The penultimate station on my Cornish trip was the penultimate station on the St Ives Bay Line, namely Carbis Bay, a pleasant little station tucked away on a cliff side.
Some trains skip Carbis Bay, so I had to be careful to catch the right train from St Ives. My precise timetabling was not a problem, as the trains were punctual all day. In fact, reliability was generally excellent throughout my stay. The only severe delay had been when leaving Liskeard towards Truro on my second day, and even this had been caused by circumstances outside the railway’s control. It’s hard to believe that this is the same First Great Western which regularly attracts the ire of Slough commuters.
Carbis Bay gets a definite thumbs up from me. Granted, my expectations had been lowered by Lelant Saltings earlier in the day, but now I was at a station which was a textbook example of how to do it right. It was immaculately presented, with a dash of colour from plant pots filled with daffodils spaced along the platform at regular intervals. The only “litter” was a child’s hat, accidentally discarded in one of the pots.
The deserted car park contained a portacabin which appeared to serve no useful purpose. Its presence annoyed me more than it should have. I think I was upset as it spoiled slightly what was otherwise a pristine station.
I found a nearby road overbridge with enabled me to get an overview of the station, then swung my camera around to get a view the other way, as the line curved out of view, following the edge of the cliffs, affording great sea views to train passengers – if they sit on the correct side of the train, which I failed to do (d’oh).
Rather than wait for the next direct service, I hopped on a train back to St Ives, then stayed on it while it reversed at the terminus. As I headed back to the junction at St Erth, passing through Carbis Bay non-stop, I felt a mounting sense of sadness that my Cornish trip was nearly over.