Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Great Little Railways of Cornwall

My new book, 'Great Little Railways of Cornwall', is complete in draft. Written for Cornish publisher Truran, it will be out next March.

Since ‘Captain Dick’ Trevithick’s black Puffing Devil clanked up Camborne Hill on Christmas Eve 1801, Cornwall’s had a close association with steam transport. During Victorian times railways flourished and a web of routes spread across the Duchy, connecting towns, villages and a shoal of tiny halts. Today, though a great deal’s changed, nostalgic reminders of Cornish steam travel are still with us. Four lines survive, the locomotives and their guardians keeping former times alive and providing enjoyable days out for everyone.

Scenic rail travel too has survived in Cornwall, despite the cuts of the 1960s. Rural areas were widely affected; Cornish closures included parts of the North Cornwall Railway and the West Cornwall Railway. Today though, across the Duchy five scenic branch lines run by operator First Great Western meander through wonderful countryside, well away from the bustle of main-line services; they offer great trips, often to places you might otherwise overlook.

As usual Truran have been darlings, which helps. They work closely with their authors and once again it’s been a joy.

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