This film is part of Free

Cornwall's St Erth to St Ives Railway Branch Line

Journey from the Centre of St Erth to St Ives

News 1975 6 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Westward TV reporter John Doyle trains it from St Erth at Rose-an-Grouse to St Ives. Great Western Railway’s most westerly branch line is four miles of single track with a view. Glimpse the Lelant Saltings, Porth Kidney Sands and steep cliffs of Hawkes Point, the headland at Carrick Gladden, the Carbis Viaduct, Porthminster Point and Beach as the train winds through Lelant, Hayle and Carbis Bay before a 97m drop into St Ives and all for twenty-nine pence return fare.

The St Ives Bay line is opened by the West Cornwall Railway on 11 March 1852 and extended to St Ives as industry grew. From a broad gauge track in 1877 the line is converted to standard gauge in 1892, the steep incline into St Ives remains a challenge to train drivers. Mining and fishing attract artists and tourists as Cornwall develops. Today the line operates as a community railway and is one of the busiest ferrying visitors to and from St Ives, now even more famous for its art and artists, particularly Modernism, an art movement bringing Surrealism and Abstraction together. Tate St Ives opened its doors in 1993 and runs the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden which opened in 1980.