1844 permission was granted for the construction of a railway linking East Wheal Rose mine near Newlyn East to Newquay harbour, to carry lead and silver ores in horse drawn trucks. The Newquay quay was reached from the cliff top by a steeply descending rail tunnel, and trucks were raised and lowered with a steam powered winch or 'Whim'.
1849 it opened in 1849 as a mineral line from Newquay to East Wheal Rose, in 1906 it became part of the Great Western Railway's Newquay to Chacewater branch line. This was closed in 1963, and in 1974 Eric Booth, the founder of Lappa Valley, re-opened part of the line as the Lappa Valley Narrow GaugeRailway.
Originally it was part of J.T. Treffry's Newquay Railway (Newquay to St. Dennis) which opened in 1849. This line was a tramway, as can be seen by the small bore of the tunnel interior. Toldish Tunnel was too small for standard gauge trains, it was eventually bypassed and closed.