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Author Topic: Retracing the abandoned tracks of Cornwall's highest railway  (Read 5002 times)
grahame
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« on: February 24, 2019, 08:05:03 pm »

The platform at Coombe was built as the freight transfer point between the Liskeard & Caradon Railway (bringing ore from the Cheesewring area) and the Looe & Liskeard Canal but in 1860 the Railway was extended to Looe, the railway built in many places on top of the canal.

1st January 1916 the Railway north of Moorswater was abandoned.


From Cornwall Live - an article with lots of pictures (and onward links) to the railway north of Moorswater, which climbed from the sea level of the Looe branch to be the highest railway in Cornwall.

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Retracing the abandoned tracks of Cornwall's highest railway

Over 150 years ago an audacious plan took rail travel to new heights in Cornwall, but today the tracks of this engineering feat are lost in the wilderness of Bodmin Moor.

High up on the south east corner Bodmin Moor, with its views stretching across the Tamar Valley and on to the hills of Dartmoor, ramblers are drawn to follow in the tracks of curious granite blocks, uniformly laid into the natural landscape, guiding them higher and higher.

The landscape here has not changed for centuries, but around 150 years ago, these granite sleepers numbered some 120,000, and, overlaid with train tracks, ran from Moorswater near Liskeard up to Kilmar Tor at almost 1300ft above sea level, making it the highest railway line in Cornwall.

Today, what is left of this abandoned railway, blending back into its natural environment, speaks more of its sad demise than its heyday of productivity and the innovative engineering of its design. But thankfully, all is not lost at the end of this line.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2019, 09:33:18 pm »

Yes, amazing that the rails that are left have lasted so long.
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Jamsdad
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2019, 11:24:26 pm »

Not quite accurate I'm afraid , you wont find any rails. The line was laid with individual granite setts to hold the rails rather than traditional transverse wooden sleepers. The traces of the line are quite easy to follow and with a bit of imagination and a good OS (Ordnance Survey) map you can join up the dots to project the planned extension of the line beyond Minions right out to Kilmar Tor and then with guesswork on towards Altarnun.
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Pb_devon
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2019, 08:03:50 am »

A splendid piece with excellent images. I can recommend a visit on a fine day, and I would mention Trevallicks farm shop cafe with the model railway that customers can operate! (Other excellent eateries are available in the locality).
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2019, 09:02:01 am »

Not quite accurate I'm afraid , you wont find any rails. The line was laid with individual granite setts to hold the rails rather than traditional transverse wooden sleepers. The traces of the line are quite easy to follow and with a bit of imagination and a good OS (Ordnance Survey) map you can join up the dots to project the planned extension of the line beyond Minions right out to Kilmar Tor and then with guesswork on towards Altarnun.

So what are the steel bits in the photographs in the linked report?
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Jamsdad
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2019, 08:08:47 pm »

Loose rail on a quarry incline at Kilmar Tor Quarry. All the track on the substantive railway line was lifted in WW1 and taken to France.
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