Hincaster branch line

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Junction at Hincaster

The Hincaster branch was a single-track railway branch line of the Furness Railway which ran from Arnside on the Furness main line to a junction with the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway (later the London and North Western Railway) at Hincaster.[1] Intermediate stations were provided at Sandside and Heversham, with the main engineering work being a substantial 26-arch viaduct over the River Bela near Sandside.[2]


It was built primarily for use by mineral trains carrying coke and iron ore from County Durham to various ironworks in and around Barrow-in-Furness which had previously had to travel (and reverse) via the busy junction at Carnforth.[3] The branch was opened in 1876 and also carried a passenger service between Grange-over-Sands and Kendal known locally as the Kendal Tommy.[4]


The passenger service ended on 4 May 1942 and the track between Sandside and Hincaster Junction was lifted in 1966 (through traffic having ceased three years earlier). A short stub from Arnside to Sandside lasted until 1972 to serve local quarries.

Sections of the old trackbed survive and are used as a footpath and cycleway, though the viaduct and both intermediate stations have been demolished.


  1. ^ Conolly, 1997, p.24
  2. ^ "Bela Viaduct" Old Cumbria Gazetteer; Retrieved 26 June 2017
  3. ^ Marshall, p.104
  4. ^ Heversham - A Website history by R.K Bingham www.heversham.org; Retrieved 2009-06-24


  • Conolly, W.P. [1958](1997) British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas and Gazetteer, 5th Ed., Shepperton : Ian Allan, ISBN 0-7110-0320-3.
  • Marshall, J (1981) Forgotten Railways - North-West England, David & Charles (Publishers) Ltd, Newton Abbott, ISBN 0-7153-8003-6.

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