View of St Ives with the railway station in foreground. Around 1880
The St Ives branch was opened on 1st June 1877, by the GWR as successors to the West Cornwall Railway. The stonework of the railway buildings still appears very fresh in this view, which cannot have been taken much later. A slightly different view of a similar date appears in the G.W.R. Journal Special Cornish Issue 1992. The permanent way consisted of 76 Ib bullhead rail in 35 Ib cast iron chairs on cross sleepers, and unlike the mixed gauge main line, was broad gauge only. The viaduct to the right of the picture had three openings of 40 feet and seven of 20 feet, wrought iron girders being carried on masonry piers. The curved station building has a certain Brunelian feel about it, even though completed some 18 years after his death. A small signal box is provided to operate the typical G.W.R. semaphore signal. Two coaches stand in the station, another further along, and what appears to be a saloon at the far end. All are in two colour livery. Goods waggons in the picture consist of about seven opens and three vans, the limited goods traffic being reflected by the small yard of only two short sidings in addition to the two lines through the station. There was also a small engine shed just out of shot to the right. at this date the pilchard industry was at its height, and boats appear everywhere, on the beach, under the viaduct, in front of houses, on the slope behind, and next to the signal box. The image was certainly taken before 1888 as the wooden pier is still in good condition and the quay has not yet been lengthened. Photographer: Edward Ashton.
© From the collection of the RIC