Whitehaven railway station

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Whitehaven National Rail
The modern buildings at Whitehaven station
Place Whitehaven
Local authority Copeland
Coordinates 54°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 reference NX974188
Station code WTH
Managed by Northern
Number of platforms 2
DfT category E
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  0.174 million
2005/06 Increase 0.191 million
2006/07 Steady 0.191 million
2007/08 Increase 0.224 million
2008/09 Decrease 0.210 million
2009/10 Increase 0.249 million
2010/11 Increase 0.266 million
2011/12 Decrease 0.254 million
2012/13 Decrease 0.251 million
2013/14 Increase 0.252 million
2014/15 Increase 0.271 million
Original company Whitehaven Junction Railway
Pre-grouping London and North Western Railway/Furness Railway joint
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
19 March 1847 WJR station opened as Whitehaven
20 December 1874 WJR station closed; joint station opened as Whitehaven Bransty
6 May 1968 Renamed 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 station formerly had four operational platforms, but today only two remain in use (the former platforms three and four having lost their tracks in the mid eighties). 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.


Following the December 2008 timetable changes, there have been modest improvements to the weekday service from the station. There is an hourly service northwards to Carlisle for much of the day (with one or two longer gaps in the late afternoon) and also southwards to Barrow-in-Furness from the morning business peak until early evening (eleven trains per day in total). Three of the latter continue via the Furness Line to Lancaster on weekdays (plus one extra on Saturdays only). There is no late evening service to Carlisle, although there is one service that runs as far as Workington on weekdays only. One train from the Carlisle direction runs through from Newcastle, but there is currently no corresponding service in the opposite direction.[4]

On Sundays, four trains a day run to and from Carlisle (up from three prior to the December 2013 timetable change) but there is no service to Barrow.

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. If the Sunday service was a success, Northern hoped to gain funding to operate a Barrow-Carlisle Sunday service during the summer months from 2010; however this has not as yet (summer 2015) taken place. The new Northern franchise agreement (awarded to Arriva Rail North & due to come into effect in April 2016) does though include provision for a Sunday service over the full length of the route, as well as for a revamped & improved weekday timetable featuring six additional trains in each direction.[5]


  1. ^ a b Butt 1995, p. 248
  2. ^ a b Awdry 1990, p. 110
  3. ^ Rush 1973, p. 34
  4. ^ GB eNRT May 2016 Edition, Table 100 (Network Rail)
  5. ^ 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