Station Name: PADSTOW

[Source: Martin James]

Date opened: 27.3.1899
Location: At the end of Station Road
Company on opening: North Cornwall Railway Company
Date closed to passengers: 30.1.1967
Date closed completely: 30.1.1967
Company on closing: British Railways (Western Region)
Present state: Today the route of the line is used as the Camel cycle trail the station buildings at Padstow serving as a cycle hire shop. The remainder of the site is given over to car parking.. The 1900 fish shed has been demolished (since 2000) and a new fish shed built.
County: Cornwall
OS Grid Ref: SW920752
Date of visit: January 2000

Notes: Padstow signal box was opened on 12th March 1899. The station was officially opened on 23rd March 1899 with the first passenger trains running on 27th March 1899.

The harbour was extended with a new railway jetty between 1910 – 1912 with further extensions in 1928 and 1935.

The final section of the North Cornwall Railway from Wadebridge to the new terminus at Padstow opened in March 1899. There were plans submitted to Parliament in 1893 for a second line into the terminus, to link Padstow with Newquay and Truro - but this never materialised. From the outset the North Cornwall Railway was worked by the London & South Western Railway.

The new station had one platform, a goods shed, and a 50-foot turntable. The turntable was moved to a new location in 1933, and a replacement 65-foot turntable was installed in 1947 There was a large fish shed opposite the station platform which was built in 1900 and subsequently extended on its southern end in 1912. This has been demolished since 2000.

The Port of Padstow was owned by the local landowners the Prideaux-Brunes, but was run by the Padstow Harbour Commissioners with whom the LSWR had good working relationship.

Between 1910 and 1915, the West Quay (inner dock wall) and a new railway jetty were built - this being paid for largely by the London and South Western Railway. Known as the 'new works', the West Quay was extended between 1910 and 1912 and the new railway jetty was built between 1912 and 1915 to accommodate two railway sidings which were in place by 1914. The West Quay was further extended in 1928, and a 'bull-nose' was added to the railway jetty in 1935. Amongst other things, the railway jetty incorporated a wagon weighbridge.

In 1922 the majority of railways in Great Britain were amalgamated into four. In connection with the formation of the Southern Railway, the NCR was finally absorbed by the L&SWR which in turn was absorbed into the Southern Railway. The NCR was formally wound up on 6 March 1923.

There were two types of passenger train service throughout the life of Padstow Station with through trains to Okehampton, Exeter or Waterloo and local trains to Wadebridge and Bodmin North. There were also some local Western Region trains to Bodmin Road (now Bodmin Parkway). From the outset, train services over the North Cornwall line were run by the London and South Western Railway.

Apart from the usual general freight, there were perishable goods dispatched daily on the 'Up Perisher' - the 3:13 p.m. passenger service from Padstow - and fish which was dispatched daily on the 4:30 p.m. fish van train.

Closure started in 1964 with the withdrawal of goods traffic and the last running of the Atlantic Coast Express. At the beginning of 1965, DMUs replaced steam hauled services and for the first time in its history, the North Cornwall line had some trains (when 'bubble cars' were diagrammed) which were only second class and didn't have toilets.

The North Cornwall line closed completely at the beginning of October 1966 and the only trains which then served Padstow were local trains from Bodmin Road which reversed at Bodmin General to get to Wadebridge and Padstow. The final trains to Padstow were on the 28th of January 1967 and the line officially closed two days later.

Plans have been mooted by the current Bodmin & Wenford Railway to re-open the line to Padstow, but this is unlikely as a new route through Wadebridge would have to be found. The return of trains to Wadebridge is highly likely, but not to Padstow.

Passenger trains
When the line opened in the spring of 1899, the LSWR ran six up trains and seven down trains daily to and from Okehampton. On Sundays, it is possible that there were five up trains and four down trains - but records from the time are confusing as to whether a Sunday service ran or not. For the remainder of its existence, Padstow Station was normally closed on Sundays.

In LSWR days in the summer of 1914, there were six up trains and seven down trains to and from Okehampton, Exeter and Waterloo, but this was supplemented by local services to Wadebridge and Bodmin North giving a total of 12 up and 11 down trains daily. There were no trains on Sundays.

In the summer of 1932, the Southern Railway maintained the service although it was now seven up trains and six down trains. On weekdays the 3:13 p.m. departure was known as the 'Up Perisher' - the passenger coaches going to Exeter, with the vans which formed the rest of the train destined for Templecombe and/or London (see section on freight). There were also five local trains daily to/from Bodmin North. The Working Timetable for the summer of 1932 does show two Padstow trains on a Sunday - a half-day excursion to Paignton, which ran via Halwill, Okehampton and Exeter St. David's, and a half-day excursion from Exmouth to Padstow.

In BR days the winter service had been cut back to only four trains a day over the North Cornwall line in each direction, although two of these went to/from Waterloo The other two were to/from Okehampton or Exeter. In addition, there were eight up local trains and ten down local trains - two of which went to/from Bodmin Road (WR).

In the days before road transport took over, there was also the 1:15 a.m. ex-Waterloo newspaper train which arrived at Padstow at 9:22 a.m.

On Mondays to Saturdays during part of Southern Railway and British Railways days the 11:00 Waterloo-West of England service - which was known as The Atlantic Coast Express (the ACE) - was the most multi-portioned train in the world with coaches for Plymouth, Padstow, Bude, Torrington, Ilfracombe, Exeter Central (two kitchen/restaurant
cars), Exmouth, Sidmouth and Exeter - the latter single coach being detached at Salisbury at 12:23 p.m. and added to a local all-stations train to Exeter Central which left 13-minutes later at 12:36 p.m. In winter the ACE consisted of 13-coaches with three coaches for Ilfracombe, two for Plymouth, the two kitchen/restaurant cars for Exeter, and a single brake-composite coach for each of the other six destinations - including Padstow with arrival at 5:00 p.m. On busy summer Saturdays the train ran in four portions with many coaches for each of the destinations.

In BR days at the height of holiday season, the 11:00 a.m. Saturday departure from Padstow to Waterloo consisted of eight coaches including a kitchen car and a composite restaurant car. It was usually hauled by a West Country pacific loco although a photo exists showing the train hauled by a pair of N-Class 2-6-0 locos.

Unlike most stations which just dealt with general freight, cattle etc., Padstow was associated with two specific types of freight throughout its history for which particular trains ran.

1. Perishable goods were shipped daily in vans attached on the front of the 3:13 p.m. up passenger train which was known to railwaymen as the 'Up Perisher'. This train originated at Padstow, and picked up other perishable goods en-route.

The 3:13 p.m. passenger train went as far as Exeter but the vans went further afield to Templecombe (for the S&DJR) and London. In the summer of 1956, this included the returning VAN B which arrived on the 1:15 a.m. ex-Waterloo newspaper train and other vans for the perishable goods. At Halwill Junction, it was common practice for a number of Conflat wagons
with containers - containing meat from the slaughter house in the yard - to be added to the 'Up Perisher'. The 6:00 p.m. passenger departure from Padstow also carried vans - in 1956, this was a VAN B for Exeter and a BY for Nine Elms.

2.  The large fish shed at Padstow generated much fish traffic and to accommodate this a fish van train departed Padstow at 4:30 p.m. daily destined for Nine Elms.

As early as the year of opening in 1899, the LSWR realised the importance of the freight traffic and put on a fast afternoon goods train leaving Padstow at 3:30 p.m. calling only at Wadebridge, Camelford, Delabole and Launceston. This train joined with the Plymouth-Nine Elms freight at Meldon Junction for a fast run to London.

Tickets from Michael Stewart

The first train at Padstow on 27th March 1899

Padstow Station and goods yard in 1900, the fish shed is seen to the right. Note the shed canopy extends across the line, this is not visible in the picture above indicating that the fish shed was built after the opening of the station.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Padstow Station looking south in May 1962
Photo from Cornwall's lost railways web site

Padstow Station looking south in 1966
Photo by Bernard Mills see Bernard's Fotopic web site

Padstow Station in January 2000
hoto by Martin James







Mid 1990's

January 2000

January 2000

January 2000

January 2000

January 2000

January 2000

January 2000

Click on thumbnail to enlarge




[Source: Martin James]

Last updated: Tuesday, 20-Apr-2010 16:11:49 BST
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