The volunteer-operated Helston Railway, in Cornwall, has announced that they have had a record-breaking year in 2018.
The heritage railway welcomed 4,000 more people than they did in the previous year. This tipped the railway over the 10,000 visitor mark for the first time in its preserved history.
2018 saw the Helston Railway reach several milestones in its construction, including the opening of the restored Truthall halt by HRH The Duke of Gloucester (more information on that here).
Then, for the first time in 55 years, steam trains returned to the railway thanks to the help of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust who loaned the railway their 0-4-0 Kilmersdon and also thanks to the South Devon Railway for making the Mk1 suburban coach available to them for the long term loan.
Helston Railway will reopen for the 2019 season on March 28th, with steam and diesel trains running on selected Sundays, Thursdays & Bank Holiday Mondays.
What did the officials say?
Volunteer marketing director Ben Harding comments:
“We are delighted to have had a record breaking season in 2018 having carried 10,048 passengers over 96 operating days, a considerable improvement on the 6,104 passengers in 2017. There really has been a mixed bag of figures across the Heritage railway industry this year, however, I feel that our numbers really reflect the estimated 20% increase in visitors to the county during the 2018 season which has enabled us to enjoy a great season. We look forward to 2019 with some great events planned as well as our regular timetabled services.”