Truro railway station

Falmouth Docks railway station Great Western Railway Cornish Main Line
Infinite Construction - STEAM

Truro National Rail
Local authorityCornwall
Coordinates50°15′50″N 5°03′52″W / 50.26400°N 5.06432°W / 50.26400; -5.06432Coordinates: 50°15′50″N 5°03′52″W / 50.26400°N 5.06432°W / 50.26400; -5.06432
Grid referenceSW817449
Station codeTRU
Managed byGreat Western Railway
Number of platforms3
DfT categoryC1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Increase 1.257 million
– Interchange Increase 0.214 million
2015/16Decrease 1.201 million
– Interchange Increase 0.216 million
2016/17Increase 1.203 million
– Interchange Increase 0.219 million
2017/18Increase 1.205 million
– Interchange Increase 0.231 million
2018/19Decrease 1.187 million
– Interchange Decrease 0.229 million
Original companyCornwall Railway and
West Cornwall Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Western Railway
Post-groupingGreat Western Railway
Line to Falmouth1863
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Truro from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Truro railway station serves the city of Truro, Cornwall, England. The station is 301 miles (484 km) from London Paddington via Bristol Temple Meads. It is situated on the Cornish Main Line and is the junction for the Maritime Line to Falmouth Docks.

The station is managed by Great Western Railway, which serves the station alongside CrossCountry.


The last broad gauge train to Penzance calls at Truro in 1892

The station opened with the Cornwall Railway on 4 May 1859[1] when it was very different from today. A train shed roofed over the space between the two platforms and the level crossing was much busier and at the other end of the building, where the branch platform is today. A contemporary report tells us that "the passenger station here is a handsome stone building, one hundred and thirty feet long, with large projecting roof; and containing in the centre of the building a spacious booking office, having separate entrances for first, second and third class passengers. On each side of this are comfortable first and second class waiting rooms, parcels' room, superintendent's office, and the other conveniences of a first class station. Inside the station is the passenger platform, one hundred and sixty-one feet long by fourteen feet wide, and beyond this three lines of broad gauge rails. Then the arrival platform, which is of the same length of that on the opposite side, and twenty feet wide. The whole of the space occupied by these rails and platforms are covered by a double roof, of the respective spans of fifty-seven and forty-one feet, with iron tie and suspension rods on a novel principle. The light, airy and forceful appearance of these roofs has excited the admiration of every person who has viewed them."[2]

A stone goods shed was built in front of the station and an engine shed beyond the passenger platforms: "one hundred feet long, and forty-five feet wide, with double line of rails, and accommodation for six engines. Outside of the latter building are a smithery and workmens' shops, in which any casual repairs that may be required, can be executed. This building being erected on 'made ground' is constructed of timber, as being lighter than stone."

The West Cornwall Railway shared the station, which was managed by joint committee of the two railways. This line came from Penzance through the tunnel but was only standard gauge until 1 March 1867 when it had a third rail laid to allow both broad gauge and standard gauge trains (the rail had actually been laid the previous year but was only used for goods trains for a while). In the meantime the Cornwall Railway had extended its rails to Falmouth. The West Cornwall Railway kept its station at Newham Quay to handle goods traffic to the town (Truro did not become a city until 1877) and waterfront, the branch crossing the Falmouth line on the level just beyond Highertown Tunnel at Penwithers Junction.

Carvedras viaduct

Two of Brunel's timber viaducts carried the line high above the town. Immediately outside the station was Carvedras Viaduct, 86 feet above St George's Road and 969 feet long. After passing the site of the castle, the line then passed over Truro Viaduct, which with 20 stone piers stretched to 1,329 feet and was the longest viaduct in Cornwall, although it was only 92 feet high. They were replaced with stone viaducts in 1902 and 1904 respectively, although the original piers still stand.[3]

The Cornwall Railway was amalgamated into the Great Western Railway on 1 July 1889.

The goods shed was rebuilt quite early on to accommodate the heavy traffic handled. The passenger station was rebuilt in 1897 when the roof was removed, new buildings provided,[4] a new engine shed built nearer the tunnel, and the level crossing removed to the east end. It was at this time that a third footbridge was added across the station in place of the level crossing, access to this being from the road rather than the platforms.

From 2 January 1905 the station was also used as the terminus of the branch to Perranporth and Newquay, although the actual junction was at Chacewater station.

The Great Western Railway was nationalised into British Railways from 1 January 1948 which was privatised in the 1990s.

Down 'Cornishman' express in 1958
Preceding station Historical railways Following station
  Services in 1863  
Grampound Road   Cornwall Railway   Perranwell
Terminus   West Cornwall Railway   Chacewater
  Services in 1908  
Probus and Ladock Halt   Great Western Railway Cornish Main Line   Chacewater
Terminus   Great Western Railway Truro & Newquay line   Chacewater
Terminus   Great Western Railway Falmouth branch   Perranwell

Ticket barriers were installed in 2011, making Truro the only station in Cornwall to currently have ticket barriers.[citation needed]


Truro signal box

Signal boxes had been built to control the complex layout at Truro by 1880.[5] These were replaced by a new Truro West signal box in 1897 and a new Truro East in 1899. These were both Great Western Railway Type 7A signal boxes. The West box, which was situated on the north side of the line near the entrance to the engine shed, was closed on 7 November 1971 when the East box, situated on the same side of the line just east of the level crossing, was renamed as just "Truro".[6]

The adjacent signal boxes are at Par railway station to the east, and at Roskear Junction, Camborne, to the west. The Falmouth branch is operated under authority from tokens which are kept in interlocked machines on platform 3 and at Falmouth Docks railway station. In May 2009 the branch was resignalled and a loop installed at Penryn which is controlled from the signal box at Truro. At the same time a new signal (number TR26) was placed at the west end of the eastbound platform to allow trains to reverse back to Penzance or Falmouth without shunting across to another platform.

Station Masters

  • Mr. Hugo 1859 - 1863[7] (afterwards traffic master on the Madras Railway)
  • W.H. Watkins 1863 - 1886
  • John Brewer 1886 - 1897 (formerly station master at St Austell)
  • James Gale 1897[8] - 1911
  • W.H. Higginson 1911 - 1916[9] (formerly station master at Falmouth)
  • A.W. Bickford 1916[10] - 1919 (afterwards station master at Bath)
  • Albert William Lofting ca. 1923
  • James Henry Blewitt 1937 - 1949[11] (formerly station master at Falmouth)


An InterCity 125 passes over the level crossing as it leaves for London

Approaching Truro from the east the line soars above the city on Kenwyn viaduct. It then passes near the site of an ancient castle (where cattle were once unloaded from trains for market), and then across Carvedras viaduct and a level crossing to reach the station. At the far end the line curves left into a short cutting before diving through Highertown tunnel.

The main entrance to the brick-builtstation is on the south side of the line, leading directly to the platform used by trains to Penzance. The station buffet is along this platform on the left, and the bay platform that is used for trains to Falmouth is beyond this.

The platform for trains to Plymouth and beyond can be reached by either of two footbridges, one at either end of the station, but both platforms have step-free access from the level crossing at the east end of the platform.

The long-stay car park is situated behind this eastbound platform and access is over the level crossing. The gates of the crossing have to be closed when trains are due so car drivers should not expect to be able to cross the line and park just as their train is approaching.

Passenger volume

Truro is the busiest station in Cornwall. Comparing the year from April 2007 to that which started in April 2002, passenger numbers increased by 44%.From 2002 to 2010 the increase is 81%[12]

  2002–03 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12
Entries 322,417 362,008 393,427 436,382 465,414 570,443 521,206 580,569 639,177
Exits 316,310 352,946 379,250 420,092 451,770 570,443 521,206 580,569 639,177
Interchanges unknown 75,433 69,447 76,562 85,299 100,333 113,064 139,670 193,125
Total 638,727 790,387 842,121 933,036 1,018,335 1,241,219 1,155,476 1,300,808 1,471,479

The statistics cover twelve month periods that start in April.


Class 153s 153380 and 153373 operating the Falmouth line service

Truro is served by all Great Western Railway trains on the Cornish Main Line between Penzance and Plymouth with one train per hour in each direction. Some trains run through to or from London Paddington station, including the Night Riviera overnight sleeping car service. There are a limited number of CrossCountry trains providing a service to North England and Scotland in the morning and returning in the evening.[13]

The Maritime Line from Falmouth Docks terminates in Truro. Since May 2009, this line has run 2 trains per hour in each direction for most of the day, with a reduced, hourly service on Sundays.[14]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Redruth   Great Western Railway
Cornish Main Line
  St Austell
Cornish Main Line
Perranwell   Great Western Railway
Maritime Line


  1. ^ Bennett, Alan (1988). The Great Western Railway in Mid Cornwall. Southampton: Kingfisher Railway Publications. ISBN 0-946184-53-4.
  2. ^ West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser, Railway Special Edition, 1859
  3. ^ Binding, John (1993). Brunel's Cornish Viaducts. Penryn: Atlantic Transport Publishing/Historical Model Railway Society. ISBN 0-906899-56-7.
  4. ^ Beacham, Peter; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2014). The Buildings of England. Cornwall. Yale University Press. p. 672. ISBN 9780300126686.
  5. ^ Cooke, R A (1977). Track Layout Diagrams of the GWR and BR WR: Section 10, West Cornwall. Harwell: R A Cooke.
  6. ^ Pryer, GA. Signal Box Diagrams of the Great Western & Southern Railways, Volume 16: GWR Lines in West Cornwall. Weymouth: GA Pryer. ISBN 0-9532460-5-1.
  7. ^ "Mr. Hugo". Western Daily Mercury. England. 18 December 1863. Retrieved 17 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ "Truro". Cornishman. England. 1 April 1897. Retrieved 17 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. ^ "Truro Stationmaster". West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser. England. 7 September 1916. Retrieved 17 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  10. ^ "Mr. A.W. Bickford". Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. England. 2 September 1916. Retrieved 17 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. ^ "Mr. J.H. Blewitt". Western Morning News. England. 29 January 1949. Retrieved 17 September 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. ^ "Station Usage". Rail Statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
  13. ^ Table 135 National Rail timetable, May 2019
  14. ^ Table 143 National Rail timetable, May 2019