Why not? To make the business work it needs to be in a great location and that's exactly what Mawgan Porth is. A railway attraction needs passengers so be financially viable and due to a large amount of tourist accommodation and beach it's a tourist hot spot. More importantly there is not a tourist attraction of this type in the surrounding area.
Not only is the site in a great location on the Newquay to Padstow coast road and bus route but on our boundary are all the services we require, we just have to connect to them.
Level ground is required as the track needs to be as flat as possible, which means that site selection in Cornwall is challenging enough without the need to find all of the above as well.
Founded by a local man who grew up and educated in Newquay with a love of steam railways from a young age. Over time he's gained much practical experience of how to maintain and operate a railway.
Three years ago the steam locomotive Royal Scot was acquired from the Little Western Railway in Newquay, which our founder having ridden behind when little jumped at the chance to restore the engine and get it working again.
Now that the engine is nearly ready the time is now right to build a railway for it. However, we know that a train ride is not enough which is why we have chosen to add the extra activities.
Going back as far the 1920's miniature railways have often been built in seaside locations, the obvious need for this being that a railway needs passengers. Generations within the whole family often enjoy the simple thrill of riding on a steam train as it strikes a chord of nostalgia, taking in the smell and sounds of a working live steam engine. The popularity of Thomas the Tank Engine can be associated with a new interest in railways amongst younger generations, evidenced by its popularity at existing attractions such as Bodmin and Wenford Railway.
A track gauge of 7 ¼ inches will make the ride enjoyable with the sounds and smells of a working steam engine but at a scale where it doesn't disturb people and residents. The building and signage will be of the theme you would expect to see at a full size heritage steam railway, to add to the visitor enjoyment. Alongside the steam railway will be a large indoor model railway display comprising Hornby model trains. The layout will be a walk-through experience enabling visitors to view the layout which will have town and country scenes as well as day and night time. Many decades through time will be represented on the layout with steam engines right up to today's modern electric trains. A separate, smaller layout dedicated to Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends will ensure that the indoor attraction appeals to all age groups.
• To maintain the character of the local landscape with minimal visual change
• To maintain the site as predominantly open grassland supplemented with new areas of planting
• A single storey building to house a covered space for embarking and drop-off from train rides, secure storage of locomotives and carriages, a small kiosk, store room and WCs
• The building should appear as a small-scale addition to the landscape with the appearance of a small agricultural building from distance, and with traditional railway type detailing which becomes apparent at close proximity
• A new vehicular site entrance with good visibility
• A new pedestrian footpath between the road and the building within the site
• Pedestrian circulation within the site, including a footbridge over the railway cutting
• An interesting route for the railway track which makes use of as much of the site as possible
• The railway track to work with gentle slope gradients and to include an area of cutting to maintain these gentler gradients
• A pond area to encourage wildlife and to help with attenuation of run-off
• New areas of planting within the site to extend the species composition of the local area, to enhance the setting for the railway line and journey, and to enhance the biodiversity of the site.