Named after a neighbouring farm, Shepherds was a wayside siding on the mineral tramway built by Squire Treffry of Fowey and running from Treloggan near Newquay to Treamble, serving lead and tin mines there. It opened in 1849. At this time there were several mines working around the area, most notably East Wheal Rose. The line was upgraded for use by locomotives on June 1st, 1874.
Treffry’s tramways later became the Cornwall Minerals Railway and was absorbed by the GWR.
The GWR wished to forestall a move by the London and South Western Railway westwards into Cornwall. The LSWR had opened their North Cornwall line in 1890 to Wadebridge and Padstow, so a development of the Par to Newquay and Treamble branches was envisaged.
Shepherds station opened in 1905, when services through to Newquay began. The station, though remote (there were some railway houses adjacent, but nothing else except the farm) was a crossing place with two platforms of the same timber construction as that at Perranporth. The signal box was a standard Great Western ‘type 7’ of brick, with a 23-lever frame, same as Perranporth. The Junction for Treamble was on the up side and the branch was worked under ‘One Engine in Steam’ regulations, with wooden train staff.
The station buildings were of the standard GW pattern of the Edwardian era, found all over the system. Even the standard clump of Great Western trees was provided (they survive today).
Treamble was lifted in 1917, but re-instated in 1925. Traffic after the first world war seems mostly to have been sporadic, at best. The 1926 working timetable shows a daily trip, but by the 1930s it was ‘..to run as required’. After world war two there was virtually nothing and official closure came in 1952, although some of the line was used for the storage of redundant wagons for a few years after that.
The descent at the Newquay end of the station was steep and for safety reasons, the points leading to the siding at the Newquay end of the up platform were ‘spring points’ –set for the siding in order to deflect backward runaways. The siding formed a long loop, with the points at the Newquay end operated from a ground frame.
Local freight and passenger traffic was never much: the significance of Shepherds was as a crossing place on the long single line section and as the junction for Treamble.
During world war two there were one or two troop trains using the Treamble branch as access to the Penhale training area, but otherwise the war passed the Perranporth branch by. There were none of the expansions and additions which occurred on the branches on the South Cornish coast.
Shepherds housed a Camping Coach from the 1930s onwards: it was (along with all others) withdrawn during world war two, but had returned in the 1950s.
With only three significant buildings of brick, Shepherds station soon disappeared after closure: today the site is a muddy farmyard.
Many thanks Roy