Cornwall Minerals Railway opened 1 June 1874 replacing and connecting several earlier railways and tramways.
* Par Tramway, construction
started c.1841, completed north of Pontsmill 1847, extended to Par Harbour 1855
* Newquay Railway authorised by Act of Parliament 1844, completed 1849
* Lostwithiel and Fowey Railway opened 1 June 1869, closed 1 January 1880, transferred to CMR 27 June 1893 and reopened 1893
* Newquay and Cornwall Junction Railway opened 1 July 1869, transferred to CMR 1 June 1874
When the CMR began operating in 1874 the Carmears incline was abandoned, so the waterwheel was redundant. To take advantage of the water power still available, the West of England China Clay Company built a china stone mill at the waterwheel and installed a new 40ft wheel to drive it. It ran until 1908 and then lay disused until the beginning of World War II, when it was demolished. The wheel was smashed on site and pieces of it are still there.
Cornwall Minerals railway amalgamated with GWR 1 July 1896
The Cornwall Minerals railway, carried passengers, and worked by the G.W.R. crossed the county from Newquay on the north-west coast to Par and Fowey in the south, and connected with the Cornwall railway at St Blazey. There was a direct line from Moorswater to Looe, and there are also smaller mineral lines.
The Cornwall Minerals Railway was built to standard gauge at a time when the connecting main line of the Cornwall Railway was built to Brunel's 7' broad gauge. The main mineral traffic was china clay from the hills north of St Austell, which was exported via the port at Fowey, and to a lesser extent from Newquay. The section of line from St Blazey to Fowey closed in 1968 to be converted into a private road.
Cornwall Tramways and Railways