The Great Western Railway Volume Three Plymouth To Penzance
Series: The Great Western Railway ...
- Martin Loader
- Stanley C. Jenkins
15th November 2014
The Cornwall Railway was authorised on 3 August 1846 with the aim of constructing a broad gauge rail link between Plymouth, Truro and Falmouth. After many vicissitudes, the railway was ceremonially opened between Plymouth and Truro on 2 May 1859. Meanwhile, further to the west, an entirely separate undertaking known as the West Cornwall Railway had been sanctioned with powers for the construction of a standard gauge railway between Truro and Penzance, which would incorporate parts of the earlier Hayle Railway.
The WCR was completed in 1852, although there was no connection with the Cornwall Railway until 1859. Despite the ‘break-of-gauge’ at Truro, these two railways formed part of a through route between Paddington and Penzance and, as such, they were subsequently absorbed into the GWR system as part of the present-day West of England main line.