Bodmin and Wenford Railway

Heritage Railway
name =
Bodmin and Wenford Railway

locale = Bodmin, Cornwall, United Kingdom
terminus = Bodmin
builtby = Great Western Railway
originalgauge = RailGauge|ussg
preservedgauge = RailGauge|ussg
linename = Bodmin and Wenford Railway
operator = Bodmin Railway Preservation Society
stations = 4
length = convert|6.5|mi|km
originalopen =27 May 1887
closed = 1983
stageyears = 1984
stage = Bodmin Railway Preservation Society formed
years = 1986
events = First open day at Bodmin General Station
years1 = 1987
events1 = Cornish Steam Locomotive Preservation Society move to Bodmin
years2 = 1989
events2 = Light Railway order granted
years3 = 1990
events3 = Passenger trains to Bodmin Parkway commence
years4 = 1996
events4 = Railway reopens to Boscarne Junction

The Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway (BWSR) is a heritage railway, based at Bodmin in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is unique in that it is served by high-speed trains from London Paddington which stop at Bodmin Parkway railway station, whence BWSR trains depart.


The route from Bodmin General to Bodmin Parkway is 3.5 miles one way, and Bodmin General to Boscarne is 3 miles so it's a 13 mile round trip on the country's steepest heritage standard gauge incline (1 in 37/40 ruling for 3 miles. It was originally opened by the Great Western Railway in 1887.

The route first crosses the River Fowey by a five-arch viaduct, and then climbs up towards Bodmin Moor. The one intermediate halt is at "Colesloggett Halt", built by the BWR in 1993 to serve a Farm Park (now closed), provides access to a network of footpaths through the Cardinham Woods, belonging to the Forestry Commission. The trip takes 25 minutes each way.

Upon reaching Bodmin General station, trains reverse to take the line to Boscarne Junction. This lies on the former London and South Western Railway route to Wadebridge and Padstow, which now forms the Camel Trail alongside the River Camel. The railway has aspirations to extend alongside this foot/cyclepath towards Wadebridge in the future.


The entire railway is currently (as of 2007) operated on the 'One Engine in Steam' principle. There is no operational lineside railway signalling or operational signalboxes. The light railway order under which the line operates only permits the railway to have one locomotive or train running. On this principle, collisions are impossible, because there should be no other train on the operational line to collide with. The train driver does carry a staff, not only as authority to be the only engine running, but also because it is the key that unlocks the numerous ground frames controlling points.

The railway is currently installing signalling and equipping signal boxes to permit the running of more than one train. This would also assist in future expansion plans.


team Locomotives

Operational locomotives are shown in bold, but the situation chages from time to time so this list may not be up to date.
*19 – Bagnall 0-4-0ST. In service after overhaul.
*120 – LSWR Class T9 4-4-0No 120. The "greyhound" is on long-term loan from the National Railway Museum, due to a shortage of space at York. it is hoped that the loco will be overhauled to working order. According to conditions set by the National Railway Museum, the loco can only be restored if major component replacement is not required.
*2766 – J94 Hunslet 0-6-0ST. Undergoing restoration.
*3121 – Bagnall Fireless 0-4-0F. Awaiting a major restoration.
*4247 – GWR 4200 Class 2-8-0. Operational and a regular on passenger trains, boiler ticket expires in 2011.
*4612 – GWR 5700 Class 0-6-0PT . In service, boiler ticket expires in 2011.
*5552 – GWR 4575 Class 2-6-2T. In Service, boiler ticket expires in 2013.
*30587 – Beattie Well Tank 2-4-0WT. In service and used occasionally on passenger trains, boiler ticket expires in 2012.
*Alfred – Ex-Port of Par Bagnall 0-4-0ST. Under overhaul, could be a 2008/09 return
*Judy – Ex-Port of Par Bagnall 0-4-0ST. Under overhaul, could be a 2008 return.

Diesel Locomotives

*D3452 – BR 0-6-0 Class 10:This locomotive was withdrawn from traffic in 1968, and was sold to English China Clays plc for further service. It spent much of its working life at Fowey Docks, shunting china clay trains, before it was bought for preservation in 1989.
*08444 – BR 0-6-0 Class 08, previously no. D3559.
*20166 BR Bo-Bo Class 20 now named "River Fowey"
*20197 – BR Bo-Bo Class 20
*33110 – BR Bo-Bo Class 33. Undergoing restoration.
*37142 – BR Co-Co Class 37.
*47306 – BR Co-Co Class 47 named "The Sapper"
*50042 – BR Co-Co Class 50 nmaed "Triumph"

Diesel Multiple Units

*BR Class 108 unit 50980+52054 and spare vehicle 51947:These units were built by BR at Derby from 1958-61, and were one of the most numerous types of 'Heritage' DMUs.


*Bodmin Parkway
*Colesloggett Halt
*Bodmin General
*Boscarne Junction
*Grogley Halt - "Possible future station"
*Wadebridge Guineaport - "Possible future station"

RailTrail Project

The railway is currently planning to extend beyond its western terminus at Boscarne Junction towards Wadebridge alongside the Camel Trail. Known as the RailTrail project, phase one would see the line extended to Grogley Halt and phase two to Wadebridge Guineaport.cite web |url= |title=Full Steam Ahead For RailTrail?|work=The Cornish Guardian |accessdate=2008-02-20]

A separate company (Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway Company) has been set up. It is responsible to the Directors of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway for the promotion and management of all aspects relating to the RailTrail project.

In areas where the width of the trackbed does not allow both a railway and footpath side-by-side, short diversions are proposed. For example at Grogley the Camel Trail could be re-routed along a former "headshunt" which was part of the original railway before it was replaced by a later deviation.

The railtrail project is viewed by some cite web |url= |title=Full Steam Ahead For RailTrail?|work=The Cornish Guardian |accessdate=2008-02-20] as somewhat controversial due to the following concerns.
* Sustrans and the cycling/running/walking/equestrian community have objected to these plans for the RailTrail project claiming they do not provide significant evidence for providing a wide enough multipurpose trail Fact|date=February 2008. They feel the Camel Trail is currently too narrow at the Boscarne junction terminus due to the railway. Due to this narrowing of the trail it can become extremely congested and quite dangerous during busy times.Fact|date=February 2008

* Environmentalists have expressed concerns about the impact that the RailTrail project would have on the SSSI and SAC of the Camel valley. [cite web |url=|title=Full Wildlife Lovers' Fears at Train Service Return|work=The Cornish Guardian |accessdate=2008-02-20]
* People living in the Guineport area of Wadebridge have expressed concerns about having a rail terminus situated there. The concerns are due to space for a platform and car parking.

The decision of North Cornwall District Council to support the project was "a close fought battle" only winning by the casting vote of cllr Graham Fanks-Martin. [cite web | url=|title=Full Railway Gains Council's Support|work=The Cornish Guardian |accessdate=2008-02-20] [cite web | url=|title=Camel Rail Plan Wins Support - by a Whisker|work=The Cornish Guardian |accessdate=2008-02-20]

ee also

*Bagnall 0-4-0ST "Alfred" and "Judy"


External links

* [ Bodmin & Wenford Railway website]
* [ Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway Company]
*Map and aerial photo sources for: Bodmin Parkway station (gbmapping|SX110640) and Boscarne Junction (gbmappingsmall|SX041674)

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