Silloth railway station

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Silloth station, 1951 (geograph 5323386).jpg
Silloth station, 1951
Coordinates54°52′03″N 3°23′21″W / 54.8676°N 3.3893°W / 54.8676; -3.3893Coordinates: 54°52′03″N 3°23′21″W / 54.8676°N 3.3893°W / 54.8676; -3.3893
Grid referenceNY109534
Original companyCarlisle & Silloth Bay Railway & Dock Company
Pre-groupingNorth British Railway
Post-groupingLondon and North Eastern Railway
4 September 1856Opened
7 September 1964[12]Closed
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain

Silloth was the terminus of the Carlisle and Silloth Bay Railway, a branch railway from Carlisle, England.[13] The town, dock and station at Silloth were built on a greenfield site after the Carlisle & Silloth Bay Railway & Dock Act (1855) was passed.[14] The railway provision grew with the dock and its later additions.[15]

The station was opened in 1856 and closed by the Beeching axe on 7 September 1964, when it had been estimated in 1962 that the line was losing £23,500 a year and rising, staff costs had been pared to the bone and an imminent track bill of £32,500 was to be faced.[16]


Sample timetables along the branch show typical routine patterns.[17] Unfortunately they are undated:

  • the first does not show Abbey Junction, suggesting it is after 1 September 1921, nor does it mention the North British, so it may be 1923-1932, when the branch to Port Carlisle closed
  • the second matches Bradshaw in 1922[18]
  • the third is from British Railways days.

The Winter 1962/3 timetable[19] shows eight trains each way, Monday to Saturday, with a Saturday extra, as well as three trains on Sundays. The table strikes the eye as being simpler than earlier timetables with:

  • all trains 2nd Class only
  • a much better service to Blackdyke Halt
  • no through trains beyond Carlisle
  • Drumburgh had closed in 1955.
A 1903 Railway Clearing House Junction Diagram showing (right) railways in the vicinity of Silloth

The line was one of the first in the country to be dieselised, with one train a day remaining steam-hauled.

The branch was atypical in that from the 1880s successive owners had fostered a vigorous trade in "Specials", the cornerstone of which was Carlisle to Silloth and back for a shilling. This was backed by encouraging outings to Silloth by a wide range of customers such as Sunday schools, Temperance clubs and racegoers.[20] Many specials were both long and well-filled;[21] the longest ever was not a trippers' train, but a celebration train for the reopening of Carr's flour mill in 1905.[5]

Freight traffic, which had done well in wartime,[22] notably because it was on the north west coast, was following the pattern of the rest of the country - in decline. There was insufficient shunting to justify keeping the small locoshed open after 6 July 1953[23][24] and erstwhile staple business such as flour traffic from Carr's Mill fell from £7000 to £100 per month, the business being lost to road competition.[25]

All tracks to and in Silloth had been removed by 1968.[26]

The future[edit]

The Allerdale council in northern England passed its final approval on a plan to demolish the remaining structure of the station on 8 December 2006. The development firm James Morgan Ltd. was awarded a contract to build new single-family housing on the property. Stuart Hinchliffe, director of the development firm also stated "We will be reinstating as much of the old railway platform as we can, to maintain Silloth’s Victorian history."[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robinson 1985, p. 34.
  2. ^ Marsh & Garbutt 1999, p. 149.
  3. ^ Robinson 2002, p. 41.
  4. ^ Barbey 1955, p. 92.
  5. ^ a b Joy 1973, p. 58.
  6. ^ Earnshaw 1990a, p. 173.
  7. ^ Earnshaw 1990b, p. 233.
  8. ^ Anderson 2004, p. 695.
  9. ^ Robinson 2004, p. 22.
  10. ^ Gammell 1994, p. 278.
  11. ^ Hammond 2015, pp. 414 & 416.
  12. ^ Quick 2009, p. 353.
  13. ^ Jowett 2000, Map 36.
  14. ^ Puxley 2009, p. 9.
  15. ^ Puxley 2009, pp. 16, 32 & 44.
  16. ^ Barker 2010, p. 426.
  17. ^ Silloth timetables, via Cumbrian Railways Association
  18. ^ Bradshaw 1985, p. 795.
  19. ^ Barker 2010, p. 424.
  20. ^ Thomlinson 1983, pp. 10-12.
  21. ^ Cumbria 2000, p. 224.
  22. ^ Silloth coal hoists, via YouTube
  23. ^ Griffiths & Smith 2000, p. 328.
  24. ^ Hammond 2015, p. 416.
  25. ^ Barker 2010, p. 425.
  26. ^ Puxley 2009, p. 71.
  27. ^ "Housing bid for town's derelict railway station". The Cumberland News. 8 December 2006. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2006.


Further material[edit]

  • Bazley, Basil M. (August 1953). Cooke, B.W.C. (ed.). "Carlisle in 1905". The Railway Magazine. London: Tothill Press Limited. 99 (628). ISSN 0033-8923.
  • Easdown, Martin (2009). Lancashire's Seaside Piers. Barnsley: Wharncliffe Books. ISBN 978-1-84563-093-5.
  • Edgar, Stuart; Sinton, John H. (1990). The Solway Junction Railway. Catrine: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 978-0-85361-395-4. LP176.
  • Mullay, Alexander J. (2006). Rails Across the Border. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7524-3666-1.
  • Oatway, Jim (2003) [1964]. Cumberland Glory (DVD). Ultimate Archive Steam. Uffington, Shropshire: B&R Video Productions. Vol 44.
  • Robinson, Peter W. (August 1995). Peascod, Michael (ed.). "Maryport & Carlisle 150". Cumbrian Railways. Pinner: Cumbrian Railways Association. 5 (12). ISSN 1466-6812.
  • Suggitt, Gordon (2008). Lost Railways of Cumbria (Railway Series). Newbury, Berkshire: Countryside Books. ISBN 978-1-84674-107-4.
  • Walton, John K. (1979). "Railways and Resort Development in Victorian England: The Case of Silloth". Northern History. Leeds: University of Leeds, School of History. 15 (1). ISSN 0078-172X.
  • Webb, David R. (September 1964). Cooke, B.W.C. (ed.). "Between the Solway and Sellafield: Part One". The Railway Magazine. London: Tothill Press Limited. 110 (761). ISSN 0033-8923.
  • White, Stephen (1984). Solway Steam: The Story of the Silloth and Port Carlisle Railways, 1854-1964. Carlisle: Carel Press Limited. ISBN 978-0-9509096-1-5.

External links[edit]

Preceding station   Disused railways   Following station
Line and station closed
  North British Railway
Carlisle and Silloth Bay Railway