Cumbria's Lost Railways

by Peter W Robinson
published by Stenlake Publishing, price £7-50
ISBN 1 84033 205 0

55 pictures of stations, many not published before
brief historical notes on each closed line
closure dates for each passenger service and station

British Railway (Past and Present) No.1 Cumbria by John Broughton and Nigel Harris.

ISBN 1-85895-006-6

Railways in the Lake District by Martin Bairstow.

ISBN 1-871944-11-2

Cumbrian Railways by John Marsh and John Garbutt.


The Eden Valley Railway by Robert Western.

ISBN 0-85361-486-5

Harold D. Bowtell
The story of the Workington, Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway is a fascinating one, and this new edition of the first part of Harold Bowtellís classic history is a welcome return to the Silver Link list.

The railway was the only one to traverse the heart of the beautiful Lake District. It ran from the industrial coastal town of Workington in the west to Penrith in the east, taking in the little Lakeland towns of Cockermouth and Keswick, and at one point running beside Bassenthwaite Lake below Skiddaw. It survived for over a hundred years on a mix of traffic - mineral, industrial and tourist - before closing in 1972.

Harold Bowtell provides both a full geographical description of the line - taking us on a leisurely journey along it - and a detailed explanation of its history. A wealth of illustrations - maps, diagrams, photographs and ephemera - round off this authoritative account of one of Britain's most interesting railways.

276 x 213mm 128pp 115 b/w illus.

1 85794 066 0 Paperback £15.99

Link to bookseller

Volume 2 of the "Rails through Lakeland" is now available.


1st Edition - 2001
by Robert Western
ISBN 0853615640
Book A5, Soft back 200 Pages 120 B&W Photographs
Publisher: Oakwood Press
Series: Oakwood Library Of Railway History
Availability: In stock
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Price: £12.95
In The Times of 26th August, 1998 there is a news item headed `Ministers pledge cash for revival of rail links`. Prominent against the text is a large photograph of Bassenthwaite Lake station, taken in 1959. Holiday makers and local people are alighting from the two-coach train, the people in the photograph look happy. The station is well cared for with hedges neatly trimmed and flowers in the borders. The hills, so impressive, make a superb back-drop to the scene. It is idyllic. Yet all is not well even though the people in the picture are smiling, possibly for the camera. The guard seems to look rather more concerned than happy; the railway system in this part of the country was coming under close scrutiny and, ultimately, a threat. In only a little more than a decade after the photograph was taken, the line would be closed. In the accompanying article the writer informs his readers about the recent move by the Government to give the green light to a string of railway construction projects. Railtrack, it is reported, is supporting proposals that it considers to have a strong commercially viable case. These include a connection from Penrith to Keswick, on the former CK&PR . . . It is probably true to say that until a few years ago, only a small number of people in their wildest dreams would have countenanced such a possibility. The Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway was something in the past; assigned to history. The story had ended. However, the final decade of the 20th century has witnessed a remarkable change in attitudes. As a result the railway, thought of as finished and gone for ever may not be so. This book gives an account of the planning, building and operating of a railway which, like so many others, fell foul of the draconian measures applied to numerous rural lines in the early 1960s - measures which led to closure. A railway once considered to be gone forever but which now may well be revived - at least in part. A railway many would argue should never have been closed in the first place, serving as it did one of the most strikingly beautiful areas of rural England.

An Awakening
East is East and West is West
Construction and Other Developments: 1861-1865
The Railway Opens - Rise and [some] Fall: 1865-1880
Changing Fortunes: 1880-1890
Some Significant Decisions: 1890-1900
The End of an Era: 1900-1923
A Journey down the Line in the Summer of 1921
Life in the LMSR: 1923-1948
The British Railways' Period: 1948-1972
Distance Table for each stage from Penrith to Cockermouth Junction
Timetable, July 1869
Working Timetables for 1903 (July-September) and 1921 (October)
Freight Working Timetable, September 1930