Trevarno Farm, Prospidnick, Helston, TR13 0RY
Tel: 07901 977597
Restoration in action
The Helston Railway is a heritage railway which aims to rebuild and preserve as much as possible of the former GWR Helston Railway between Nancegollen and Water-Ma-Trout on the outskirts of Helston. It is operated by the Helston Railway Preservation Company using members of the Helston Railway Preservation Society.
The Railway was a eight mile standard gauge railway branch line and is the southernmost branch line in the United Kingdom. It opened in 1887 and was absorbed by the Great Western Railway in 1898, continuing in existence as the Helston branch, and closing to passengers in 1962 and to goods in 1964.
It was built to open up the agricultural district of south-west Cornwall, joining Helston to the main line railway network at Gwinear Road, between Penzance and Truro.
Its predominant business was agricultural, but in summer it carried holidaymakers, and its terminus at Helston was the railhead for a pioneering road connection service to the Lizard. During the Second World War there was considerable goods traffic at Nancegollan, sponsored by the Admiralty.
The original concept to re-open the branch was back in 1994 when Mart Hew from Helston and officials from British Rail, surveyed the line with the idea of a feasibility study. It was decided that due to the amount of work needed and the possible revenue that could be generated, it was not worth the effort and the project was dropped. In 2002 the Helston Railway Preservation Society was formed with about 12 members and on 28th April 2005, 40 years after the line was dismantled, work began clearing the overgrown vegetation.
The line was re-opened for passengers in December 2011 for the Trevarno Gardens Winter Wonderland. As of September 2012 just under 1 mile of track had been relaid and is being used for public passenger rides from Prospidnick via Trevarno almost to Truthall Halt.
The line is being rebuilt by volunteers and is funded by proceeds from passenger rides, donations and membership subscriptions, and by members who buy shares in the Helston Railway Company Ltd. Funds are also generated by the railway shop and a buffet. The Preservation Society gained Charity status in March 2012.
In 2016 planning permission was granted to extend the track and new platform and sidings at Prospidnick and to rebuild the halt at Truthall. The temporary platform at Prospidnick will be retained while the extension is carried out.
Truthall Halt re-opened 16th March 2017. The platform cleared and under both reconstruction and restoration to its former glory.
It is intended that the preserved line will eventually be restored via the 4 arch Cober Viaduct and right onto the outskirts of Helston (where a new and "temporary-replacement" station maybe proposed as the former Helston site itself now sadly lies within private land and redevelopment), however this may take some many years.
Car parking and entry to the railway is free - you can come to the platform, browse in the shop, watch a video of our railway and watch the trains for free. If you wish to ride on the train there is a modest charge.
Visit our buffet in the restored railway carriage, serving hot and cold drinks and snacks and light lunches.
One mile north of Helston.
April - October
Mineral Tramway Discovery Centre Moseley Museum Camborne Helston