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St Kew Highway

St Kew Highway station opened on 31st May 1895 when the penultimate stretch of the North Cornwall Railway opened from Delabole to Wadebridge. As the name suggests, it was not very close to St Kew itself, being about two miles away as the crow flies, though after the railway arrived quite a number of properties were built around a public house that was near to the station. Other villages in the locality were St Tudy and St Breward, approximately two and a half and six miles away. The station was useful to the railway as it conveyed passengers for Polzeath, St Minver and Rock, putting the station on the Atlantic Coast Express' calling list.
 
St Kew Highway The view along the station in the up direction as seen from between the tracks in 1963.

photograph by John Bradbeer

Goods traffic handled here included incoming coal and fertilizer and outgoing sugar beet, corn, pigs and the inevitable rabbits. The inroads made by road transport took a big toll on St Kew Highway which, like adjacent Port Isaac Road, lost its stationmaster in 1927 and came under the supervision of Camelford. As elsewhere on the route, the goods yard closed in 1964 and, together with the Signalbox, was taken out of use on 21 November 1965.
 
A closer view of the station buildings which, as with most of the NCR stations, were on the up platform.

photograph by John Bradbeer

St Kew Highway
 
St Kew Highway The goods shed at St Kew Highway with the canopy that was a regular feature of the area.

photograph by John Bradbeer

 
The station closed on 3rd October 1966 along with all the others between Okehampton and Bude/Wadebridge. The area around the station is today is still known as St Kew Highway.
 
The station buildings survive today as a private residence, quite well tucked away behind vegetation. This view was taken in 2005.

photograph by Peter Richards

St Kew Highway
 
St Kew Highway This bridge is immediately to the north of the station and once upon a time carried the railway over the A39 road. With the widening of the road in recent years the embankment between the bridge and the station was removed so that the road can follow a faster and more sweeping route than was the case previously and tall vehicles no longer risk damage from the low height of the bridge.

photograph by Peter Richards

 
Bibliography: An Illustrated History of the North Cornwall Railway, David Wroe
www.northcornwallrailway.co.uk

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This page was created 16 September 2008

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