Oxenholme Lake District railway station

Oxenholme Lake District railway station (often shortened to Oxenholme) is a railway station in Oxenholme, near Kendal, in Cumbria, England. The station is situated on the West Coast Main Line and is also the start of the Windermere Branch Line to Windermere. All platforms are electrified; however, platform 3 on the Windermere branch has limited capacity for longer trains. The station serves as a main line connection point for Kendal and Windermere and is managed by Avanti West Coast.[2] The station is owned by Network Rail.

Oxenholme Lake District
National Rail
Oxenholme Lake District.jpg
An Avanti West Coast Class 390 and a Northern Trains Class 195 at Oxenholme Lake District, looking south
General information
LocationOxenholme, District of South Lakeland
Coordinates54°18′18″N 2°43′19″W / 54.305°N 2.722°W / 54.305; -2.722Coordinates: 54°18′18″N 2°43′19″W / 54.305°N 2.722°W / 54.305; -2.722
Grid referenceSD531901
Managed byAvanti West Coast
Other information
Station codeOXN
ClassificationDfT category D
Original companyLancaster and Carlisle Railway[1]
Pre-groupingLondon and North Western Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
Key dates
July 1847Opened as Kendal Junction[1]
c. 1860Renamed Oxenholme[1]
1988Renamed Oxenholme The Lake District[1]
2016/17Increase 0.571 million
 Interchange Increase 0.292 million
2017/18Increase 0.581 million
 Interchange Increase 0.301 million
2018/19Increase 0.635 million
 Interchange Increase 0.221 million
2019/20Increase 0.658 million
 Interchange Increase 0.239 million
2020/21Decrease 0.160 million
 Interchange Decrease 57,487
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road
The station in 2013, looking north


The station was constructed as part of the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway (which is now a section on the West Coast Main Line from London to Glasgow). Initially the railway was earmarked to go via Kendal. However, a 2.1 miles (3 km) tunnel would have had to have been built north of the town to accommodate this route. As it was deemed too expensive an option, a line running 1 mile (2 km) east of Kendal was adopted. The line between Lancaster and Oxenholme opened in September 1846. Trains from Lancaster passed through Oxenholme to a temporary terminus at Kendal. This ended when the line to Carlisle was completed in December 1847.

With the decision to avoid Kendal, the Kendal and Windermere Railway was promoted instead with Oxenholme becoming a junction station. The branch line would be between Oxenholme and its terminus at Windermere (although it actually is in Birthwaite about .75 miles (1 km) from the actual lake). It opened in April 1847.

The station's popularity with visitors to The Lakes was fictionalised by Arthur Ransome in the Swallows and Amazons series of children's books, where it was renamed Strickland Junction.[3] In Pigeon Post Roger releases a homing pigeon there.


On 10 February 1965, fugitive John Middleton, who was hiding in the waiting room, shot and killed Carlisle policeman Alex Archibald at the station. His colleague, George Russell, who was also shot, died a few hours later in hospital.[4]

On 27 May 2006 a 19-year-old man was fatally stabbed aboard a Glasgow-Paignton train as it was entering the station. A 22-year-old man was jailed for 21 years for the murder in November 2006.[5]

The Grayrigg rail crash happened on 23 February 2007 when a Class 390 Pendolino derailed shortly after it had left Oxenholme Lake District railway station; one person died and 22 others were injured in the crash.[6]


The station is fully staffed, with the ticket office open all week (Monday - Saturday 05:45 - 19:00, Sunday 10:45 - 20:15). A self-service ticket machine is also available in the booking hall for use outside these times and for collecting pre-paid tickets. Waiting rooms are provided on both platforms, along with a variety of other amenities such as post box, coffee kiosk, cycle racks, toilets, shop and food/drink vending machines. Train running information is offered via automated announcements, digital display screens and customer help points. The subway linking the platforms and both entrances has inclined ramps and so is accessible for disabled passengers (though wheelchair users are advised to request assistance from station staff as the ramps are quite steep).[7]


Most Avanti West Coast services from London to Glasgow or Edinburgh call here to provide connections with the Windermere branch. There is normally a train at least every two hours to London (either direct or via Birmingham New Street) and every hour to Edinburgh or Glasgow. TransPennine Express services between Manchester Airport and Glasgow/Edinburgh also serve the station once per hour each way, as well as Northern services to and from Windermere. Most Windermere services start and terminate here, but some occasionally run through to Lancaster, Preston and Manchester Airport.[8] Oxenholme and the Windermere branch are signalled from Carlisle PSB.


  1. ^ a b c d Butt, R. V. J. (October 1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199. OL 11956311M.
  2. ^ National Rail Enquiries (2 December 2007). "Station Facilities: Oxenholme Lake District (OXN)". National Rail Enquiries. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
  3. ^ Christina Hardyment Arthur Ransome and Capt. Flint's Trunk, Jonathan Cape 1984
  4. ^ Deborah Kuiper (28 December 2007). "Hero PC dies". Hexham Courant. Retrieved 15 March 2008.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Life sentence for train murder of student". The Guardian. 11 October 2006. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
  6. ^ "How Cumbria rail crash unfolded". BBC News. 24 February 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
  7. ^ Oxenholme station facilities National Rail Enquiries
  8. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2017 Edition, Tables 65, 82 & 83 (Network Rail)

External linksEdit

Preceding station     National Rail   Following station
Avanti West Coast
TransPennine Express
TransPennine Express
Kendal   Northern Trains
Windermere Branch Line
  Northern Trains
Windermere - Manchester Airport