The Helston Railway is a heritage railway in Cornwall 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 8.5 miles (13.7 km) long 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) 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.
Our volunteers have worked wonders since work commenced in April 2005. Starting with a totally overgrown, and in some places impenetrable track bed, the team has cleared just over a mile down to the formation. A mile of new track has been laid, starting at Prospidnick in the north and travelling south towards the original site of Truthall Halt. We now have a temporary platform called Prospidnick Halt, and there is a platform at Tregadjack (originally called Trevarno). We have been granted planning permission to reinstate Truthall Halt and work has started there as well.
Work has now started on our new operating base at Trevarno Farm, just north of Prospidnick, where a station will be constructed with car parking and other facilities. We shall be laying track up to the new area as soon as we can get planning permission to do so.
Belonging to our sister organisation, the Helston Diesel Group, there are two Ruston & Hornsby shunters and a two car Park Royal Diesel Multiple Unit. One of the shunters has been fully restored to use whilst the other is awaiting repairs to its gearbox. The restoration of our Brake Van is also complete and it is used for our passenger services with one of the Ruston shunters.
We have a well-stocked shop, manned by volunteers, in our converted mail van at Prospidnick Halt.
TR13 0RY Contact: 07901 977 597