Bodmin and Wenford Railway

Image courtesy of Patrick Hooper

In Brief

Type: Historical steam attraction
Suitable for: Train enthusiasts and history buffs
Address: Bodmin General Station on the B3268 Lostwithiel Road, Bodmin
Price: Adults £17, seniors £15.90, three to 16-year-olds £9 and under-threes go for free
Dog friendly?: Yes, for a £1 fare

What makes an attraction? Lots to see, do and learn? Usually paid for? Food and drinks involved somewhere along the line? If all these points all make for an attraction, then we say the historical Bodmin and Wenford Railway is an attraction to be savoured.

The Bodmin and Wenford Railway is a 13-mile steam train journey through the stunning Cornish countryside. It all has a 1950s feel, not least because this is Cornwall’s only full-size railway that’s still operated by steam locomotives. It’s nostalgic, it’s beautiful, it’s fun and it’s like going to the town of Bodmin and stepping back more than 70 years in time. You have to get the train from Bodmin General Station but then you embark on a six-and-a-half mile track that goes to Bodmin Parkway and Boscarne Junction stations before finishing back where you started. The full 13-mile journey takes around two hours by steam train.

There’s plenty of history to this track. The then-called Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway opened in 1834 as a means to transport sand and minerals. The main station building at Bodmin General opened in 1887. Steam trains pulled people and materials up and down the line for years, right up until 1963. After that, efforts went on for yet more years to open the line around Bodmin as a heritage steam railway and those efforts were rewarded in 1986 when steam trains returned to the track and the Bodmin and Wenford experience began, growing over the following years to the 13-mile extravaganza of today.

You may actually time your journey with one of the many big events the railway team offers up each year, such as the Heritage Transport Festival or the ‘steam and diesel galas’, or perhaps one of the smaller events like an onboard murder mystery evening or a ‘steam beer and jazz’ night. Events certainly add to the fun but, really, you need to clear your mind and step back into the 1950s and enjoy a unique attraction that will leave you with memories galore. Yes, we said attraction again. Full steam ahead!