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Cumbrian Rail miscellany


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Late August 2020 

Traffic on the southern end of the Cumbrian Coast line in the second half of August was dominated by the thrice weekly stone working from Barrow Docks to Drigg LLWR. The standard pair of class 66s in DRS Plain Blue, 421 and 091, are seen at various vantage points including Askam in Furness ( both the station and White bridge), Sowerby lodge, Park South, in atrocious weather at Salthouse Junction, Dunneroam, Sandscale crossing and from the Slag bank on the approach to Barrow.


Punctuating them are a network rail test train hauled by Colas class 37 219 'Jonty Jarvis' and we finish with the Black 5 4-6-0 45231 'Sherwood Forester'  hauled 'Lakelander' excursion which was further evidence that the charter train traffic is starting to recover




September hasn't been bad either. I had a few days leave to use up and haded across to the Setle and Carlisle to catch the last wek of the charter trains doing the appleby to Skipton 'Staycation' trains


Celebrity Class 47 47 721 'Lady Diana Spencer' was at one end of the top and tailed train in its Scotrail livery seen at Settle station




At the other end was green liveried Class 37 D6851 ( actually 37 667 on the TOPS system)




The 47 working hard uphill at Horton in Ribblesdale




More soon



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There was quite a bit of variety in September and i was mindful of the ever shortening days and the weather starting to turn so tried to get out as often as possible. In the September video we see Diesel and Steam hauled charter trains, stone, network rail test traisn and a couple of nuclear moves i can't talk about. Suffice to say these are both Very, Very rare


Steam was in the hands of 46115 'Scots guardsman' which Brooklyn and I caught off the former Barrow Steelworks slag bank which forms a natural amphitheatre at the site of the old 'Cocken junction'




LSL's 47 805 on a charter at the picturesque Kents Bank station 




One of the trains I can't talk about!




roll call



01/09/2020 Park South 37 419 & 423 Carl Haviland Derby RTC-Carlisle

04/09/2020 Lindal (A590) 68 002 & 005, 018,006 6C53 Crewe CLS-Sellafield

04/09/2020 Askam in Furness 68 002 & 005, 018,006 6C53 Crewe CLS-Sellafield

04/09/2020 Foxfield 66 421 & 091Gresty Bridge TMD  6Z21 Drigg LLW-Barrow ABP

07/09/2020 Askam in Furness 68 006 & 002 Daring Sellafield-Crewe CLS

07/09/2020 Lindal in Furness 68 006 & 002 Daring Sellafield-Crewe CLS

08/09/2020 Long Preston 47 712 & 37 667 Lady Diana Spencer 5Z40 Appleby-Skipton

08/09/2020 Long Preston 37 667 & 47 712 1Z40 Skipton-Appleby

08/09/2020  Long Preston 35018 British India Line 5Z53 Carnforth-Hellfield

08/09/2020 Kents bank  47 805 Roger Hosking 1Z87 Derby-Ravenglass

08/09/2020 Askam in Furness  47 805 Roger Hosking 1Z89 Ravenglass-Derby

09/09/2020 Long Preston 37 667 & 47 712 5Z40 Appleby-Skipton

09/09/2020 Horton in Ribblesdale 47 712 & 37 667 Lady Diana Spencer 1Z40 Skipton-Appleby

09/09/2020 Settle 37 667 & 47 712 1Z42 Appleby-Skipton

09/09/2020 Hellifield  66 102 643H New Biggin Gypsum-Tees Dock

09/09/2020 Hellifield 47 712 & 37 667 Lady Diana Spencer 1Z43 Skipton-Appleby

10/09/2020 Kirkby in Furness 37 407 & 419 Blackpool Tower Carlisle-Blackpool North

14/09/2020 Thwaites Flats 66 421 & 091 Gresty Bridge TMD 6Z21 Drigg LLW-Barrow ABP

17/09/2020 Askam in Furness 66 421 & 091 Gresty Bridge TMD 6Z21 Drigg LLW-Barrow ABP

26/09/2020 Cocken Jnct 46115 Scots guardsman 1Z87 Carlisle-Crewe


Sorry about the flange squeal on the stone train at Thwaites flats I've kept it in just to annoy people



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The 26th of October 2020 saw the stone train workings on the Cumbrian Coast coming to an end but these were punctuated on the Barrrow Ramsden dock by some nuclear moves, This line has seen more activity over the last few months than anybody expected. The stone train at Askam  on the 16th was held at the home signal due to the crossing gates at Park South being stuck. The driver had to pass two signals at danger on instructions from the signaller to continue his journey and the last clip shows Kirkby in Furness in the grip of a ten metre high tide


The driver of the stone train passes the home signal and attacks the incline away from Askam from a standing starrt



roll call


Askam in Furness 68 018 & 68 006 Vigilant 6C51 28/09/2020 Sellafield-Heysham P.S

Dunnerholme 66 421 & 66 091 Gresty Bridge TMD 6Z21 28/09/2020 Drigg-Barrow ABP 

Lindal in Furness (A590) 37 407 & 37 419 Blackpool Tower 1Q47 29/09/2020 Derby RTC-Carlisle

Askam in Furness 156 444 2C56 29/09/2020 Carlisle-Barrow in Furness

Askam in Furness 37 407 & 37 419 Blackpool Tower 1Q47 29/09/2020 Derby RTC-Carlisle

Askam in Furness 68 005 & 66 091 Defiant 6Z21 07/10/2020 Drigg LLW-Barrow ABP

Sowerby lodge 68 005 & 66 091 Defiant 6Z2108/10/2020 Drigg LLW-Barrow ABP

Park South 68 001 & 68 006 Daring 6X73 09/10/2020 Sellafield-Barrow MT 

Salthouse Junction 68 001 & 68 006 Evolution 6X73 09/10/2020 Sellafield-Barrow MT

Barrow Ramsden Dock 68 001 & 68 006 Evolution 6X73 09/10/2020 Sellafield-Barrow MT

Askam in Furness 68 001 & 68 006 Evolution 0C23 09/10/2020 Barrow MT-Sellafield

Dalton in Furness 88 005 & 68 017 Minerva 6C53 10/10/2020 Crewe CLS-Sellafield

Askam in Furness 88 005 & 68 017 Minerva 6C53 10/10/2020 Crewe CLS-Sellafield

Askam in Furness 68 001 & 68 006 Evolution 6C23 12/10/2020 Barrow MT-Sellafield

Askam in Furness 68 005 & 66 091 Defiant 6Z21 16/10/2020 Drigg LLW-Barrow ABP

Kirkby in Furness 156 454 2C59 19/10/2020 Barrow-Carlisle

Kirkby in Furness 68 005 & 66 091 Defiant 6Z21 19/10/2020 Drigg LLW-Barrow ABP


68 001 and 68 006 top and tail three four bogie KXA-Cs separated by PFA barrier wagons onto Barrow MT







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This will be vague because I can't go into any details about a couple of these but we had some Rare, and I mean Rare, train movements on this new video.

Can't talk much about this except to say this was the first time we had taken an FNA-D wagon down the branch to our port




This was also rare. The weather was appaling and the wind noise on the video is a bit rough but it is November in Cumbria so you take what you can









the light engine class 66 moves seen in the video were route refresher training for Freightliner's drivers as major track renewal betweeen Millom and Sellafield was coming up.


66 503. the one painted in the parent companies Genesee & Wyoming colours  is seen at Dalton with 2,000 tonns of ballast




Video at



roll call



Barrow MT 68 016 Fearless & 68 017 Hornet 6X24 Barrow MT-Sellafield

21/10/2020 Dunnerholme 68 016 Fearless & 68 017 Hornet 6X24 Barrow MT-Sellafield

09/11/2020 Askam in Furness 66 545 Q61T Carlisle NY-Carnforth

09/11/2020 Lindal in Furness 66 545 Q61T Carlisle NY-Carnforth

09/11/2020 Pennington 66 545 041U Carnforth-Carlisle NY

09/11/2020 Park South 68 016 Fearless & 68 017 Hornet 6C51 Sellafield-Heysham

09/11/2020 Park South 66 545 041U Carnforth-Carlisle NY

10/11/2020 Askam in Furness 68 016 Fearless & 68 017 Hornet 6C51 Sellafield-Heysham

10/11/2020 Askam in Furness 66 545 040X Carnforth-Carlisle NY

11/11/2020 Thwaites Flats 66 545 062Z Carlisle NY-Carnforth

11/11/2020 Furness Abbey 195 110 2C33 Lancaster-Barrow in Furness

11/11/2020 Furness Abbey 66 545 062Z Carlisle NY-Carnforth

13/11/2020 Sowerby lodge 68 001 Evolution 0C68 Sellafield-Barrow MT

13/11/2020 Kirkby in Furness 68 001 6X24 Barrow MT-Sellafield

15/11/2020 Dalton in Furness 73922 John Snowdon 689X Ulverston-Millom

15/11/2020 Dalton in Furness 195 107 1U94 Barrow-Manchester Airport

15/11/2020 Askam in Furness 73922 John Snowdon 689X Ulverston-Millom

22/11/2020 Dalton in Furness 66 552 Maltby Raider 647O Crewe Basford Hall-Millom

22/11/2020 Askam in Furness 66 552 Maltby Raider 647O Crewe Basford Hall-Millom

28/11/2020 Askam in Furness 37 025 Inverness TMD & 37 254 Derby RTC-Carlisle

29/11/2020 Dalton in Furness 66 503 The Railway Magazine 652E Crewe-Millom

29/11/2020 Kirkby in Furness 66 503 The Railway Magazine 652E Crewe-Millom

29/11/2020 Askam in Furness Unknown Tamper (probably 73909) 617F Ulverston-Millom


Note the blue flames from the exhaust on the lead 37, never noticed that before


I've got a couple of trains over the last few days so I'll see whether I end up with enough to do a December one






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Things are still quiet on the Cumbrian Coast railway and certainly there is not enough action to keep up a monthly report like I used to do pre-pandemic


However there are enough nuggets to keep some interest


The youtube video I named 'Cumbrian cosat rail in winter' has a mixed bag of traction with network rail test trains, Nuclear flask trains etc but I also wanted to capture as much of Celbrity Class 156 156 480 'RAF 100' in its anniversary livery.



I like this unit so much that even though I don't model 00 gauge model railways I indulged in the limited edition Horny model


March to April's effort showed the line starting to wake up with some excursions as well as a better chance to capture the flask traffic and test trains. What I wanted to concentrate on was the gradual introductiom of the new Class 195 DMUs on to the coast line. Northern rail having been running train handling runs on the Sunday evening Barrow to Millom working



As the longer days have arrived there is a much better opportunity to film the monthly Carlisle to Blackpool North test train doing the reverse movement at Askam. really there is only a three month window when the light is good enough.



And for something completely different



shot whilst I was on my lunch during a First aid refresher course!




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July and August were different to the norm on the Coast line. The Nuke traffic was fairly quiet but a short intensive campaign of stone trains livened things up


The trains used Network Rail owned MRA side tipping ballast hoppers top and tailed by Class 66 diesels. The loco at each end to make the reversing moves at Salthouse Junction and Sellafield sidings a lot easier




One of the 66s stands on the Dock road as the wagons are loaded in the virtual quarry around the corner. The diagram was loaded from Barrow to trhe Sellafield North siding and stabled overnight. Then into Drigg LLWR for unloading and then empty back to Barrow


Freshly loaded there was a large plume of dust thrown up from the stone as seen here at White bridge, Askam


The signaller in Askam box used to shut all the doors and windows when he knew it was coming



The Network Rail test trains did not run every time as scheduled due to traction issues but there were still some to catch the summer sun




Livening things up was the return of an old aquaintance. 34046 'Braunton', a rebuilt Southern railway West Country class 4-6-2. Now I hadn't seen this loco since I photographed it in Dai Woodham's Barry Island scrapyard in the late 1970s when it looked like this






July's video features the first run past on the Cumbrian Coast of this magnificant restoration




More soon





Edited by kevsmiththai
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Drifting through Foxfield




The second run was in wet weather but it still looked good passing the classic signalbox at Park South




And even better romping up the incline from Lindal tunnel to Lindal Summit




August Video



I'll explain wht the Class 37s are next


All the trains in the video are identified in the video description




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I usually work out what is coming through using two websites. Railtourinfo 2021 and Realtime trains


When I saw the Retro Cumbrian Coaster II listed and that ROG Class 37s had been requested I was mystified as I didn't even know there had been a Coaster I at some stage. ROG (Rail Operations Group) are a private company who move rolling stock around the country using Class37, 47 and 57s.




Seen at Askam 37 510 'Orion' leads 37 800 'Cassiopea' and 57 312 on the return Workington-Chesterfield leg


the train caught again at Lindal on the climb from the tunnel to Lindal Summit



37 510 used to be a DRS loco and one I know well. One of the most difficult re-railing operations I ever did was putting this one back on when it split the points inside Sellafield


Another suprise was to be found at the Barrow festival of transport. This is an opportunity for the local enthusiasts to show of their veteran and vintage cars in the town centre. The Barrow Dock museum announced that Furness No. 20 would be on display albeit on a low-loader. Now the last time I had seen it having a major boiler overhaul it was in a thousand bits at the Ribble Steam railway. But sure enough there it was looking very shiny. When I asked Tim Owen, the leader of the group who maintain it and operate it, he admitted that the paint was still wet as it was only applied the night before!




Brooklyn was most impressed with the 5 inch gauge model of it as well



Edited by kevsmiththai
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So it has been an interesting few weeks since my last update. Brooklyn and I have tried to cram as much in as possible before the end of the running season so here goes with a miixture of North Western rail stuff. Note this is not in Chronological order


Highlight of the Autumn


A visit to the little known Eden Valley railway in the wilds of Cumbria. Using part of the former North Eastern Railway trackbed that crossed the Pennines over Stainmore Summit that was closed during the Beeching era. Its existence still today is because the British Army had a need to supply the gunnery ranges at Warcop which ensured the section from Appleby, on the Settle and Carlisle line, to Warcop remained active long enough for the preservationists to get it


It has carved out a quirky feel because of its used of former British rail Southern region third rail EMUs and DEMUs hundreds of miles from their former area of operation.


Things like this 4-CEP commuter train




"But there is no third rail" I hear you say. Quite right but they can use them loco hauled or with the 205 DEMU of which more later


So the weather wasn't sparkling when we got there, but the main object of the exercise, to ride on the Class 205 'Thumper' was on when we saw it glide into the platform but meanwhile We had spotted a sign 'Driver for a Fiver'. Basically you get to drive one of the Diesel shunters for £5. So He pestered me all the  way to the end of the line and back again to have a go.





Talking to the crew we stuck it off straight away when I explained I have 5 diesel hydraulics at work I can drive and once they were happy Brooklyn could reach the contols off we went




They were very impressed with him and his powers of concentration and said he had made the best stop they had seen back at the platform all day




The instructor was a former driver of Underground mine locos at Kellingley colliery and we got on really well. Seen here presenting Brooklyn his certificate


One very happy little boy!




More in a minute when I've topped up my pint

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So the Class 205 DEMU was designed to work on non elctrified lines on the Southern region using the same carbody as the EMU but with an English Electric four cylinder engine and generator in what would have been the guards compartment. Lets be honest, they are pretty horrid and the thought of commuting every day in one would give me the shudders!




But they do sound like a class 20 Bo-Bo so it is easy to forgive them!


Also at Warcop is probably the worst Class 37 slated for restoration. 37 042 is going to need a lot of TLC




Anyway. Here is the boy in action




Coming up


Breath taking LNER Gresley coach restoration at Kirkby Stephen, The lovely little West Lancashire light Railway and the latest main line action



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So on the same former trackbed but six miles to the east is the Stainmore Railway, based at the former NER station at Kirkby Stephen East. Obviously at some stage it would be great if these two railways managed to meet in the middle but the Kirkby lads are carving out a niche as supreme restorers of vintage rolling stock.


A former LNER Gresley teak coach in dilapidated condition waits attention




These guys are good!






Varnished teak with subtle lining and a rich deep finish


As well as the Gresley coaches there was an extremely rare North Eastern railway Stores van making good progress




When we were there they were just building a new roof ducket (lookout post) and recreating the interior


There are a couple of working Industrial saddle tanks that work on running days



Lytham St Annes is a pecket product of 1949


Star of the show for me but unlikely ever to steam again, North Eastern Railway 2-4-0 of 1878 no 910. On long term loan from the National Railway Museum





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the first time I visited Kirkby Stephen there were a few main line diesels on site and it appears that as the railway centre decided on the direction it wanted to go the owners were asked to remove them., I had an idea where some of them were but the interesting ones for me was two locos clearly visible from the M6 motorway at Tebay. These are on an industrial estate built on the former Tebay sidings at the bottom of Shap called the 'Sidings Industrial estate' so we went to have a look




9F 2-10-0 92119 (minus tender) was one of the last steam locos built by British Rail and sits alonside Class 20 169 behind some high fencing




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Just realised didn't post the the link to the September-October Cumbrian coast film and I've already uploaded the November one!


Nice bit of steam, test trains and classic diesel charters. Industrial steam action at the Ribble Steam railway and some Nuclear flask trains




Park South 46115 Scots Guardsman 1Z78 Carlisle-London Euston 18/09/2021

Furness Abbey 46115 Scots Guardsman 1Z78 Carlisle-London Euston 18/09/2021

Askam in Furness 47 805 & 47 828 1Z79 Appleby to Milton Keynes 18/09/2021

Lindal in Furness 47 805 & 47 828  1Z79 Appleby to Milton Keynes 18/09/2021

Preston GR 242 of 1894 25/09/2021

Preston HL 3931 of 1937 25/09/2021

Goldmire Quarry UWC 68 018 & 88 006 & 68 004 & 68 009 6K73 Sellafield-Crewe CLS 05/10/2021

Carnforth 86 401 1Z79 Coventry-Carlisle 07/10/2021

Carnforth 60163 Tornado 5Z80   Coventry-Carlisle 07/10/2021

Plumpton Junction 68 xxx 6C51 Sellafield-Crewe CLS 07/10/2021

Askam in Furness 37 219 & 37 175 173A Carlisle-Blackpool North 07/10/2021

Park South Class 68s 6C53 Crewe CLS-Sellafield 14/10/2021

Cark & Cartmel 68 033 7 88 003 6Z51 Kingmoor-Heysham 14/10/2021

Askam in Furness DBSO 9702 7 37 116 375D Carnforth-Carlisle 15/10/2021

Park South 37 116 375D Carnforth-Carlisle 15/10/2021

Furness Abbey 37 116 375D Carnforth-Carlisle 15/10/2021

Park South 47 805 & 47 853 1Z38 Appleby-High Wycombe 16/10/2021





More soon




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Despite the short hours and poor weather there has been enough running in the Fells to keep me interested


60103 Flying Scotsman was on the Settle and Carlisle just before Christmas. The weather was not great and certainly put me off chasing it so we just got it at Hellifield




We had a rare move down the Ramsden Dock branch in January. This must have caught the railfans out as the usual crowd didn't turn up for it


Looking very moody on a clear frosty morning top and tailed with Class 68s




returning empty later on and caught at Sowerby Lodge




So I told Brooklyn we were going to film the 'Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express. Plan was to catch the train climbing the steep bank up to Shap Summit on the West Coast Main line. Have Fish and Chips at the famous 'Shap Chippy' and then head over to Appleby on the Settle and Carlisle to catch it coming back and stopping for watering


First part went quite well. We didn't actually know what was pulling it and were astonished when it turned out to be West Coast railway's Jubilee Class 45690 Leander double headed with their Battle of Britain class 34067 Tangmere on its first run afer a major rebuild. It looked as if Leander was doing all the work as it stormed past




So everybody gathered at Appleby and as it approached I thought 'This isn't stopping?' Sure enough went straight through. Never mind


video at




roll call


00.00 Green Road 156 481 2C50 Carlisle-Barrow in Furness 02/12/2021

00.39 Green Road 688 009 Diana and 68 003 Astute 6C51 Sellafield-Heysham P.S 02/12/2021

01.44 Askam in Furness 68 005 Defiant and 88 009 Diana 6K73 Sellafield-Crewe CLS 11/12/2021

02.19 Furness Abbey 68 005 Defiant and 88 009 Diana 6K73 Sellafield-Crewe CLS 11/12/2021

02.55 Park South 68 003 Astute and 68 006 Daring 0C68 Sellafield-Heysham 15/12/2021

03.24 Hellifield 37 676 Loch Rannoch Liverpool Lime Street-Carlisle 18/12/2021

03.51  Hellifield 60103 Flying Scotsmanh Liverpool Lime Street-Carlisle 18/12/2021

06.45  Hellifield 47 815 Liverpool Lime Street-Carlisle 18/12/2021

06.51 Askam in Furness 68 003 Astute and 68 006 0C51 Sellafield-Heysham 23/12/2021

07.12 Askam in Furness 68 007 Valiant and 68 016 Fearless Sellafield-Barrow 20/01/2022

07.51 Barrow ABP 68 007 Valiant and 68 016 Fearless Sellafield-Barrow 20/01/2022

10.54 Salthouse junction 68 007 Valiant and 68 016 Fearless Barrow-Sellafield 20/01/2022

12.54 Sowerby Lodge 156 480 R.A.F 100 2C48 Carlisle-Lancaster 20/01/2022

13.13 Sowerby Lodge 68 016 Fearless and 68 007 Valiant Barrow-Sellafield 20/121/2022

13.40 Furness Abbey UWC 156 480 R.A.F 100 2C43 Lancvaster-Barrow in Furness 22/01/2022

13.52 Furness Abbey UWC 68 001 Evolution and 68 002 Intrepid 6C53 Crewe CLS-Sellafield 22/01/2022

14.28 68 001 Thwaites Flats  Evolution and 68 002 Intrepid 6C53 Crewe CLS-Sellafield 22/01/2022

15.25 Lindal in Furness DR 73909 Saturn Sellafield-Guide Bridge 28/01/2022

15.55 Scout Green 88 008 Ariadne Daventry-Mossend Tesco train 29/01/2022

Scout Green 390 154 1M10 Glasgow-London Euston 29/01/2022

17.20 Scout Green 88 007 Electra Tilbury-Coatbridge 29/01/2022

18.10 Scout Green 45690 Leander and 34 067 Tangmere 1Z86 London Euston-Carlisle 29/01/2022

19.27 Appleby 45690 Leander and 34 067 Tangmere 1Z86 London Euston-Carlisle 29/01/2022


More soon



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