The number of people travelling by train in Cornwall has increased by 12% - double the average growth rates across the South West, latest figures show.

Statistics released by train operator First Great Western show an estimated 6.5 million journeys were made on Cornwall’s rail network between April 2011 and March 2012.

Of Cornwall’s 36 stations, 32 saw an increase in passengers on the previous year, Truro being the most popular station with more than 1.5m journeys made to or from the station. Bugle station on the Atlantic Coast Line to Newquay saw a 61% increase in use - this coming in the same year as a new footpath was opened giving level access to the station.

All of Cornwall’s branch lines saw an increase in use in 2011, with the Maritime Line between Truro and Falmouth showing the most journeys (576,654), and the greatest year on year increase at 20.8 per cent.

This comes three years after a passing loop was installed at Penryn which enabled a half hourly service to be introduced on the line. Since the half hourly service was introduced, the number of people using the Maritime Line has doubled. The next highest increase was on the St Ives Bay Line between St Erth and St Ives, which saw 496,181 journeys in 2011, an increase of 12.7 per cent.