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Helston Railway


RCD’s Overview

The Helston Railway is a comparatively new heritage operation, established in 2002 with its first trains running at Christmas 2011. It operates on part of the former GWR branch line from Helston to Gwinear Road, a former junction station on the London - Penzance main line. It aims to rebuild as much as possible of the former Helston branch line between Gwinear Road and Water-Ma-Trout on the outskirts of Helston. At present it operates 1.25 miles of railway from Prospidnick (south of Nancegollen) to Truthall Halt (north of Helston). Its operations are currently based at Trevarno Farm, a short distance from Prospidnick Station, where car parking facilities are available. Motive power is usually a Peckett 0-4-0 saddle tank, although or a Barclay 0-4-0 diesel shunter.

The support group is the 'Helston Railway Preservation Society' (see 'Information on the Suport Group' below).


Happening This Month:

  • Go to 'Homepage' and click into 'Railway Club Calendar'

Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Prospidnick to Truthall Halt

Principal Visitor Centre:

Prospidnick Station. Park at Trevarno Farm, Prospidnick (TR13 0RY) (what3words: likely.princely.syndicate)

Period of Operation*

- April to October (Thursday and Sunday)

- July and August (also Wednesdays)

- December and early January (Special event trains)

 [* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days] 


Key Facts (what you’ll see)

Services usually steam or diesel?

Steam and diesel

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Industrial steam engine and diesel shunter

Length of Line:

1.25 miles

Time taken for a round trip:

35 minutes

Number of trains per day:

5 in each direction

Number of Stations:

3 stations

Prices (2022):

Adult: £9.50. Child: £6.50. Family: £28

Time to allow for Visit:

1 hour minimum





Picnic/Play areas:


Preservation Established:


Car Park Facilities:

At Prospidnick station (free)


Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- No, but food available at station                                                                 

Event Trains:

- Spooky Specials: October

- Santa Specials: December 

Principal Galas:

- Heritage weekend: September




Telephone:                                                          07901 977 597


Social Media:                                            

                                                                              Also on Twitter and Instagram



Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

The main railway line from Plymouth to Penzance was opened in stages between 1852 and 1859. Disappointingly for the people of Helston, the line ran 8 miles to the north of the town. After a number of false starts, a local railway company was formed with the intention of building a railway from Helston to the main line, joining at an isolated location later to be called Gwinear Road. It opened in 1887 and was absorbed by the Great Western Railway in 1898. The line served a largely agricultural community, although holidaymakers gave business to the line in the summer months. At the time of building an extension of the line to The Lizard was envisaged however it was never built. Helston became a railhead for a pioneering road connection service to The Lizard instead. Falling volume of traffic led to the closure of the line to passengers in 1962 and to goods in 1964. Nearly 40 years later a group of local enthusiasts formed the Helston Railway Preservation Society with the aim of restoring as much of the line as possible. A local landowner owned part of the tracked around Trevarno, and with his permission the society commenced track bed clearance and created a base for the railway. The line was then extended north to Prospidnick Halt and south to Trevarno Halt, the two stations between which the railway runs today.


Principal Aspiration

To extend the railway in both directions to Gwinear Road and Helston.


Steam Operational Locomotives:

-  Peckett 0-6-0ST - No. 2000


Diesel Operational Locomotives/DMU:

-  Barclay shunter ‘Kingswood’


Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:

- Peckett 0-4-0ST - No. 2100 ‘William Murdoch’

- Ruston & Hornsby shunter - No. 395305165

- Ruston & Hornsby shunter - No. 327974 (static exhibit)

- Heritage DMU Class 127 - 51616 (currently hauled stock: restoration to operational status ongoing)

- Heritage DMU Class 103 Park Royal (W50413 and W56169)


Name of Support Group:

Helston Railway Preservation Society

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £20. Senior: £15. Junior: £7. Family: £38. Life: £500


Benefits of membership:                               Email railway for information on benefits of membership


How to Join:                                                  Go to


What They Say About Volunteering:

Helston Railway is run and staffed by volunteers, we have no paid staff, and so we rely on our dedicated group of volunteers to continue to develop, build and operate our railway. Our volunteers come from all walks of life; you do not have to be a railway enthusiast to contribute to our project. Whatever skills you have can be used at our railway.


How to Volunteer:                                               Go to


How to Donate:                                                    Go to


WHY JOIN:   Help the railway extend to Gwinear Road and Helston.


Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this



Traditional Railway Societies:

- Great Western Society

- Cornwall Railway Society


Model Railway Clubs:

- Helston & Falmouth Model Railway Club

- Falmouth Society of Railway Modellers

- Cornwall O Gauge Group

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