The landowner Sir William Molesworth had this railway built to carry sea sand, used by farmers as manure, inland from Wadebridge. It opened in 1834, and from the beginning carried passengers as well as goods. The company also had one steam locomotive, “Camel”; this was the first railway in Cornwall to use a steam locomotive. The Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway was bought in 1846 by the London and South Western Railway, despite its nearest line being at Dorchester 120 miles away. In 1886 an agreement was reached to allow the GWR to operate on the line, so after 54 years the B&WR was at last connected to the main railway network. Until the broad gauge was abolished there was a change of gauge at Bodmin Road. The line was closed in 1983. Part of it is now run as a steam heritage line (Bodmin Parkway to Boscarne junction via Bodmin Town) and the line from Boscarne Junction to Wadebridge is a cycle trail. The story of the North Cornwall railway, which eventually linked Padstow to the mainline, is a complicated but fascinating tale of company rivalry between two giants of the railway age, the Great Western Railway and the London & South Western Railway.
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