In 1859 the Tamar Coal, Manure & General Mercantile Company was formed. They had wharves, engine works and stores at Kelly Quay, Calstock (now called Kingfisher Quay). They built an incline plane from the quay up the Danescombe valley finishing 350 ft above Calstock at The Butts.
In 1862 the Tamar, Kit Hill & Callington Railway Company was formed with the intention of connecting the incline to Callington. A Bill was passed in 1864, land and rails were purchased and work commenced. Most of the finance came from outside the region as local people thought the railway was being built too cheaply. They were proved correct as the engineering problems were greater than envisaged and the contractor found himself in money difficulties. Work was halted and nothing happened for six years.
In 1869 the scheme was revived as the Callington to Calstock Railway, though in fact the line terminated at Kelly Bray (SX360715) a mile north of Callington. It later became the East Cornwall Mineral Railway. The line went from Kelly Bray round the northern side of Kit Hill where there was a siding connecting to the Kit Hill Quarry incline plane. There were stations at Monks Corner (Luckett), Cox's Park (Latchley) and Gunnislake. At Gunnislake there were lines going to Clitters, Pearson's Quarry and Greenhill Arsenic Works. Two saddle-tank engines pulled the goods from Kelly Bray to the top of the incline. The wagons were then let down the rope incline, two loaded wagons were pulled up as three went down. The first wagons were built by a Calstock carpenter, A.W. Williams in the wagon shed at the top of the incline. The wagons were then hauled along the quay by horses to the copper quay which was on the site of the present Calstock village hall and car park. Tin, copper, arsenic, bricks, stone and coal were carried and for the first four years profits were good. Gradually the mines began closing and trade began to decline, what was needed was a passenger service.
Two locos. A pair of 0-4-0STs. One was works no. 1660 built by Neilsen & Co. in 1871. Believed to have been scrapped in 1909.
Photo is bridge just west of Calstock.
GR is for Calstock.