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Talks continue on plans for a town rail link

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: December 11, 2013

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A SCHEDULED passenger rail link between Bodmin Parkway and the town centre is still on track with talks continuing over the introduction of a networked timetable for the first time in more than 40 years.

Talks have been held between the Bodmin and Wenford Railway and Cornwall Council on a way forward.

The heritage rail company has signed an agreement to lease the 3.5 miles of track from Bodmin Parkway to Bodmin General for the next 35 years, and if it operates the service will use diesel locomotives on the line.

Cornwall Council portfolio-holder for transport, Bert Biscoe, last week suggested at a meeting of Lostwithiel Town Council that a passenger timetable could be up and running by next September, but the firm has said that date may be premature.

Company spokesman Jimmy James said 2015 was more likely, and further discussions were needed.

"We've been speaking to Cornwall Council at its request about providing a commuter rail service, along with MP Dan Rogerson," he said.

"If it's decided we'll run the service, then it can't interfere with our day-to-day activities.

"We run about three trains a day on 220 days of the year from Bodmin General to Bodmin Parkway, so we'd be looking at a morning and evening commuter service between the two stations, but there still have to be discussions with First Great Western."

North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson said he hoped a formula could be agreed as soon as possible.

"I've been calling for the reintroduction of timetabled rail services to Bodmin town centre for a couple of years to boost jobs and investment in the town and to help local people with travel," he said.

"As Bodmin has grown, so too has the case for this campaign, and I recently convened a meeting between Cornwall Council and the Bodmin and Wenford Railway where we agreed to work together to take this proposal forward.

"I will continue to work to bring rail services back to Bodmin General as soon as possible," said Mr Rogerson.

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