Once upon a time there was a railway station in Helston and a regular train service to the pretty Cornish town. This was the original line that serviced Helston and the Lizard Peninsula for more than 100 years. But it closed in the 1960s. A sad end to this story.
Except that isn’t the end of the story because a few years ago, a keen group of local train enthusiasts started to rebuild the line. This work is ongoing but there’s enough on track now at Helston Railway to enjoy on your visit. The centrepiece is the vintage train that operates on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in July and August for all visitors. A journey on the train takes around 40 minutes and comes equipped with stunning views over the south coast. It’s a lovely ride through the Cornish countryside on the reconstructed branch line that’s as it was in the 1950s.
Outside of the train, there’s a shop on the site stocking great souvenirs and train-themed books and toys, as well as refreshments that are served up in a classic diesel railcar. And then there are a whole host of special events throughout the year, including Second World War re-enactment days and vintage vehicle shows, so keep an eye on the attraction’s website for upcoming themes.
Cornwall has a rich history and there’s plenty of examples of locals recreating the past after it has been lost to time. Helston Railway is right up there when it comes to these recreation projects. And it’s only going to grow in the coming years. Who knows? Maybe you’ll soon be able to travel on this line from Penzance to Helston. If you visit now and help the team keep the money coming in, that dream could one day become a reality.