Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway
& Penrith Railway
The Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway (CK&PR) was incorporated by Act of Parliament on 1 August 1861, for a line connecting the town of Cockermouth with the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) West Coast Main Line at Penrith. Arrangements for the use of the stations at either end (Cockermouth was already served by the Cockermouth and Workington Railway (C&WR) were included. Traffic was worked by the LNWR and (originally) by the Stockton and Darlington Railway (later the North Eastern Railway), both of whom had shares in the company. The line was 31 1⁄2 miles (50.7 km) in length, and had eight intermediate stations.
From west to east:
- Cockermouth: the second station in Cockermouth, after Cockermouth and Workington Railway station; there was some animosity between these two railways at the time.
- Bassenthwaite Lake: the line skirted the lake for a considerable distance
The line opened on 2 January 1865: trains from Penrith began to work through to Whitehaven along the CK&PR/C&WR route from 1 July 1865, when the C&WR station was closed: that railway was absorbed by the LNWR in 1866. Although the LNWR provided the passenger services, the CK&PR continued to operate as a separate company until the 1923 Grouping, when it was absorbed by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.
The line was closed west of Keswick in April 1966. The Keswick to Penrith section followed suit in March 1972, though freight trains continued to run to Flusco and Blencow (at the eastern end of the line) until the following June.
Keswick Museum and Art Gallery have many items on display which are connected to the railway, including the barrow and spade used to cut the first sod of earth for the railway from 21 May 1862; genuine train tickets from the 19th century; a platform guard's whistle.
Many sections of the route between Keswick and Penrith have been made into a cycle and walking route.
There is a proposal to reopen the line as a modern railway and a feasibility study has been commissioned by CKP Railways plc to examine the business case. However, Eden District Council appears to be against the reopening plan and are allowing development at Flusco Business Park to straddle the trackbed. A proposal to demolish the Mosedale Viaduct was cancelled by the British Rail Property Board in 1997 because of the plan to reinstate the line.
The project to reopen the railway has been dealt some serious blows, including numerous trackbed breaches, lack of funding and the NWRDA saying the case was not strong enough compared to other much more urgent projects.
- "The Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway - History". Retrieved 2014-05-14.
- www.waymarking.com Gives details of Mosedale Viaduct.
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