Carnforth railway station

Carnforth is a railway station on the Bentham Line and Furness Line. The station, situated 6 miles (10 km) north of Lancaster, serves the market town of Carnforth, City of Lancaster in Lancashire. It is owned by Network Rail and managed by Northern Trains.

Carnforth
National Rail
Carnforth railway station.JPG
LocationCarnforth, City of Lancaster
England
Coordinates54°07′47″N 2°46′17″W / 54.1296244°N 2.7714886°W / 54.1296244; -2.7714886Coordinates: 54°07′47″N 2°46′17″W / 54.1296244°N 2.7714886°W / 54.1296244; -2.7714886
Grid referenceSD496706
Owned byNetwork Rail
Managed byNorthern Trains
Platforms2
Tracks2
Other information
Station codeCNF
ClassificationDfT category F1
History
Original company
Pre-grouping
Post-grouping
Key dates
22 September 1846L&CR: Opened as Carnforth–Yealand
6 June 1857U&LR: Opened as Carnforth
1 February 1864L&CR: Renamed Carnforth
2 August 1880L&CR and U&LR stations combined
1 May 1970West Coast Main Line platforms closed
Passengers
2015/16Increase 0.207 million
2016/17Decrease 0.198 million
2017/18Decrease 0.175 million
2018/19Decrease 0.167 million
2019/20Increase 0.189 million
Location
Carnforth is located in the City of Lancaster district
Carnforth
Carnforth
Carnforth is located in Lancashire
Carnforth
Carnforth
Location in Lancashire, England
Notes
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

HistoryEdit

Carnforth railway station was opened on 22 September 1846 by the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway (L&CR). It had a single platform and was a second-class station. It became a junction on 6 June 1857, when the Ulverstone and Lancaster Railway arrived from the north-west. The station served as the line's southern terminus. The Furness Railway took over the U&LR in 1862, and became the second major company operating to Carnforth.

The station was enlarged during the 1870s. In 1880, it began receiving trains from the Midland Railway, following the commissioning of a south-to-east direct curve to the Furness and Midland Joint Railway – creating a triangular junction.

The L&CR was taken over by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR), with the station operated under a joint management by the Furness Railway and LNWR – the Midland Railway having running powers into the station. Station personnel wore a uniform with the initials CJS for Carnforth: Joint Station. The Furness Railway erected a distinctive stone-built signal box to the north-west of the station in 1882, used until 1903, and this survives preserved as a listed building.

A major rebuilding project, including a 300-yard long platform (currently used by northbound services), started in 1938 with government funding. With the opening of the new Platform on 3rd July 1939, it brought the number of platforms in use to six. In 1942, the government approved the rebuilding of Carnforth MPD into a major regional railway depot – the work being completed in 1944.

The film Brief Encounter was partly filmed at the station in February 1945. The station clock became a powerful icon through repeated use in the film.

Withdrawal of West Coast Main Line servicesEdit

The West Coast Main Line (WCML) platforms were closed in May 1970, following the withdrawal of local stopping passenger services between Lancaster and Carlisle two years earlier. The platform walls facing the fast lines were demolished, cut back and fenced off before the commissioning of 25 kV overhead electrification in 1974. This made Carnforth a secondary line station, even though it is situated on the main line, as WCML trains cannot call.

In 2011, Network Rail rejected proposals to reopen the mainline platforms, stating that there would be too few passengers to justify slowing down mainline trains.[1] Only the former platforms 4 (the original Furness Railway through platform) and 6 (the LMS 1939 platform)(now renumbered 1 & 2) remain in use; the old 'Midland bay' (No 5), which once catered for services on the Furness and Midland Joint Railway (between Carnforth and Skipton) has had its track removed.

Responsibility for the signalling at the station is divided between Preston PSB (main line) and the surviving manual ex-Furness Railway signal box at Carnforth Station Junction, sited just past the junction between the Barrow & Leeds lines. This has acted as the 'fringe' box to the PSB since the main line was resignalled in 1972/3. Two other boxes (F&M Junction & East Junction) were closed and demolished when the northern side of the triangle (avoiding the station) was decommissioned in 1998.

RefurbishmentEdit

After lying in a semi-derelict state for many years, the station buildings were refurbished between 2000 and 2003 and returned to commercial use. An award-winning Heritage Centre including a small railway museum and the "Brief Encounter" Refreshment Room, a number of shops and a travel/ticket office occupy the buildings.

The outer half of the non-operational up main (southbound) platform is in use as the access route to the subway, the active platforms and tea room. Since the privatisation of British Rail, the station has been operated by First North Western (1997-2004), First TransPennine Express (2004-2016) and Northern (2016 to date).

FacilitiesEdit

The booking office is staffed part-time (six days per week, closed Sundays & public holidays) - it is run by an independent retailer on behalf of the local authority but sells a full range of National Rail tickets.[2] Both platforms have waiting rooms and step-free access (by the aforementioned subway ramps) from the station entrance, whilst train running information is provided by automated P.A announcements, timetable posters and digital information screens.

There is also a micropub called The Snug which was the first of its kind to be set up in the North West and has been in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.[3] They host an annual beer festival inside the Heritage Centre in mid-to-late November.

To the west of the station lies Carnforth MPD, which is also the headquarters of West Coast Railways.

ServicesEdit

Bentham LineEdit

Route 7
 
Carlisle      
 
Armathwaite  
 
Lazonby & Kirkoswald
 
Langwathby  
 
Appleby  
 
Kirkby Stephen  
 
Garsdale  
 
Dent  
 
Ribblehead    
 
Horton-in-Ribblesdale    
 
Settle    
 
 
 
Heysham Port  
 
 
Morecambe    
 
 
Bare Lane  
 
 
Lancaster      
 
 
Carnforth  
 
 
Wennington  
 
 
Bentham    
 
 
Clapham    
 
 
Giggleswick    
 
 
 
Long Preston    
 
Hellifield  
 
Gargrave
 
Skipton      
 
Keighley      
 
Bingley    
 
Shipley    
 
Leeds      

As of the May 2021 timetable change, six trains per day (five on Sunday) operate between Lancaster and Leeds via Skipton. Most run to and from Morecambe. Trains are operating to a reduced timetable, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rolling stock used: Class 150 Sprinter and Class 158 Express Sprinter

Furness LineEdit

Route 6
Cumbrian Coast, Furness
and Windermere Lines
 
Carlisle      
 
Dalston  
 
Wigton    
 
Aspatria    
 
Maryport    
 
Flimby
 
Workington  
 
Harrington  
 
Parton  
 
Whitehaven    
 
Corkickle
 
St Bees  
 
Nethertown  
 
Braystones
 
Sellafield  
 
Seascale    
 
Drigg
 
Ravenglass  
 
Bootle  
 
Silecroft
 
Millom    
 
Green Road  
 
Foxfield
 
Kirkby-in-Furness  
 
Askam  
 
Barrow-in-Furness    
 
Roose
 
Dalton  
 
Ulverston      
 
Cark and Cartmel  
 
Kents Bank
 
Grange-over-Sands      
 
Arnside  
 
Silverdale  
 
Carnforth  
 
 
 
Windermere  
 
 
Staveley  
 
 
Burneside  
 
 
Kendal    
 
 
Oxenholme Lake District    
 
 
 
Lancaster      
 
Preston      
 
Wigan North Western    
 
Manchester Oxford Road
 
Manchester Piccadilly        
 
Mauldeth Road  
 
Burnage  
 
East Didsbury    
 
Gatley      
 
Heald Green  
 
Manchester Airport      

As of the April 2021 temporary timetable change, eleven trains per day (seven on Sunday) operate between Manchester Airport and Barrow-in-Furness, with an hourly service running between Lancaster and Barrow-in-Furness. Some trains continue to Carlisle via Whitehaven. Trains are operating to a reduced timetable, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rolling stock used: Class 153 Super Sprinter, Class 156 Super Sprinter and Class 195 Civity

Morecambe Branch LineEdit

A single early morning direct service to Morecambe (departing from Carnforth at 05:32), using the north curve at Hest Bank, operates on weekdays and Saturday. It is a parliamentary train, providing a statutory minimum service over this stretch of railway.

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Johnston, Howard (10 August 2011). "Regional News". Rail. Peterborough. p. 24.
  2. ^ Carnforth Station Details National Rail Enquiries station page; Retrieved 25 November 2016
  3. ^ "The Snug Micropub".

External linksEdit

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Wennington   Northern Trains
Bentham Line
  Lancaster
Arnside   Northern Trains
Cumbria–Manchester Airport
  Lancaster
Silverdale    
Silverdale   Northern Trains
Furness Line
  Lancaster
Bare Lane   Northern Trains
Morecambe Branch Line
  Lancaster
  Historical railways  
Silverdale   Furness Railway
Ulverston and Lancaster Railway
  Bolton-le-Sands
Borwick   Furness and Midland Joint Railway   Bolton-le-Sands
Burton and Holme   Lancaster and Carlisle Railway   Bolton-le-Sands