Lappa Valley Steam Railway
|15" gauge steam locomotive Zebedee leaves Benny Halt with a train.|
|Locale||Newquay, Cornwall, UK|
|Terminus||St Newlyn East|
|Built by||Great Western Railway|
|Original gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Owned by||Lappa Valley Railway Co. Ltd|
|Operated by||Lappa Valley Railway Co. Ltd|
|Length||1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km)|
|Preserved gauge||15 in (381 mm)|
|Opened||4 February 1905|
|Closed||4 February 1963|
|1974||Lappa Valley Steam Railway opened|
The Lappa Valley Steam Railway is a 15 in (381 mm) minimum gauge railway located near Newquay in Cornwall. The railway functions as a tourist attraction, running from Benny Halt (Coordinates: ) to East Wheal Rose ( ), where there is a leisure area.
In 1843, Joseph Treffry suggested building a tramway between Par and Newquay, with a branch line to the East Wheal Rose silver lead mine, which at the time was entering its most prosperous period. Treffry spent six years trying to overcome public opposition to the tramway and was forced to modify his intended route. The Treffry Tramways were eventually built from Newquay to St. Dennis with the branch line to East Wheal Rose, and the first load of ore left East Wheal Rose on 26 February 1849 in horse-drawn tubs. 1874 saw the Treffry's network of tramways taken over by the Cornwall Minerals Railway, who introduced steam locomotives to the line.
Great Western Railway
The Great Western Railway took over the Cornish Minerals Railway in 1896, and incorporated the East Wheal Rose branch into a new railway from Newquay to Chacewater via. Perranporth. This new railway was opened in 1905, and enabled passengers to reach the market town of Truro much quicker than they had before. The Newquay to Chacewater branch line also proved popular for holidaymakers. The railway closed on 4 February 1963 under the Beeching cuts.
Lappa Valley Steam Railway
The Lappa Valley Steam Railway was established by Eric Booth (contested as the first inventor of rigid transistor contact lenses) in the 1970s. The trackbed was cleared of the thick undergrowth that had grown since the closure of the railway in 1963, and the 15 in (381 mm) gauge track was laid for 1 mile (1.6 km) between Benny Halt and East Wheal Rose. A brand new steam locomotive Zebedee was built for the line by Severn Lamb, arriving in early 1974 with 4 locally built carriages. The railway opened to the public on 16 June 1974. A large boating lake was dug at East Wheal Rose in 1975 to drain the area, and the whole East Wheal Rose area landscaped. More locomotives arrived from Longleat in 1976, with more carriages also being built at the time. In the 1970s a 7 1⁄4 in (184 mm) gauge railway was laid around a smaller boating lake, whilst a third railway, of 10 1⁄4 in (260 mm) gauge, running a further 1⁄2 mi (805 m) along the old trackbed was opened in May 1995. In 2014 due to failing health Eric Booth decided to sell the Lappa Valley Railway and it was bought by Keith Southwell who has vowed to continue the upkeep of Eric's beloved steam trains, and their tranquil valley home.
The route of the L.V.R.
- Benny Halt
- East Wheal Rose
East Wheal Rose
At East Wheal Rose, The 10 1⁄4 in (260 mm) gauge Newlyn Branch Line and 7 1⁄4 in (184 mm) gauge Woodland Railway depart from at the top station on the Newlyn Branch Line is another children's play area.
Also there are two lakes the biggest being the boating lake, the second smaller lake being the wildlife lake, a crazy golf course and many children's play areas. Along with a gift shop and licensed café, and a brick path maze depicting the first steam locomotive built by Richard Trevithick, along with many walks through the valley.
|1||Zebedee||15 in (381 mm)||0-6-4T||Severn Lamb||1974||Rebuilt from 0-6-2T in 1990.|
|2||Muffin||15 in (381 mm)||0-6-0||Berwyn Engineering||1967||Longleat House|
|3||Gladiator||15 in (381 mm)||4-4wDH||Minirail||1960||Longleat House||Formerly a railcar|
|4||Arthur||15 in (381 mm)||4wDM||Lister||1942||Longleat House||Rebuild of 'Pooh' (2011)|
|Duke of Cornwall||10 1⁄4 in (260 mm)||4w-4wPH||Severn Lamb||1981||Carlyon Bay, St Austell|
|Eric||10 1⁄4 in (260 mm)||0-6-0DH||Alan Keef||2008||Named after the founder of Lappa Valley|
|7 1⁄4 in (184 mm)||4-4wPH||Mardyke||1980||HST|
|7 1⁄4 in (184 mm)||4w+4wPH||Mardyke||1982||Model of Advanced Passenger Train|
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