All Cornish Branch Lines in a Day

On Tuesday, 19th June 2012, a group of North Wales Railway Circle members decided to visit Cornwall in an attempt to travel all of Cornwall’s passenger carrying branch lines.  We completed this in 11 hours 45 minutes.

Cross Country Voyager 220317 enters Macclesfield Station  Photo Brian Bollington

The plan was to purchase a "Ride Cornwall Ranger" costing £10; this ticket states that it cannot be used before 09:00 on the day of travel, but there is one train that it can be on used prior to 09:00.  This is the 08:14 from Plymouth to Penzance.  This does not seem to be general knowledge, as this fact is not well-advertised.

We managed to get reasonably priced tickets on a Cross Country service from Macclesfield to Plymouth.

We departed Macclesfield on a Voyager 220317 (a Bournemouth service).


At 10:44 Wolverhampton Station, we noted stabled Pendalino 390006 and a west-bound DMU for Shrewsbury, units 158833 + 158821. In the bay platform was an electric unit 323311.  On leaving Wolverhampton viewed EWS 66077 at the Corus Steel Depot.

At 10:59am New Street, Birmingham retired for lunch.

Cross Country Voyager 221120 prepares to depart Taunton for Plymouth.  Photo Brian Bollington



At 13:12 XC service to Penzance Voyager 221120. On arrival at Bristol viewed 2 Great Western HST’s; numbers are 43030 + 43156 and 43151 + unknown.

Our arrival at Taunton was at 15:22 and we decided to visit the town.  We returned to Taunton Station in time to catch the 17:50 XC service to Plymouth.  This was delayed due to signalling problems and we were transferred to a Great Western service DMU 150219 and we arrived in Plymouth at 19.31.


43026 at rear of an up service HST at Taunton.  Photo Brian Bollington


Room with a view, Quality Hotel, Plymouth.  Photo Brian Bollington


We had booked 2 nights stay at the Quality Hotel in Plymouth, which has superb views across Plymouth Ho, where we viewed the comings and goings of numerous warships.


Penzanze bound Units 150216 + 150243 arrive at Plymouth.  Photo Brian Bollington


On Wednesday the 20th June we were up early and had purchased our tickets the previous evening.

08:14 departed Plymouth for St Erth on units 150216 + 150243.



St. Ives Branch

Crossing the footbridge from the down platform to the branch bay a HST arrives on the up thus three trains connect at St Erth simultaneously.  Photo Brian Bollington


10:08 arrived St Erth, boarded units 150249 + 150123, these were in the bay platform.




Passengers interchange the branch bay is to the left of the picture.  Photo Brian Bollington


10:18 departed St Erth and travelled along the beautiful coastline to St Ives, arriving there at 10:31


Semaphores on the up main. Photo Gareth Hughes.






Approaching St Ives, taken from the train. Photo Brian Bollington.


A large number of passengers disembark at St Ives.  Photo Brian Bollington



With a very quick turn-round we departed St Ives at 10:33.  We were pleased to witness that this service was heavily patronised.


150216 arrives on up platform 2.  Photo Brian Bollington


At 10:47 arrived at St Erth and got on the 10:55 service to Truro on unit 150216.


At ll:25 arrived at Truro - went over to the bay platform to await the 11:51 departure for Falmouth Docks.


150216 continues it's journey passing Truro signal box.  Photo Brian Bollington

Falmouth Branch




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