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Cornish Railways: (Paperback)

St Austell to Penzance

Transport > Trains & Railways World History > UK & Ireland > England

By Craig Munday
Imprint: Key Publishing
Pages: 96
Illustrations: 180
ISBN: 9781913295981
Published: 3rd May 2022
Last Released: 28th July 2022



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This, the second of two volumes covering the railways of Cornwall, follows the railway through the eye-catching scenery of the west of the county. Over 180 stunning full-colour photographs take the reader on a journey that starts in St Austell, against the backdrop of the clay workings, before moving on through the rich, arable farmland that surrounds the line on the way to the capital city, Truro. West of Truro, the landscape is littered with former mine workings and signs of its rich industrial heritage. The scenery then changes as the line continues on past the busy fruit farms west of Camborne and proceeds on to Hayle. Once across Hayle’s unique viaduct, it runs through St Erth before passing St Michael’s Mount, skirting Mounts Bay and finishing at the terminus of Penzance. Also explored are the existing branches that are still running, including the Burngullow to Parkandillack line, the only freight-only branch still running, and the passenger branch lines of Truro to Falmouth and St Erth to St Ives. Nostalgically, the Hayle Wharves branch has been included and is the only line in the volume that no longer exists.

As featured by

The Broad Gauge Society

This is the second part of Key Books’ photographic paperback on the railways of Cornwall, and is well up to the standard of the first in terms of both quality and interest. Most of the views were taken in the last twenty years or so, but the author has also included several nostalgic shots of trains in the 1980s, mostly on long lost services.

In his introduction, the author laments the lack of variety in the trains currently serving this part of Cornwall, so the book provides an opportunity for him to show us some of the different traction, both passenger and freight, once so common in the area and wearing the range of liveries which could be seen. He has also become adept in discovering some rewarding viewpoints for his pictures, with some of the images featuring fine backdrops or foregrounds such as those which include colourful rhododendrons, daffodils or crops.

Some of the earliest views are of the long-lost freight serving Hayle Wharves powered by Class 25s, a 37 and an 08, while later freights around Parkandillack are headed by the ubiquitous class 66s. There is a full range of passenger trains covering the blue and grey, Inter City, GWR and charter operators’ liveries, and one of the earliest views even features a cameo of the author as a child watching a Western hauled train at Long rock in 1973.

This is a fine work and many of the views will bring back many a fond memory.

West Somerset Railway Association

Presented over two volumes, Craig Munday serves up a colourful selection of images of Cornwall’s railways over the past few decades. The second volume continues the journey from St Austell to Penzance, taking in Burgullow and the St Ives branch.
Two great volumes!

Model Rail Magazine

These two books in my opinion are a marvellous example of the essential combinations required to produce an excellent photographic record of the subject.

I would give these books 10 out of 10. The photographs are excellent throughout and the captions provided give all the required information for each individual photograph.

Bradford Railway Circle

Another book in the series.

Good selection of period photographs. Some nice contemporary views

James Simmonds

About Craig Munday

Craig Munday, a lifelong railway enthusiast, was introduced to the railways by his father, a diesel hydraulic fanatic, at a young age. He joined the railway YTS scheme in 1985 after seeing behind the scenes of the railway industry on a school work experience week the year before. After that, he became a relief signalman in east Cornwall and has worked across the Western Region in Swindon, Bristol and Cardiff in the operations department. In 2008, he had the opportunity to return to his beloved Cornwall to live and work.

Perfect Partner

Cornish Railways Saltash to St Austell (Paperback)

This, the first of two volumes covering the railways of Cornwall, follows the railway through the changing landscapes of the county. It takes the reader from the rich farmland west of St Germans, through the unique Glynn Valley down to Bodmin Road and the freightabundant area of Lostwithiel and Par before reaching clay country on the way to the final destination of St Austell. In addition, also explored are the branch lines, which range from the rural line to Looe, the splendour of the River Fowey on the clay line to Carne Point and the varied and ever-popular Newquay branch. Lavishly illustrated…

By Craig Munday

Click here to buy both titles for £30.98
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