Pentewan Railway. Christopher Hawkins built the railway to support the growing china clay industry. It opened in 1829, and was worked by horse-power until 1874. In addition to clay, tin was also exported and coal was imported.
It ran from just outside St. Austell to the port of Pentewan, just four miles away. In its early days about a third of the clay produced was shipped via Pentewan.
After 1874 the line was operated by steam locomotives.
The line closed in 1916 when the channel into the harbour at Pentewan silted up. Today you will find the harbour in Pentewan a home to swans, its waters held in by a lock gate which separate the harbour from the channel that once flowed to the sea.
Today the Pentewan trail can be followed from the village of London Apprentice, just south of St Austell to Pentewan beach. The trail runs along the bed of the old narrow gauge railway.
Some of the engines used on the line.
0-6-2ST Pioneer. The engine was built by the Yorkshire Engine Co. in 1903, works no. 757, and had odd front buffers.
0-6-0 Trewithen. The engine was built by Manning Wardle in 1886, works no. 994 and was scrapped during 1901.
0-6-0 Pentewan was also built by Manning Wardle in 1874, works no. 461. Withdrawn in 1886 and scrapped in 1896.
0-6-2ST Canopus which also a product of Manning Wardle, works no. 1547. Built in 1901. It later worked at WD West Drayton.
Bibliography: The Pentewan Railway, M.J.T. Lewis (1981)