Barrow-in-Furness railway station

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Barrow-in-Furness National Rail
Barrow-in-Furness Station, Cumbria.jpg
The station viewed from Abbey Road
Place Barrow-in-Furness
Local authority Barrow-in-Furness
Coordinates 54°07′08″N 3°13′34″W / 54.119°N 3.226°W / 54.119; -3.226Coordinates: 54°07′08″N 3°13′34″W / 54.119°N 3.226°W / 54.119; -3.226
Grid reference SD199699
Station code BIF
Managed by First TransPennine Express
Number of platforms 3
DfT category D
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05   0.508 million
2005/06 Decrease 0.504 million
2006/07 Decrease 0.491 million
2007/08 Increase 0.539 million
2008/09 Decrease 0.487 million
2009/10 Increase 0.623 million
2010/11 Decrease 0.611 million
2011/12 Decrease 0.562 million
- Interchange 17,119
2012/13 Increase 0.604 million
- Interchange Increase 18,041
2013/14 Increase 0.631 million
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Barrow-in-Furness from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Barrow-in-Furness railway station is the largest railway station serving Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, England. It is the northern terminus of the Furness Line to Lancaster and the southern terminus of the Cumbrian Coast Line to Carlisle. It is operated by First TransPennine Express although Northern Rail also operate services from the station.


Barrow Central from the south about 1910

The present station was formerly known as Barrow Central and at one time it was a terminus for British Rail long-distance or InterCity services. From October 1947 until May 1983 these included sleeper services to and from London Euston. A sleeper service in the London direction only was briefly reintroduced between May 1987 and May 1990.

The original Barrow station of 1846 had been a wooden building at Rabbit Hill, near the site of the present St. George's Square. It was eventually replaced in 1863 by a new brick building close by, which had been designed by the Lancaster architect Edward Paley, and which latterly came to be known as Cambridge Hall. On 1 June 1882, the town's principal station was transferred to its present site below Abbey Road, following the construction of a new loop line. It had to be almost entirely rebuilt in the late 1950s,[1] after World War II, having largely been destroyed by enemy bombing on 7 May 1941. From 1907–1941, the Furness Railway steam locomotive "Coppernob" was preserved in a special glass case outside the station. It was subsequently transferred away for additional security and is now in the National Railway Museum at York.

In the Railway Series books by the Rev. W Awdry, Barrow Central is the mainland terminus for the Fat Controller's or North Western Railway and is connected to the fictional Island of Sodor by a bridge to Vickerstown or as it is known in the books Vicarstown.


The World War I memorial found inside the station also shows damage from World War II bombing

To the north, services are provided Monday-Saturday by Northern Rail, with services approximately hourly during the day to Whitehaven and Carlisle. One train per day operates to Sellafield specifically for transportation of workers at Sellafield nuclear plant (BNFL). Evening trains run only as far Millom and there is no Sunday service over this section. There are 14 services northbound per weekday with ten going to Carlisle, three going to Millom and one to Sellafield. Barrow receives 13 services from the Northern part of the line, with eight trains from Carlisle, three trains from Millom, one train from Maryport and one train from Sellafield. Some of these services continue along the Furness Line to Lancaster and Preston.

To the south, stopping services are provided by Northern Rail (mainly to Lancaster; however, some go as far as Preston) and semi-fast services to Manchester Airport by First TransPennine Express. There is also a daily service on weekdays to/from Buxton and Hazel Grove. Services frequencies on this section are somewhat uneven due to the differing stopping patterns of the two service groups, with intervals of between 30 and 90 minutes between trains during the daytime and every two hours during the evenings and on Sundays (afternoons/evenings only in winter). One TPE train per day (Monday to Friday) in the evening operates southbound to Blackpool North starting from Barrow in Furness, with no northbound return.


Platform 1, which contains the entrance to the station, is used primarily for Northern Rail through trains (from Lancaster/Preston to Carlisle) heading north, or First TransPennine Express services heading to/arriving from Manchester Airport. The platform contains a waiting area, the ticket office and information office and toilets, along with the cafe (run by Cafexpress), all of which have been recently renovated. In early 2012, the platform was also presented by pieces of artwork of the local area by the Mayor of Barrow and the Barrow and Furness MP.

Platform 2 is mainly used for Northern Rail services heading south to Lancaster or Preston, or local trains arriving from Millom/Sellafield. It is sometimes used for First TransPennine Express services, but more rarely.

Platform 3 is a bay platform that can only be used for north-bound trains to Millom and Carlisle. It is used several times each day except on Sundays.

In between Platforms 2 and 3 is an indoor waiting area, with live departures, a vending machine and speakers. Further up and down the platform are written timetables, then the rest of the buildings contain offices for First TransPennine Express staff and British Transport Police.


Car parking in Barrow is often criticised locally, with rates which can be as much as the train fare itself for short-distance journeys and are significantly more expensive than Borough Council car parks (which are free after 6pm) when used later in the day. Local residents often use the nearby (unused) former-Kwik Save car park opposite the station or park on local streets.

Recent renovations[edit]

The station has recently been renovated, with replacement of most of the old seating and waiting areas, and replacement of the ageing automatic doors within the station. Electronic information signs have been installed, along with improved CCTV after several incidents on the station. Ramps have been provided for access, and this is continuing with provision of better access to Platforms 2 and 3, which previously would have been accessible only via the very end of the platform. The station restaurant is also being upgraded.


External links[edit]

Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
Terminus First TransPennine Express
Terminus Northern Rail
Northern Rail Terminus
Historical railways
Island Road
Line and station closed
  Furness Railway   Roose
Line and station open


  1. ^ Railway Magazine March 1959 pp. 149-157 Dr M J Andrews: The Railways of Barrow