The Bere Alston & Callington Railway
Plymouth Devonport & South Western Junction Railway
BR Southern Region
Closed Beyond Gunnislake
Calstock had a 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge mineral railway as early as 8 May 1872. The East Cornwall Mineral Railway ran wagons with goods from the mines around Gunnislake and Callington down the hillside on a 0.4 miles (0.6 km) cable-worked incline with a gradient of 1 in 6 (17%). The scar of the disused incline is still clearly visible from the air and Ordinance Survey maps.
Once the Plymouth Devonport & South Western Railway was opened and the Calstock Viaduct built a steam-powered lift was attached to the downstream side, which could raise and lower wagons to the quays 113 feet (34 m) below, making it one of the highest such lifts in the country. It was connected to the station goods yard by a second parallel steel stub viaduct. A short section of the narrow gauge line was retained to serve a lime kiln, but the wagon lift and all the sidings were taken out of use in September 1934.
Fruit and flowers were an important part of the traffic carried on the railway and were still carried by train from Calstock until the mid-1970s.
The finest piece of engineering on the line Is the magnificent twelve arch, 850' long, viaduct.
Built between 1904 and 1907, the viaduct was very "state of the art" for its day, being built from pre-cast concrete blocks that were manufactured in a temporary factory on the river bank. 11,000 of which were used, non-reinforced, to complete the twelve arches. The whole thing was built to a very high standard and is as good today as the day the line over it was opened, with the concrete blocks looking just like dressed stone.
The construction of the viaduct was well documented, with the local Lloyds Bank Manager, Frederick J Paul, taking numerous photographs.