Hincaster branch line
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. 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.
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. The branch was opened in 1876 and also carried a passenger service between Grange-over-Sands and Kendal known locally as the Kendal Tommy.
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.
- Conolly, W.P. (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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