Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway

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Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway
Type Rural Line
System National Rail Network
Status Closed
Locale Cumbria
Termini Whitehaven
Marron Junction
Stations 12
Services 2
Opened 1855
Closed 1964
Owner Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway
Operator(s) Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway
Cumbrian Coast Line
Cleator and Workington Junction Railway
Marron Junction for Cockermouth and Workington Railway
Workington Central
Workington Main
Whitehaven Tunnel
Mirehouse Junction
Moor Row
Cleator Moor East
St Bees

The Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway was a standard gauge railway in Cumberland, England. It opened for goods traffic in 1855 and for passenger traffic in 1857.


Mirehouse Junction, one mile south of Whitehaven (Corkickle) - Moor Row (junction)

Northern section[edit]

Moor Row - Cleator Moor - Frizington - Eskett (later Yeathouse) - Winder - Rowrah - Wright Green (later Lamplugh) - Ullock - Branthwaite - Bridgefoot - Marron Junction [1] (junction with the London & North Western Railway who took over the Cockermouth and Workington Railway in 1866).

Southern section[edit]

Moor Row - Woodend - Egremont

Company Branch Lines[edit]

In addition to the locations shown in the Northern and Southern sections there were also several important WC&ER branchlines that served local industry. They were the Bigrigg, Beckermet, Crossfield, Eskett, Ehen Valley, Gillfoot, Mowbray, Palaflat, Ullcoats Branches. The Gilgarran Branch is included below.

The Egremont to Sellafield Section[edit]

Egremont - Beckermet - Sellafield In reality this was an independent railway to the WC&ER as it was jointly owned by the WC&ER and the Furness Railway and was known as the Cleator and Furness Railway, although it was worked by the WC&ER. This section was opened to traffic in 1869. There was one station on the line that was located at Beckermet. This section of railway also became part of the 'Joint Lines' when the WC&ER was taken over. (see below)

The Gilgarran Branch[edit]

Parton - Distington- Ullock. This branchline is often overlooked by some authors and historians. It was important for it served an iron works at Distington. Much of the route west of Distington has been used for the A595.


Note: The Whitehaven & Furness Junction Railway that ran south from Whitehaven was absorbed into the Furness railway in 1866 and all references to the WFJR after this date should read Furness railway.

In 1878 the Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway was taken over by the London and North Western Railway and the Furness Railway objected to the takeover. The London and North Western Railway had in 1866 acquired two railways in the west of the county and had entered into an understanding with the Furness Railway that the L&NWR would not expand any further south in West Cumberland than the lines that were acquired in 1866. As a result, the former WC&ER became joint property of the London and North Western Railway and the Furness Railway. At the 1923 grouping, both these railways were absorbed into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). The LMS became part of British Railways at the 1948 nationalisation.


Sections of the line closed in 1954 and the track was lifted in 1964. Other sections remained open for the conveyance of limestone from a quarry at Rowrah and iron ore from mines in the Egremont area. These closures are to be expanded sometime in the future when correct dates are researched and verified

See also[edit]


External links[edit]