Incorporated under their act of 3rd August 1846. West Cornwall line was leased to Great Western; Bristol and Exeter; and South Devon railway companies as from 1st January 1865 by West Cornwall Railway Act of 8th July 1865. Bristol and Exeter Railway was amalgamated with Great Western Railway as from 1st January 1876 under Great Western and Bristol and Exeter Railways Amalgamation Act 27th June 1876, whereupon West Cornwall Railway Company became joint property of Great Western and South Devon railway companies, and upon amalgamation of South Devon Railway with Great Western Railway Company as from 1st August 1878 by Great Western and South Devon railway companies' Amalgamation Act of 22nd July 1878, West Cornwall Railway became absolute property of Great Western Railway Company.
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