Royalty have long-standing connections with the railway, with the Royal Train transporting monarchs and their family since the mid-19th century.

It was therefore only fitting that a member of the royal family should be the one to officially open the latest project from Helston Railway, when the Queen's cousin the Duke of Gloucester visited Truthall Halt last Thursday.

Helston Town Band played the tune they are most famous for, the Flora Dance, as the Duke arrived, to give him a proper Helston welcome.

He was met by Helston Railway's two chairmen, James Packman and Chris Heaps, who introduced their visitor to chairman of Sithney Parish Council Philip Martin and other railway board members.

The royal visitor was happy to chat with volunteers, funders and supporters of the railway as he saw the new facilities that have been created, including the reconstruction of the original platform and 'pagoda' style shelter.

Among those he spoke to was Ray Hurrell, who masterminded the building project at was originally the first stop on the Helston branch line.

The Duke was then asked to unveil the Helston Railway seal to officially open Truthall Halt as a new section of branch line for visitors.

After some speeches and a glass of fizz with those gathered, which included Helston mayor Gillian Geer and her husband Jonathan, it was time for the Duke to step onboard a train heading for Prospidnick, where more volunteers were waiting to be greeted.

Showing he could turn his hand to anything, the Duke was directed on how to drive the train himself, with the locomotive displaying the Royal light pattern - although this was slightly wasted, as there were no signalmen to actually see it.