The future of a much-loved Cornish steam railway line has been secured after a 35-year lease was signed.

The Bodmin and Wenford Railway Trust operates a 6.5-mile route of former branch line track which has been running since 1986. It was originally closed to passengers in January 1967 when the railways swapped steam for diesel and electric locomotives. The line was completely shut in November 1983 but thanks to the hard work of members of the trust they have been able to bring it back to life for the public to enjoy.

BBC News Cornwall reports that trust chairman Keith Searle managed to negotiate a new deal for the long-term future of the stream. It had previously been operating on five-year leases but this lengthy contract means that the trust and passengers alike can be safe in the knowledge the route will stay in the county for years to come.

Mr Searle told the news provider: "As we improved and business increased and our spending increased, it became obvious that just a five-year lease was not enough. If you want to get grants, you won't get them with that short a lease. I think the future is looking good."

The Bodmin and Wenford Railway Trust owns six operational engines which run on the track for over 200 days of the year. It relies on the hard work of volunteers and members to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that all the locomotives are adequately maintained throughout the year.

With Christmas fast-approaching the group is organising a number of special events to celebrate the festive season. They will be running a number of Santa Specials from December 7th right up to Christmas Eve while the Winter Steam Up, taking place on December 28th, will see the trust hold the last steam gala of 2013.