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Liskeard Railway Station

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Liskeard station serves the town of Liskeard in Cornwall.

The station is 17.75 miles (29 km) west of Plymouth on the Cornish Main Line and it is the junction for the Looe Valley Line.

The station opened with the Cornwall Railway on 4 May 1859. It was described at the time as occupying "an elevated position nearly a mile to the south of the town", the main building "stands considerably above the rails, the descent to which is by a long flight of steps, which will be hereafter, we understand, entirely covered in. The building is of stone, having a large veranda projecting over the road. On the opposite side of the line is the arrival station, which is also a stone erection; and to the south of this, is the goods shed, which is a timber structure, having warehouses and offices at the ends".

Traffic at the new station was sufficient to warrant additional goods sidings before the end of the year. There is no evidence that the steps from the booking office were ever covered, instead they were replaced with a slope in 1866.

A railway had run to Looe from Moorswater, in the valley west of Liskeard, since 27 December 1860.

On 25 February 1901 the Liskeard and Looe Railway was extended up to the Great Western Railway station, this extension line opening to passengers on 15 May 1901.

The Liskeard and Looe Railway arrived at right angles to the main line at a dedicated platform with its own buildings. Trains start their journey by travelling northwards, away from Looe. They swing round towards the south, descend gradients as steep as 1 in 40 to pass below the Liskeard Viaduct, swing back towards the north, and then reverse at Coombe Junction for the remainder of their journey to Looe. In the days of steam locomotives, there was an extended stop at Coombe to enable the locomotive to run around to the front of the train when reversing direction. If someone just missed a train leaving Liskeard for Looe, it was possible to run down the hill to Coombe and pick up the train from there.

A connection in the goods yard allowed goods trains and empty carriages to be exchanged between the main line and the branch. A separate Liskeard Branch signal box was opened with the loop line to control trains going to Coombe Junction. It was closed on 15 March 1964, since when the connection to the main line is operated from a ground frame.

The Cornwall Railway was amalgamated into the Great Western Railway on 1 July 1889 and the Liskeard and Looe Railway did the same on 1 January 1923. The Great Western Railway was nationalised into British Railways from 1 January 1948 which was in privatised in the 1990s.

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