Liskeard & Caradon Railway, Cornwall

Liskeard & Caradon Railway, Cornwall map

1846 The Liskeard and Caradon Railway opened to transport copper from the rich South and West Caradon Mines, and granite from Cheesewring Quarry. It ran from Cheesewring to Moorswater near Liskeard (about 8.5 miles), where the Liskeard and Looe Canal ran down to the sea at Looe. The canal was unable to cope with heavy traffic and the Canal Company constructed a railway, which opened in 1860, from Moorswater to Looe (built on the bed of the canal). Liskeard and Caradon Railway opened with horse power until 1862. Wagons were run down from the mines and quarries to be hauled back up by horses.

1901 the branch line was linked to the main line at Liskeard. In 1909, the line was taken over by the Great Western Railway. But the closure of the Caradon Mines brought about the closure of all lines north of Moorswater in 1916.

In addition to the line several extensions and branches were developed.

1858 Kilmar Railway. An extension to the LCR to serve new granite quarries. Built by the Cheeswring Granite company and worked by the LCR. It ran from Minions to Kilmar Tor across open moorland and ended at two branches beneath the rocks of Bearah Tor and Kilmar Tor over 1100 feet and about 13 miles from Looe. It was bought in 1879 by the LCR. The closure of the quarries in 1882 marked the end of traffic on the line.

The Kilmar Junction railway in 1877 to bypass Gonamena Incline has left an unusual feature of a circular trackbed running all the way around Caradon Hill. The Gonamena incline. Ropes hauled the wagons up the Incline with gravity providing the power - the heavy ore wagons going down to Moorswater pulled the lighter empty ones up. The incline was a bottleneck in the system and also prevented the use of steam power on the upper sections. The incline was bypassed by extending the Tokenbury branch around the Eastern side of Caradon Hill.

Cornwall Mineral Railways