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Helston Railway

helston railway

Ride the Rails on Helston Railway

All aboard for nostalgic adventures on this lovingly restored rural 1950s Cornish railway line! Winding gently through picture-perfect countryside between Crownsgate just outside Helston to sleepy Praa Sands on the southern Cornish coastline, the historic Helston Railway delights train enthusiasts with its vintage engines pulling quaint compartments and carriages.

With journeys taking in sights from gnarled, lichen-covered oak thickets sheltering wild garlic carpets to sparkling sea views across Mount’s Bay, families can hop on and off discovering fairy tale Penrose Estate or spend entire days absorbing scenery aboard the rails on this tranquil single-track branch line now run by volunteers.

Here’s all you need to know for an unforgettable family trip back in time riding the scenic heritage rails of Helston Railway.

helston railway

Getting There

Helston Railway is based in Prospidnick, 2 miles north of Helston. They are well signed just off the B3303.

The free car park is at the Prospidnick station.

At the southern end of the track is Truthall Halt. There is no parking at this station, but you can walk or cycle there.

Operational Timetable

Helston Railway runs Thursdays and Sundays from April – October:

Thursdays: 10am – 4:30pm
Sundays: 11am – 4:30pm

They also have other opening days through the summer, so check online timetables in case of special event days or maintenance closures. Journey times between each end are around 35 minutes.

They also run some specials during the year, including the always populas Santa Specials.

diesel at helston railway

Tickets and Fares

Fares for return journeys are:

  • Adult (aged 16+): £9.50
  • Child (aged 2-15): £6.50
  • Family ticket: £28.00
helston steam engine

Highlights of the Route

The Helston Railway is known the country’s most southerly railway. The railway is a standard gauge heritage railway attraction that was reopened for passengers in December 2011.

The highlight of the route is the scenic views it offers, with the train running along a restored railway line that provides extensive views across the countryside towards the Lizard and South Coast. The railway currently has about a mile of track, and passenger trains run from Prospidnick to Truthall Halt. 

The route is popular for its picturesque surroundings and is a great way to experience the beauty of the area. Whether it’s the lush greenery, the open countryside, or the coastal views, the Helston Railway offers a unique perspective of the region.

The railway is a testament to the efforts of the Helston Railway Preservation Society, which was formed by a small group of enthusiasts with a vision to re-open a section of the Helston branch line. Happily, they have big plans to reconnect the railway further and this demonstrates it’s historical and cultural significance to the area.

helston railway steam engine in rainbow

Helston Railway Map

The picture below is a map prepared by the railway and it shows the short rooute between Prospidnick and Truthful Halt. There are plans to extend the railway, but for now, this is it.

helston railway map

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the nearest mainline station to Helston Railway? – Camborne station is the closest, being on the mainline between Penzance and all trains running north and east.

Are dogs allowed on Helston Railway? – Yes, well behaved dogs on leads are welcome

Is Helston Railway wheelchair accessible? – Yes, wheelchairs can be accomodated on the trains.

Other nearby attractions

After your visit to Helston Railway, think about some of these nearby places:

  • Lizard Point Heritage Centre – This centre showcases local history and wildlife in The Lizard peninsula, including exhibits on the Guglielmo Marconi’s pioneering radio experiments conducted nearby. Enjoy scenic coastal views while learning about the area.
  • Mullion Cove – A picturesque small cove surrounded by dramatic cliffs stretching down to a pebble beach. The striking setting makes it a popular spot for swimming, walking along the coast path, or simply admiring the views.
  • Poldhu Cove – Just north of Lizard Point lies this rocky cove with a crescent-shaped sandy beach. It is renowned as the location where Marconi successfully demonstrated the first transatlantic radio transmission in 1901.
  • Gunwalloe Church Cove – A beautiful sandy beach flanked by lush valleys and the quaint Church of St. Winwaloe. It offers excellent swimming as well as walks along the scenic coastal path.
  • Porthleven Harbour – This active harbour hosts the largest fishing fleet in Cornwall. Visitors can wander the historic town, sample fresh seafood, or watch the boats come and go from the pier.
  • Cornish Seal Sanctuary – This marine wildlife hospital and sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates injured seals as well as hosting other animals like penguins, otters, and sea birds. An inspiring and educational visitor attraction.
  • Culdrose Air Museum – Located at the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, this museum has an impressive collection of preserved aircraft and helicopters from the Fleet Air Arm spanning years of British aviation history. Fascinating for technology and history buffs.

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