10th January 2017
By Julia Penhaligon
Any commuter rail service linking Bodmin General station to the mainline at Bodmin Parkway would have to be subsidised by Cornwall Council, the town’s heritage steam railway company has confirmed.
In a decidedly cool response to an initial feasibility study, the Bodmin and Wenford Railway Company says it is waiting to hear from the council about any next steps. The council has already indicated that it does not see the project as a priority and has no plans to bring a report before elected councillors.
The land on which the track rests is owned by Cornwall Council, which has leased it to the Bodmin and Wenford railway company until 2048.
The B&WR chairman, Phil Hawke, said the Great Western Railway feasibility study had produced no surprises. “To summarise, the report says that GWR can run a morning and evening train service (their preferred option) subject to somebody else paying a subsidy for it and the BWR providing a lot of facilities (that we don't have)," he said. "There would be substantial start-up costs.”
Mr Hawke added: “We are awaiting a response from Cornwall Council as they will have to provide (or find) all of the survey and start up costs as well as the annual operating subsidy. Any community rail service would inevitably have an impact on our Heritage Railway activities.”
Mr Hawke said the GWR report’s observation that a commuter rail service would be in competition with the existing, hourly, bus service was “rather significant.”
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