and tramways:

  • The Par and Bugle lines of the Treffry Tramways, construction started c.1841, completed from Pontsmill to Bugle in 1847, extended to Par Harbour alongside the route of the Par Canal in 1855 and worked by horse power.
  • The Newquay lines of the Treffry Tramways, also known as the Newquay Railway, authorised by Act of Parliament in 1844, completed in 1849 from Newquay Harbour to both Hendra and Newlyn East and worked by horse power.
  • The Newquay and Cornwall Junction Railway (NCJR), a 7 ft 0 14 in (2,140 mm) broad gauge railway opened on 1 July 1869.

New construction

New connecting lines were opened from the terminus of the Treffry Tramways at Bugle to St Dennis Junction, on the Newquay Railway line to Hendra, and from Hendra to the terminus of the NCJR at Nanpean. The existing lines of the tramways were relaid to accommodate locomotive haulage, and new bypass sections built to avoid the Carmears Incline and Treffry Viaduct, and the low-profile Toldish tunnel.

In addition new branches were built:

  • Par to Fowey
  • Bugle to Carbis Wharf
  • St Dennis to Melangoose Mill.
  • Newlyn East to Treamble and Gravel Hill Mine

Traffic and extensions

The heavy iron ore traffic expected from the branches beyond Newquay failed to materialise, leaving the railway with mainly china clay traffic from around St Dennis and Bugle. A passenger service was instigated from Fowey railway station to Newquay railway station on 20 July 1876. The following year, on 1 October 1877, the Great Western Railway took over the operation of the railway and on 1 January 1879 a short line was opened linking the CMR St Blazey railway station with the GWR Par railway station. No through trains were able to run beyond Par until 23 May 1892 when the Great Western main line – and the Newquay and Cornwall Junction line – was at last rebuilt for 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge trains.

On 2 October 1893 the Cornwall Minerals Railway was extended with the addition of the new Goonbarrow branch to Carbean. This was outside the operating agreement with the Great Western and so was operated by the CMR on their own account.

On 27 June 1893 the Lostwithiel and Fowey Railway was transferred to the Cornwall Minerals Railway. This broad gauge line had opened on 1 June 1869 but closed on 1 January 1880 after the Minerals Railway had drained most of its traffic. A new connection was put in place between the two lines at Carne Point, new piers constructed and the line rebuilt to standard gauge. It reopened on 16 September 1895.

Acquisition and after

The Cornwall Minerals Railway was amalgamated with the Great Western Railway on 1 July 1896. Most of the company's main line route has survived to the current day as the Atlantic Coast Line between Par and Newquay, and as the Lostwithiel to Fowey freight line. However the route between Par and Fowey closed in 1968, and was converted to be used as a private road for English China Clays to carry china clay from the dries at Par to the deep sea docks at Fowey.[1]


Fowey station in GWR days

The following stations were used for passenger services:

  • Lostwithiel – from 1895, Great Western Railway station
  • Golant – from 1896
  • Fowey – the southern terminus until 1895
  • Par – from 1879, Great Western Railway station
  • St Blazey – known as Par until the end of 1878
  • Bridges – renamed Luxulyan 1905
  • Bugle
  • Victoria – renamed Roche 1901, as a goods depot it was known as Holywell until 1876
  • Halloon – renamed St Columb Road 1878
  • Newquay

Note that St Dennis Junction was known as Bodmin Road Junction until 1878 and Tolcarne Junction was known as Treloggan Junction on the Newquay Railway, and then as Newquay Junction from 1874 to about 1885.


CMR 1 to 18
Power type Steam
Builder Sharp, Stewart & Co
Configuration 0-6-0T
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 3ft 6in (1,067mm)
Wheelbase 11ft 0in (3.353m)
Cylinder size 16¼in dia × 20in stroke (413mm × 508mm)

The Cornwall Mineral Railway built St Blazey workshops to house and maintain its 18 locomotives. A roundhouse with nine roads was provided around a turntable, each of which could take a pair of locomotives which were designed to be operated as back-to-back pairs.

Numbered 1 to 18, the 0-6-0T locomotives were built by Sharp Stewart and Company. Four carried names:

  • 1 Treffrey
  • 2 Lord Robartes
  • 5 Fowey
  • 6 Newquay

The name Treffrey was incorrectly spelt, it should have been Treffry after the owner of the Newquay railway and Par Tramway.

In 1876 the locomotives were transferred to the Great Western Railway who took over the operation of the lines. They kept nine locomotives but sold the remaining locomotives to the Lynn and Fakenham Railway (Norfolk), and Colne Valley and Halstead Railway (Essex) as surplus to requirements. The retained locomotives were numbered 1392 to 1400 and rebuilt as 0-6-0STs, receiving many standardised fittings at the same time. The last one was withdrawn in 1936, but in 1910 five virtually identical locomotives, the GWR 1361 Class, had been built to work alongside them.

Treffrey, as built with incorrectly spelt nameplates
No. 5 as rebuilt by the Great Western Railway: 1396 at St Blazey railway station
GWR-built 1364
CMR Disposal Withdrawn
1 GWR 1392 1906
2 GWR 1393 1936
3 GWR 1394 1933
4 GWR 1395 1934
5 GWR 1396 1934
6 GWR 1397 1933
7 GWR 1398, to Sharpness Docks 1883 1924
8 GWR 1399 1934
9 GWR 1400; GWR 1398 from 1912 1936
10 CV&HR 1948
11 Lynn&FR
12 Lynn&FR
13 Lynn&FR 1898
14 Lynn&FR
15 Lynn&FR
16 Lynn&FR
17 Lynn&FR
18 Lynn&FR 1898

The Newquay and Cornwall Junction line was worked by broad gauge locomotives acquired from that railway's contractor. The Great Western Railway in 1876 decided not to use these and provided locomotives from their main fleet. A small shed at Burngullow housed the broad gauge locomotives.

An additional 0-6-0ST named Goonbarrow was obtained by the Cornwall Mineral Railway to operate its new branch in 1893. It was built by Peckett and Sons with 3ft 7in (1,092mm) wheels and 14in × 20in (356mm × 508mm) cylinders. It became GWR 1388 in 1896 and was eventually sold to the Cwm Circ Colliery at Llanharan, Wales, 1911.



  • Bennett, Alan (1988). The Great Western Railway in Mid Cornwall. Southampton: Kingfisher Railway Publications. ISBN 0-94618-453-4. 
  • Clinker, C R (1963). The Railways of Cornwall 1809 - 1963. Dawlish: David and Charles. 
  • Coleford, I C (2007). "Swindon's saddle tanks - the GWR's 1361 class 0-6-0STs". Railway Bylines (Irwell Press) 12 (6): 252–263. ISSN 1360-2098. 
  • Cooke, R A (1977). Track Layout Diagrams of the GWR and BR WR, Section 11: East Cornwall. Harwell: RA Cooke. 
  • Cooke, R A (1979). Track Layout Diagrams of the GWR and BR WR: Section 12, Plymouth. Harwell: R A Cooke. 
  • Vaughan, John (1991). The Newquay Branch and its Branches. Sparkford: Haynes/Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-86093-470-5. 


External links

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