The Bere Alston & Callington Railway
Plymouth Devonport & South Western Junction Railway
BR Southern Region
Closed Beyond This Point
Gunnislake Terminus Station
The original station was the only passing loop on the line and was situated on the west side of the road bridge, becoming a terminus on 7 November 1966, upon the closure of the line onwards to Callington the previous Saturday.
In 1994 it was replaced by a new unstaffed halt on the east (Calstock) side which has allowed the low (12 feet – 3.6m) bridge to be demolished. Both stations being located in or nearer to the villages of Drakewalls and Albaston.
This entire section of line was part of the 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge East Cornwall Mineral Railway was opened from the quay at Calstock to Kelly Bray on 8 May 1872. Being taken over by the Plymouth, Devonport and South Western Junction Railway to build the route across Calstock Viaduct on 2 March 1908 to allow passenger trains to be introduced.
Today it is a modern unmanned halt, services consisting mostly of single car Class 153's and two car Class 142 'Pacers'. Having a small car park and modest transport interchange with local buses lying above and behind the platform.
Although study of OS maps and Google Eath shows that most of the track alignment still exists virtually free of building encroachment, the cost of relaying track could never be justified due to the small number of people in the catchment area of Callington and Kelly Bray. Especially as on this part of the line there is good access onto the almost motorway standard A38 between Plymouth and West Cornwall affording much faster journey times than the railway could ever offer due to its meandering, contour hugging route. Although considerable traffic congestion at the Tamar Bridge and within the city of Plymouth at peak times, still does not create a viable business case.
The proposed reopening of the Bere Alston to a new station at Tavistock, it is felt that the improved line would change the dynamics of the area and necesitate more frequent services and improved park & ride facilities at both Bere Alston and Tavistock.
Rather than then deminish the importance of the Gunnislake branch a company called Ecorail ltd is proposing reopening the third platform at Bere Alston and running the resultant branch line as a modern hybrid light rail operation doubling the frequency of trains and metting the trains at Bere Alston.
The proposed changing of trains would not be any more tome consuming than the current train reversal in the current timetable.