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Sunday services on the Cumbrian Coast


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Hi all


After over forty years the Cumbrian Coast line between Barrow in Furness and Whitehaven in the North West of England finally re-opened for Sunday Services on the 20th May. The last service was in 1976 and left some major tourist attractions accessible only by car or sporadic bus services at weekends.




The new service had been trailed for a while but leading up to it there was some doubt about whether there would be sufficient traincrew to operate it.


In the event a full service ran on that first day with 156 363 doing the honours with the first Barrow to Millom working. Not exactly rammed with passengers though!




This unit, seen at Askam, returned about forty minutes later with a few pioneer passengers aboard.


As the day drew on the higher capacity Class 156s started to make an appearance




156 445 in the new 'Whiter' Northern livery traverses the s curve at Thwaites Flats on the single line section between Park South and Barrow.


Hard to believe that this bucolic setting was once a very busy triangular junction, double tracked, with a constant procession of Iron ore, Coke and finished steel trains running 24/7.


156 490 had come up from Carnforth and again was lightly loaded but ridership will evolve, particularly when the ral ale fans find they can get to the famous 'Prince of wales' at Foxfield pub on a Sunday with ease




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Now many of us, especially those of us employed in the rail industry, do think we have missed a trick here.


At present the service is all multiple units, no loco hauled. I think if we had put our Class 37s and 68s on a couple of Sunday diagrams we would have had the Loco haulage bashers (a strange breed) here in droves trying to get as many runs behind different locos as possible.


video here at








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