British Railway Line Information
The Silloth Branch - Carlisle to Silloth
Route of line showing Stations and other information
The Carlisle and Silloth Bay Railway was a twenty two mile long Carlisle and Silloth Bay Railway and Dock Company built single track branch railway line in Cumberland, England, that ran from Carlisle to Silloth via seven intermediate stations, Kirkandrews, Drumburgh, Kirkbride, Abbey Junction, Abbey Town and Blackdyke Halt. The line also had a spur to Port Carlisle that left the main line between Drumburgh and Kirkbride with an intermediate station at Glasson.
In 1823, a canal was opened from Carlisle to Fishers Cross, a village on the coast, which was then renamed Port Carlisle. The canal was never a financial success and was plagued by problems. The harbour at Port Carlisle was tidal and silted up quickly.
The canal lasted for only thirty years. In 1853, the directors obtained an act of parliament to convert it into a railway. The work began right away and the line opened in May 1854, connecting with steamer services for Liverpool at Port Carlisle. An extension was built from Drumburgh to Silloth where a deep-water harbour was planned. This section of the line opened in August, 1856, passing through Kirkbride and Abbeytown
The line, authorised in 1854, for the Carlisle and Port Carlisle Railway and Dock Company opened a year later to provide the City of Carlisle with access to the deep water harbour and the Liverpool steamer pier at Port Carlisle. A second harbour was developed at Silloth and the railway was extended from Drumburgh to Silloth in 1856. The Liverpool steamer service relocated to Silloth a few months later and due to the lack of traffic on the Port Carlisle spur the motive power was changed from steam engine to horse power.
The North British Railway leased the line in 1862 and subsequently took it over in 1880. With consolidation in 1922 the line became part of the London and North Eastern Railway and became part of British Railways after nationalisation in 1948. In 1954 it became the first line in the country to have steam trains replaced by diesel units but was closed a decade later on 7 September 1964.
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