Falmouth Docks railway station

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Falmouth Docks National Rail
Looking towards Truro
Place Falmouth
Local authority Cornwall
Coordinates 50°09′01″N 5°03′21″W / 50.15041°N 5.05581°W / 50.15041; -5.05581Coordinates: 50°09′01″N 5°03′21″W / 50.15041°N 5.05581°W / 50.15041; -5.05581
Grid reference SW817323
Station code FAL
Managed by Great Western Railway
Number of platforms 1
DfT category F1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 0.104 million
2012/13 Steady 0.104 million
2013/14 Increase 0.109 million
2014/15 Increase 0.137 million
2015/16 Decrease 0.116 million
Original company Cornwall Railway
Pre-grouping Great Western Railway
Post-grouping Great Western Railway
24 August 1863 Opened as Falmouth
1 December 1970 Closed
5 May 1975 Reopened
15 May 1989 Renamed Falmouth Docks
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Falmouth Docks from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Falmouth Docks railway station (Cornish: Porthklos Aberfala[1]) is situated in Falmouth, Cornwall, England. It was opened in 1863 as the terminus of the Maritime Line from Truro, although since 1970 Falmouth Town has been the principal station for the town. Services are operated by Great Western Railway.


The original Cornwall Railway Act had provided for a terminus at Falmouth on the waterfront at Greenbank. By the time the line was built the packet ships, which had been the commercial justification for the line, no longer called there. Instead new docks had been constructed near Pendennis Castle to which the railway was diverted. The grand Falmouth Hotel was opened in 1865 just outside the station, with sea views across Gyllyngvase beach. The railway, Falmouth docks and hotel companies shared several directors, the hotel company even leased the refreshment rooms on the station.

The station was constructed out of granite was 200 feet (61 m) long and 90 feet (27 m) wide, the three tracks and two platforms being covered by a train shed. As no other stations were provided in the town at the time it was known just as 'Falmouth', and was opened on 24 August 1863.[2] A large goods shed and a 100 feet (30 m) long engine shed were both provided just outside the station. A siding ran down to the docks from the end of the platform.[3]

The need to provide accommodation for all the staff were met by building twenty dwellings, known as Railway Cottages, in four terraces of five dwellings. These are situated just below the station by the entrance to the docks.

The Cornwall Railway was amalgamated into the Great Western Railway on 1 July 1889. The Great Western Railway was nationalised into British Railways from 1 January 1948 which was in turn privatised in the 1990s.

The station was closed on 7 December 1970 when a new station, also named 'Falmouth', was opened 845 metres (924 yd) away and nearer to the town; on 5 May 1975 the latter was renamed 'The Dell' and the 1863 station was reopened under its original name. On 15 May 1989, both were renamed: 'Falmouth' (this station) became 'Falmouth Docks', and 'The Dell' became 'Falmouth Town'.[2] Passengers now have a choice of three stations in the town: Falmouth Docks, Falmouth Town, and Penmere (opened in 1925).[4]


The single platform is on the left hand side of trains arriving from Truro.[5] It is covered now by just a canopy but features a mosaic panel on its wall which depicts the link between the railway and the area's maritime heritage. It has level access from the car park.

The station is at the south end of the town on the hillside above the docks and near Pendennis Castle and Gyllyngvase Beach.


The railway from Truro to Falmouth is designated as a community rail line and is supported by marketing provided by the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership. The line is promoted under the "Maritime Line" name.[6]

While passenger numbers have been steadily growing at most Cornish stations in recent years, the growth at Falmouth Docks has been exceptional. More than 28,000 people passed through the station in the twelve months ending March 2003, but this had more than doubled just four years later and almost quadrupled by 2014/15. Falmouth Town, however, continues to be the busiest of the three stations in Falmouth.[7]

  2002-03 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Entries 14,305 18,815 23,208 28,371 31,609 49,652 45,949 46,473 52,234
Exits 14,156 19,619 24,108 31,171 35,555 49,652 45,949 46,473 52,234
Total 28,461 38,434 47,316 59,542 67,164 99,304 91,890 92,946 104,468

The statistics cover twelve month periods that start in April.


All trains are operated by Great Western Railway to and from Truro. Until 2009 they ran no more frequently than once each hour – often much less than this[8] – but they were then increased in frequency. They are now every 30 minutes Monday - Saturday day time and hourly at evenings and on Sundays. This is possible because of the new (and novelly constructed) passing loop which is now installed at Penryn.[9]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Falmouth Town   Great Western Railway
Maritime Line


  1. ^ http://www.magakernow.org.uk/idoc.ashx?docid=f3fabe0c-206f-4e0c-8889-4ce4a5060e5b&version=-1[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 94. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  3. ^ Bennett, Alan (1988). The Great Western Railway in Mid Cornwall. Southampton: Kingfisher Railway Publications. ISBN 0-946184-53-4. 
  4. ^ Cooke, R A (1977). Track Layout Diagrams of the GWR and BR WR: Section 10, West Cornwall. Harwell: R A Cooke. 
  5. ^ Jacobs, Gerald (2005). Railway Track Diagrams Book 3: Western. Bradford-on-Avon: Trackmaps. ISBN 0-9549866-1-X. 
  6. ^ Department for Transport, Rail Group (2006), Route prospectus for the … The Maritime Line
  7. ^ "Station Usage". Rail Statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  8. ^ "National Rail Timetable 143 (Winter 2008)" (PDF). Network Rail. Retrieved 2008-12-15. 
  9. ^ "Penryn loop installed". Modern Railways. Ian Allan. 65 (722): 12. 2008. ISSN 0026-8356. 

External links[edit]

This station offers access to the South West Coast Path
Distance to path 100 yards (91 m)
Next station anticlockwise Falmouth Town
0.5 miles (0.80 km)
Next station clockwise Penzance 60 miles (97 km)