An underground tramway was in use in 1783 at Pentewan near St Austell in a tin working, but the earliest above-ground railroad in Cornwall was the horse-drawn mineral Poldice Tramway from the St day area to Portreath. This was built to link the Gwennap copper mines to a harbour at Portreath on the north coast. This enabled coal, for steam engines used at the mines, to be imported and copper ore to be exported to Wales for smelting.
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