The North Cornwall Railway

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WADEBRIDGE since closure

Wadebridge station Although Wadebridge remained open, for traffic from Bodmin, for longer than the rest of the line, modern development has now almost eliminated the railway from the town. One very prominent structure that remains, however, is the station building, which was looking rather worse for wear when photographed by Ron Strutt in 1985.
The platform side, photographed once more by Ron Strutt, showing the dilapidated state of the canopy and the new housing development that swallowed up much of the station area. Wadebridge station
Wadebridge station A longer distance view of the platform side with the old goods shed, another survivor, in the foreground. Photographed by Ron Strutt in 1985.
The remains of Guineaport level crossing, by Wadebridge East Signalbox, photographed by Ron Strutt in 1985. Wadebridge station
Wadebridge station building Photographed here in 2005, the station building is now in stark contrast to the photograph above as it has been renovated and now enjoys a second career as the Sir John Betjeman Centre for the elderly.
Another view of the old station building showing how well looked after it has been in recent years. Sir John had close ties with this part of Cornwall, and had a house at nearby Rock where he is buried in St Enodoc's churchyard. Wadebridge station building
Wadebridge station A view looking across the station site towards where the locomotive servicing facilities and turntable once stood (beyond the houses on the left and now a car park). Either side of Wadebridge the old trackbed has been turned into The Camel Trail, which attracts thousands of walkers and cyclists each week during the holiday season. The road here, called appropriately enough "Southern Way", is part of the link through the town that connects the two parts of the trail.
The other survivor from the station buildings is the goods shed. With vegetation growing up one corner in this 2005 view, and an extension on the near end, this is now a Youth Centre. Wadebridge Goods Shed
Wadebridge Goods Shed Another view of the old goods shed, and another cyclist passing by! This end of the shed was probably the most photographed, drawn and painted with, usually, a Beattie Well Tank and a short rake of goods wagons emerging from the doorway.
The third obvious railway artefact that remains is the bridge that carried the line to Padstow, and a siding, over the stream that flows into the River Camel just here. In days gone by this channel was used to take small vessels to the quay that was immediately on the other side of the bridge where the corrugated iron building is today. With the roadway now narrowed as it leads into a supermarket car park, the far side was the running line and the near side the siding. Bridge
Bridge Typical of railway architecture, and displaying their Exmouth Junction Concrete Works heritage, the bridge railings have gained a metal mesh to protect the pedestrians who use the bridge these days. It is hard to imagine that this site was once the domain of the mighty Bulleid pacifics, the workaholic class Ns and the elegant class T9s!
Even harder to imagine is that this site was once both a road and a railway. The lefthand half of today's Eddystone Road was its entirety, with the railway line to Padstow and the Town Quay in the middle of the righthand side of the roadway, and a footpath beside the buildings in virtually the same position as today. Fences were provided on either side of the line to keep people off the railway, and immediately in front of where you see the car was the level crossing that could cause some delightful traffic chaos in the 1950s and 60s!

In the distance can be seen some white buildings, which is where the Camel Trail re-starts for the leg to Padstow. The horizontal structure above these is the Camel Bridge, an ungainly modern structure that takes the A39 around the town and high above the River Camel, thus providing much needed congestion relief for the town centre that would have been so useful in the days of the level crossing.

Eddystone Road

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History Construction The Route Operation Traffic The Final Years Rolling Stock The ACE Links