A locomotive will be “parked” on The Moor in Falmouth this weekend as part of the celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the Maritime Line.
A full programme of events has been planned including a special travel offer, a major exhibition at the Poly and the first steam engine to be seen in Falmouth for many years.
The celebrations centre on the bank holiday weekend as the first train ran between Falmouth and Truro on August 24, 1863, a Monday, meaning the train line opened eight years before the first August Bank Holiday.
Over the weekend, a First Great Western day return ticket between any two stations on the Maritime Line will cost just £1.50 for adults, 75 pence for children.
Thanks to the Bodmin and Wenford Railway, one of their locomotives, a Great Western Pannier, tank number 6435 will be on display on The Moor on both days, though on the bus stop as opposed to the piazza itself.
Falmouth on Track is a major exhibition of photographs and memorabilia from the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society’s history collection and friends to mark the 150th anniversary .
The exhibition opened at The Poly in Church Street on Monday and can be seen until September 7. It is open from 10am until 4pm daily, except Sundays and admission is free.
Tomorrow, Thursday, The Poly will play host to a talk with slide show by John Ball, a member of the Friends of Penmere Station, entitled Celebrating 150 years Of The Maritime Line To Falmouth And The History Of Cornwall’s Railways. This will start at 7.30pm and entry costs £5/£4 concessions.
On Saturday 24 August, a railway themed family fun day will be held at The Poly between 10am and 3.30pm and Falmouth Art Gallery will be holding a Marking Faces family workshop between 2pm and 3pm. Both of these events are free.
The Ramblers (Carrick Group) have organised a series of five guided walks over the Saturday and Sunday, all taken from the Trails from the Track pack they have produced with the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership. Four start from Maritime Line stations with the fifth taking in the old Newham branch line in Truro.
The celebrations have been organised by a group of local people and organisations and co-ordinated by the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, a non-profit partnership of local authorities, the rail industry, Plymouth University and others which works to promote the Maritime Line and other branch lines in the two counties. Partnership manager Richard Burningham, said: “Penryn and Falmouth’s railway, today’s Maritime Line, has played a huge part in the economy and life of the local area for the last 150 years and I am delighted that we have a big programme of celebrations to mark this important occasion. Even more so, as the line has been transformed in just the last five years and now has its best ever service and is almost certainly busier than it has ever been before.
“There’s something for everyone here and my thanks go to everyone who has taken part in the planning meetings and organised events and other activities. I now look forward to everything we have all planned together now happening.”
The full programme can be seen on the partnership’s website at www.greatscenicrailways.com.