Looe Valley Line

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Looe Valley Line
Principal stations (from north to south)

(Cornish Main Line)
Coombe (reverse)
St Keyne

The Looe Valley Line is a railway line from Liskeard to Looe in Cornwall, UK. The line follows the shores of the River Looe for much of its course.

The line was opened as the Liskeard and Looe Railway in 1860, mostly on the bed of the canal it was built to replace. Passenger services commenced in 1879, and the present link to the main line at Liskeard was instated in 1901. The railway was taken over by the Great Western Railway in 1909 and Looe was heavily promoted as a holiday destination in GWR publicity.

In 1966 the line was due to be closed under Richard Beeching's Reshaping of Britain's Railways plan, but was saved just two weeks before its scheduled closure.

The stations on the route are listed below:

The line is single track for the entireity of its length. Trains depart Liskeard from a platform perpendicular to the main Plymouth-Penzance Cornish Main Line. Upon departing Liskeard, the line descends steeply passing under the main line as it does so. At Coombe, passenger trains reverse direction to reach Looe, after the points have been operated by the train guard; this is one of the few places on the British railway network where passenger trains are still routinely switched in this way. However, the line continues beyond Coombe to a cement terminal at Moorswater, passing under the GWML for a second time. After reversing at Coombe, the line travels close to the East Looe River, which opens out to become tidal along the length of the journey. St Keyne, Causeland, and Sandplace stations are all request stops.

Passenger services are currently operated by First Great Western, though the availability of rolling stock is not guaranteed, this being a direct result of FGW reducing its fleet of rolling stock. The current situation is explained in this quote -

BBC News Points West reported on Friday 5 December that 4 class 153 train units (single cars) are currently in "warm storage" at Eastleigh depot in Southampton although industry sources also confirm 3 class 158 train units (two or three cars) are stored at the depot, while a further class 158 (798) three car unit is stored at Reading. All units were in passenger service on the Greater Western franchise before 11 December 2006 and it is feared that further units will be withdrawn from passenger service to go into "warm storage" as FirstGroup struggle to meet the repayment terms of the franchise agreement.

External links

Railway lines in South-West England and the "Great Western" zone :
Main lines:  Cross-Country Route   Great Western Main Line
 Cherwell Valley Line   Gloucester-Newport Line   Exeter-Paignton "Riviera" Line   South Wales Main Line  
 Wessex Main Line   West of England Main Line   
Commuter lines:  Severn Beach Line   Slough-Windsor & Eton Line
Rural lines:  Exeter-Barnstaple "Tarka" Line   Exeter-Exmouth "Avocet" Line   Golden Valley Line   Heart of Wessex Line  
 Henley Branch Line   Looe Valley Line   Marlow Branch Line   Par-Newquay "Atlantic Coast" Line  
 St Ives Bay Line   Tamar Valley Line   Truro-Falmouth "Maritime" Line