Calstock railway station

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National Rail
The platform, looking north
General information
LocationCalstock, Cornwall
Coordinates50°29′53″N 4°12′32″W / 50.498°N 4.209°W / 50.498; -4.209Coordinates: 50°29′53″N 4°12′32″W / 50.498°N 4.209°W / 50.498; -4.209
Grid referenceSX433688
Managed byGreat Western Railway
Other information
Station codeCSK
ClassificationDfT category F2
2016/17Increase 35,346
2017/18Increase 37,426
2018/19Increase 37,834
2019/20Decrease 34,758
2020/21Decrease 10,534
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Calstock railway station is an unstaffed railway station on the Tamar Valley Line serving the village of Calstock in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is situated at the north end of Calstock Viaduct which carries the railway at high level over the River Tamar.[1]


The 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge East Cornwall Mineral Railway was opened to Kelly Quay at Calstock on 8 May 1872. Wagons with goods from the mines around Gunnislake and Callington were brought down the hillside on a 0.4 miles (0.6 km) cable-worked incline with a gradient of 1 in 6 (17%).[2]

The Plymouth, Devonport and South Western Junction Railway opened the station on 2 March 1908. This line was a branch from Bere Alston to Callington Road and crossed the River Tamar on Calstock Viaduct.[3]

A steam-powered lift was attached to the downstream side of the viaduct which could raise and lower wagons to the quays 113 feet (34 m) below, making it one of the highest such lifts in the country. It was connected to the station goods yard by a second parallel steel stub viaduct. A short section of the narrow gauge line was retained to serve a lime kiln, but the wagon lift and all the sidings were taken out of use in September 1934.

Fruit and flowers were an important part of the traffic carried on the railway and were still carried by train from Calstock until the mid-1970s.[4]

Platform layout[edit]

The single platform – on the right of trains arriving from Plymouth – is situated on a sharp curve which makes it difficult to see trains approaching from Gunnislake.


A train to Gunnislake

Calstock is served by trains on the Tamar Valley Line from Gunnislake to Plymouth. Connections with main line services can be made at Plymouth.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Bere Alston   Great Western Railway
Tamar Valley Line

Community railway[edit]

The railway from Plymouth to Gunnislake is designated as a community railway and is supported by marketing provided by the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership. The line is promoted under the "Tamar Valley Line" name.

Two pubs in Calstock take part in the Tamar Valley Line rail ale trail, which is designed to promote the use of the line.[may be outdated as of March 2022] The line is also part of the Dartmoor Sunday Rover network of integrated bus and rail routes.

Calstock Viaduct[edit]

Calstock Viaduct in 2018

The viaduct is 120 feet (37 m) high with twelve 60 feet (18 m) wide arches, and a further small arch in the Calstock abutment. Three of the piers stand in the River Tamar, which is tidal at this point and has a minimum clearance at high tide of 110 feet (34 m).

It was built between 1904 and 1907 by John Lang of Liskeard using 11,148 concrete blocks. These were cast in a temporary yard on the Devon bank opposite the village. The engineers were Richard Church and W. R. Galbraith.

It is a Grade II* listed structure.[5]

The construction of the viaduct provided the background to the 1939 novel The Viaduct by Victor Canning, set in the fictional village of Caradon which was closely modelled on Calstock.[6]


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 201 Plymouth & Launceston ISBN 978-0-319-23146-3
  2. ^ Grant, Donald J. (31 October 2017). Directory of the Railway Companies of Great Britain. Troubador Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1-78803-768-6.
  3. ^ "Plymouth, Devonport & South Western Junction – Kent and East Sussex Railway". Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  4. ^ Holland, Julian (27 September 2013). Dr Beeching's Axe 50 Years On: Memories of Britain's Lost Railways. F+W Media, Inc. ISBN 978-1-4463-5830-6.
  5. ^ "Name: CALSTOCK VIADUCT List entry Number: 1105516". Historic England. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  6. ^ The Viaduct background
  • Cheesman, AJ (1967). The Plymouth, Devonport and South Western Junction Railway. Blandford Forum: Oakwood Press.
  • Clinker, CR (1963). The Railways of Cornwall 1809 - 1963. Dawlish: David and Charles.
  • Crombleholme, Roger; Gibson, Bryan; Stickey, Douglas; Whetmath, CFD (1985) [1967]. Callington Railways. Brackenll: Forge Books.
  • Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership (2006), Tamar Valley Line Rail Ale Trail
  • Parkhouse, Neil. "Building Calstock Viaduct". Archive (2): 33–54. ISSN 1352-7991.

External links[edit]