Carnforth railway station
|Managed by||First TransPennine Express|
|Number of platforms||2|
|Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Carnforth from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
Carnforth railway station serves the town of Carnforth in Lancashire, England. The building was designed by architect William Tite and was famously used as a location in the 1945 film Brief Encounter. It is now operated by TransPennine Express.
Carnforth railway station was opened in 1846 by the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway (L&CR). It originally had a single platform and was a second-class station. It became a junction in 1857 when it was adjoined to the Ulverston and Lancaster Railway as its terminus. Soon afterwards, the Furness Railway began operating to Carnforth.
The station was enlarged during the 1870s and in 1880 was able to receive trains from the Midland Railway following the commissioning of a new south-to-east direct curve to the Furness and Midland Joint Railway (creating a triangular junction in the process). Meanwhile, the L&CR had been taken over by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) and Carnforth was under joint management by Furness, Midland and LNWR. Station personnel wore a uniform with the initials CJS for Carnforth: Joint Station.
A major rebuilding project, including a new 300 yard platform (currently used by all northbound services), took place in 1938 with government funding - this brought the total number of platforms in use at the station to six. In 1944, the Government approved the rebuilding of Carnforth MPD into a major regional railway depot.
Brief Encounter was partly filmed there in February 1945. The station clock became a powerful icon through repeated use in the film.
The West Coast Main Line platforms were closed in May 1970, following the withdrawal of local stopping passenger services between Lancaster and Carlisle two years earlier. The platform walls facing the fast lines were demolished, cut back and fenced off a few years later prior to the commissioning of 25Kv overhead electrification in 1974. This made Carnforth a branch line station, even though it is situated on the main line, as WCML trains cannot now call. In 2011, Network Rail rejected suggestions to reopen the mainline platforms, stating that there would be too few passengers to justify slowing down mainline trains. Only the former platforms 4 & 5 (now renumbered 1 & 2) remain in use, as the old 'Midland bay' that once handled trains on the Joint line to Skipton & Leeds is also disused and no longer rail-connected.
Responsibility for the signalling at the station is divided between Preston PSB (main line) and the one surviving manual ex-Furness Railway signal box at Carnforth Station Junction, sited just past the physical junction between the Barrow & Leeds lines. This has acted as the 'fringe' box to the PSB since the main line was resignalled in 1972/3. Two other boxes (F&M Junction & East Junction) were closed & demolished when the northern side of the triangle (avoiding the station) was decommissioned in 1998.
After lying in a semi-derelict state for many years, the station buildings were refurbished between 2000 & 2003 and returned to commercial use.
There is a visitor centre and the "Brief Encounter" Refreshment Room, a number of shops and a travel/ticket office.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carnforth railway station.|
Carnforth is served by two train operators.
- TransPennine Express operates regional express services from Manchester Airport to Barrow-in-Furness via the Furness Line (every two hours each way).
- Northern Rail operates local services along the Furness Line to Barrow-in-Furness (two-hourly) and the Leeds to Morecambe Line to Skipton and Leeds (five trains per day each way Mon-Sat, four on Sundays). Some services continue beyond Barrow to Sellafield or Carlisle via the Cumbrian Coast Line. Northern Rail services are operated using Class 153 and 156 diesel multiple-unit trains (on the Furness line) and Class 142, 144 and 150 units (Leeds line); very occasionally Class 158 sets also appear on trains from Leeds. Carnforth is also the headquarters of the West Coast Railway Company.
- Johnston, Howard (10 August 2011). "Regional News". Rail (Peterborough). p. 24.
- GB National Rail Timetable, Dec 2013-May 2014; Table 82
- GB National Rail Timetable, Dec 2013 - May 2014; Table 36
- Train times and station information for Carnforth railway station from National Rail
- An extensive website about Carnforth Railway Station
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
TransPennine North West
Leeds to Morecambe Line
|Bolton-le-Sands||Lancaster and Carlisle Railway||Burton and Holme|
Line open, station closed
Ulverston and Lancaster Railway
Line and station open
|Bolton-le-Sands||Furness and Midland Joint Railway||Borwick|