Whitehaven railway station

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Whitehaven National Rail
The modern buildings at Whitehaven station
Local authorityCopeland
Coordinates54°33′11″N 3°35′13″W / 54.553°N 3.587°W / 54.553; -3.587Coordinates: 54°33′11″N 3°35′13″W / 54.553°N 3.587°W / 54.553; -3.587
Grid referenceNX974188
Station codeWTH
Managed byNorthern
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryE
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 0.252 million
2014/15Increase 0.271 million
2015/16Decrease 0.257 million
2016/17Decrease 0.251 million
2017/18Decrease 0.232 million
Original companyWhitehaven Junction Railway
Pre-groupingLondon and North Western Railway/Furness Railway joint
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
19 March 1847WJR station opened as Whitehaven
20 December 1874WJR station closed; joint station opened as Whitehaven Bransty
6 May 1968Renamed Whitehaven
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Whitehaven from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Whitehaven railway station serves the town of Whitehaven in Cumbria, England. The railway station is a stop on the scenic Cumbrian Coast Line 39 miles (63 km) south west of Carlisle.

It is operated by Northern who provide all passenger train services.


A 1904 Railway Clearing House Junction Diagram showing railways in the vicinity of Whitehaven (FR in blue; LNWR in red)

The first station at Whitehaven was opened on 19 March 1847 by the Whitehaven Junction Railway (WJR)[1] as the terminus of their line from Maryport.[2] This station lay to the south of the present station, with the main entrance on Bransty Row (at grid reference NX974186).

On the southern side of the town, the first section of the Whitehaven and Furness Junction Railway (W&FJR) opened on 1 June 1849 from a terminus at Whitehaven (Preston Street) to Ravenglass, but there was no connection between this line and the WJR suitable for passenger trains. In between the two stations stood the town centre, and to the east of that Hospital Hill, so a tunnel 1,333 yards (1,219 m) long was built beneath the latter, being completed in July 1852. In 1854, the W&FJR passenger trains began using the WJR station at Whitehaven (Preston Street becoming a goods-only station).[3] In 1865, the W&FJR was absorbed by the Furness Railway (FR), and in 1866, the WJR was absorbed by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR).[2]

The LNWR station (formerly WJR) was replaced on 20 December 1874 by a new one named Whitehaven Bransty; it was jointly owned by the LNWR and the FR. This station had its name simplified to Whitehaven on 6 May 1968.[1] The original buildings were demolished and replaced by a modern single-story ticket hall in the mid-1980s.[4] The former goods yard site beyond and behind platform one is now occupied by a supermarket.

The station formerly had four operational platforms, but today only two remain in use (the former platforms three and four having lost their tracks when the layout was simplified and the buildings replaced). The double line from Parton becomes single opposite the station signal box (which still bears the original station name Whitehaven Bransty) and then splits into two - one runs into platform one (a bay used by most terminating services from Carlisle) and the other runs into platform two, which is the through line to Sellafield, Millom and Barrow. Trains heading south must collect a token for the single line section to St Bees from a machine on the platform (with the co-operation of the signaller) before they can proceed. Conversely trains from Barrow must surrender the token upon arrival, the driver returning it to the machine before departing for Workington. Only then can the signaller allow another train to enter the single line section.


The ticket office is open six days per week (closed evenings and Sundays) and there is also a ticket machine available. Digital display screens, a P.A system and information posters provide train running information. Step-free access is available through the main building to both platforms.[5]


There is generally an hourly service northbound to Carlisle and southbound to Barrow-in-Furness (no late evening service operates south of here).[6] A few through trains operate to/from Lancaster via the Furness Line.

Train operator Northern introduced a regular Sunday through service to Barrow via the coast at the May 2018 timetable change - the first such service south of Whitehaven for more than 40 years. Services run approximately hourly from mid-morning until early evening, with later trains starting and terminating here. This represents a major upgrade on the former infrequent service of four per day each way to/from Whitehaven only that previously operated.

A Sunday service over the whole length of the Coastal route operated on a one-off basis on Sunday 27 September 2009 (first time a revenue earning passenger service has operated south of Whitehaven since May 1976) to celebrate the ACoRP Community Rail Festival. An improved Sunday service has been introduced as part of the current Northern franchise.[7]


  1. ^ a b Butt 1995, p. 248
  2. ^ a b Awdry 1990, p. 110
  3. ^ Rush 1973, p. 34
  4. ^ Railscot - Photos of Whitehaven Railscot; Retrieved 2 December 2016
  5. ^ Whitehaven station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 2 December 2016
  6. ^ GB eNRT May 2019 Edition, Table 100
  7. ^ Northern Franchise Improvements - DfT Retrieved 14 December 2015


  • Awdry, Christopher (1990). Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. London: Guild Publishing. CN 8983.
  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
  • Joy, D. Cumbrian Coast Railways. Dalesman Publishing 1968.
  • Joy, D. A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain, Volume XIV: The Lake Counties. David and Charles 1983. ISBN 0-946537-02-X
  • Quayle, H. Whitehaven - The Railways and Waggonways of a Unique Cumberland Port. Cumbrian Railways Association 2006. ISBN 978-0-9540232-5-6
  • Rush, Robert W. (1973). The Furness Railway 1843-1923. The Oakwood Library of Railway History. Lingfield: Oakwood Press. OL35.

External links[edit]

Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
Cumbrian Coast Line