penzance railway station history

Because of its remote location two cottages were built in 1860 for the station master and his staff. This is the Cornish terminus of the Night Riviera sleeper train to and from Paddington. The booking office is located inside as well as an excellent, locally-run refreshment room. Docks were opened adjacent to the station and a new headquarters office was built next door. Copperhouse (50°11′22″N 5°24′25″W / 50.1894°N 5.4070°W / 50.1894; -5.4070 (Copperhouse Halt)) was one of the small halts provided for these services, opening on 1 July 1905 to provide a service to the Copperhouse district in Hayle. The station was opened by the West Cornwall Railway on 11 March 1852 as the terminus of its line from Redruth.This wooden station was replaced by the current buildings in 1879.

A large stone at the end of this platform welcomes people to Penzance in both English and Cornish. Initially known as "Scorrier Gate", the name was changed to "Scorrier" in March 1856. (See also Angarrack viaduct.). The goods yard was taken out of use in 1982.

Rail travel from Penzance to London was possible from 1860 when the West Cornwall company was given access to the Cornwall Railway’s Truro station, but the West Cornwall trains were standard gauge and the Cornwall Railway was broad gauge, so through passengers had to change trains there and goods had to be transhipped into wagons of the other gauge at Truro.

[12] The original single platform was situated on the south side of the line but the station was rebuilt about thirty years later, when a second platform was added. The number of passengers travelling on the Cornish Main Line has increased in the last few years. Ford (50°23′08″N 4°10′39″W / 50.3856°N 4.1776°W / 50.3856; -4.1776 (Ford Halt)) [1] was one of the halts opened by the Great Western Railway for its railmotor services on 1 June 1904. The physical limitations of the steeply graded line imposed severe problems during the busiest times, not least for goods train operation.

Due to delays in securing the site for Bodmin Road, the Cornwall Railway provided a temporary station a little further west for the opening of the line on 4 May 1859 until the permanent station was ready on 27 June 1859.

The Associated Companies merged into the Great Western Railway, and in 1892 the Great Western converted all its broad gauge track to standard gauge, a process called the gauge conversion. Best of all, the station is controlled by semaphore signals, creating a scene that would seem familiar to Victorian travellers (see the Banbury feature for more semaphores!).

Three of these were rescued and restored, and now provide sleeping accommodation at Petworth railway station, which has been converted into a guest house.

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