Looe Valley Line Steam Train Events

Looe Steam Train PosterSteam trains in Looe! Would you believe it? After almost 50 years steam trains are returning to the Looe Valley Line in Cornwall. If you want to know more, get involved or just take some great snaps…read on.

The Looe Valley Line – 150 years old

The Looe Valley Line connects the Cornish Market town of Liskeard to the pretty Cornish seaside town of Looe in South East Cornwall.

The train line is a branch line and possibly (well almost definitely!) the prettiest in the whole of Britain. It’s also quite unusual in it’s layout and trains have to negotiate their way up a steep hillside to get from the valley up to Liskeard. This means that for part of the journey you are facing forwards and for the other you are travelling backwards. For the first time traveller it can be a little unexpected.

In the Looe Valley the track skirts around the edge of the Eastern branch of the Looe River. When the tide is in, this makes for a spectacular train journey as it feels like your practically in the water! When the tide is out the mud flats are self evident with only a trickle of water meandering down the middle. I personally prefer high tide so I’m hoping the steam train trips on Sunday 19th and 26th September will have been timed to coincide with a full river!

Both sides of the Looe Valley are covered in woodland. In the summer months this is rich and luxuriant and the heavy leaf laden branches hang down over the water gently stroking the meandering tide. On a still day when the river runs slow or it’s high tide, the reflections are stunningly beautiful and the Looe River Valley is like nowhere else in Cornwall. Egrets, Canada Geese, gulls, herons and kingfishers can all be seen on the river as can huge shoals of mullet and the occasional Salmon and Brown Trout if you know where to look.

Birthday Party – you’re invited

That’s right, we’re having a huge birthday party to mark the fact that the Looe Valley Line is 150 years old in 2010.

There are a series of events going on in the town, in Looe Museum, on Looe Station and even on the trains. Heck, we’ve even got our own Looe Valley Line Rale Ale Trail! Try saying that by the end of it!

Here is a list of events:

  1. 6th September to the 30 September
    Old Guildhall Museum & Gaol, Higher Market Street, Looe
    OO gauge model of Looe Station artistically based around the 1950/60’s, with associated photos from the past depicting the staff, station, engines and passengers. Open Mondays to Saturdays 11.00 to 16.00, £1.80 adults, children over 5 years 80p and family of 4 or more £4.50.
  2. Saturday 11th September
    Looe Station Fete
    Celebrate 150 years of trains to Looe at the fete at Looe station. There will be free face painting for the children and a variety of stalls and activities. Liskeard Silver Band will also be at the event. 10.30am – 3pm.
    1860’s Themed Walk
    Guided walk with Mark Camp (part of the Looe Valley Walking Festival) starting at Looe Railway Station at 4.20pm.
  3. Saturday 11th September
    Talks on the Train
    President of Looe Old Cornwall Society, John Enever, will be giving talks about the Looe Valley Line on the 11.37 and 12.44 trains from Looe and 12.12 and 13.24 from Liskeard.
  4. Saturday 18th September
    Duloe Real Ale and Cider Festival
    Annual charity festival to raise money for the village. £3 entry but you get a free commemorative pint glass. 12 noon – 7pm.
  5. Saturday 18th September
    Talks on the Train
    Jim Ayres of Raildays will give talks about Looe Valley Line on the 12.12 and 13.24 trains from Liskeard and the 12.44 and 13.56 from Looe.
    This will be repeated on Saturday 25th September.
  6. Sunday 19th September
    Mooreswater and its Industrial Past
    Iain Rowe will lead a walk exploring the Moorswater area and its industrial past. Starts at 10am at Liskeard main station building. Ends at Liskeard station at 12.45pm. This is part of the Looe Valley Walking Festival.
  7. Sunday 19th September
    Steam trains on Looe Valley Line
    Details to come or check out Vintage Trains at www.vintagetrains.co.uk or telephone 0121 708 4960.
  8. Saturday 25th September
    Talks on the Train
    Repeat of Saturday 18th September
  9. Sunday 26th September
    Steam trains on the Looe Valley Line
    Details to come or check out Vintage Trains at www.vintagetrains.co.uk or telephone 0121 708 4960.

The Looe Valley Line Rain Ale Trail

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the line the organisation behind the event have created an extra special Rail Ale Trail with a free souvenir pint glass if you can make it all the way round – not on the same day though!

All you have to do is pick up a Rail Ale Trail leaflet, collect a stamp from every pub who are participating and send in the leaflet to collect your free limited edition Looe 150 glass. All this has to be done by 31st march 2011. Easy…

The Pubs

  1. The Globe
  2. Ye Olde Salutation Inn
  3. The Ship Inn
  4. Ye Olde Fishermens Arms
  5. The Bullers Arms
  6. The Harbour Moon
  7. The Jolly Sailor
  8. Tom Sawyers Tavern

There you go. I hope that was useful. Personally I’m really looking forward to it as it is one of the premier events in Looe in 2010.

Commemorative poster and unique gift

If you would like a souvenir of the event then I have produced a limited edition Looe Valley Line Commemorative Poster featuring the GWR 9466 Pannier Tank Steam Train and vintage 1960s coach. This is the actual Steam Train that will be making the journey from Liskeard to Looe on the 19th and 26th September 2010.

You can find out more here: Looe Valley Line 150 Years Commemorative Poster

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About iLoveLooe

Cornwall was always one of our dream places to live, so we upped sticks in 2007 and moved to Looe. I now run iLoveLooe.co.uk and various social media locations for Looe on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Say 'Hi' sometime.