St Bees railway station

St Bees is a railway station on the Cumbrian Coast Line, which runs between Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness. The station, situated 44+12 miles (72 km) south-west of Carlisle, serves the village of St Bees in Cumbria. It is owned by Network Rail and managed by Northern Trains.

St Bees
National Rail
St Bees Station - May 2018 (geograph 5775354).jpg
General information
LocationSt Bees, Copeland
England
Coordinates54°29′33″N 3°35′28″W / 54.4924838°N 3.5911836°W / 54.4924838; -3.5911836Coordinates: 54°29′33″N 3°35′28″W / 54.4924838°N 3.5911836°W / 54.4924838; -3.5911836
Grid referenceNX970119
Owned byNetwork Rail
Managed byNorthern Trains
Platforms2
Tracks2
Other information
Station codeSBS
ClassificationDfT category F2
History
Original companyWhitehaven and Furness Junction Railway
Pre-groupingFurness Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
British Rail (London Midland Region)
Key dates
21 July 1849Opened
Passengers
2016/17Decrease 51,114
2017/18Decrease 46,734
2018/19Increase 61,020
2019/20Increase 77,134
2020/21Decrease 18,858
Location
St Bees is located in the Borough of Copeland
St Bees
St Bees
Location in Copeland, Cumbria
St Bees is located in Cumbria
St Bees
St Bees
Location in Cumbria, England
Notes
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

St Bees is one of the few mandatory stops on this section of the line, along with Askam, Sellafield, Foxfield, Seascale, Ravenglass and Millom. This means that all trains call here.

It is the location of the only passing loop on the lengthy single track section between Whitehaven and Sellafield, and trains are often scheduled to pass each other here.[1]

St Bees is famous for the rocky St Bees Head, the starting point of the Coast to Coast Walk which runs from the Irish Sea to the North Sea, and many walkers alight at the station to start the walk. The station has the distinction of being the most westerly in Northern England.

HistoryEdit

The Whitehaven and Furness Junction Railway, a line which would link the town of Whitehaven with the Furness Railway at Broughton-in-Furness, was authorised in 1847.[2] It was opened in stages and the first section, that between Whitehaven and Ravenglass, opened on 1 June 1849.[3] St Bees station opened on 21 July 1849.[4]

In 1848 Canon Richard Parkinson, Vicar of St Bees and Principal of the Theological College, wrote in his diary: "November 8th., 1848. The Railway-whistle heard for the first time in this quiet valley. Its peace is gone!" Later, on 12 February 1849, he records, "Ash Wednesday. Good congregation. The first train of coal wagons on this day (dies cinerum) ["Day of Ashes"] went on the railway to Braystones".[5] Despite deploring this shattering of the valley's peace, Parkinson travelled on the official train when the line was opened as far as Ravenglass in 1849. The imposing station buildings, consisting of station master's house, waiting rooms and ticket office, were built in 1860 by Mr J Townley of Whitehaven.[6]

DerailmentEdit

At about 6:45 am on 30 August 2012 a two-carriage passenger train en route to Sellafield was derailed a mile south of St Bees following a landslide caused by heavy rain.[7]

Extensive civil engineering repair work has now been carried out to prevent a recurrence. In addition the underbridge at Seamill Lane was replaced in 2013.

DescriptionEdit

The railway station is a stop on the scenic Cumbrian Coast Line, 43 miles (70 km) south-west of Carlisle. It is operated by Northern who provide all passenger train services. The station master's house and ticket office, on the up (southbound) platform, date from 1860 and was formerly a restaurant with a railway theme, but is now a private house. On the down (northbound) platform, the waiting room is still a period timbered Furness railway structure, slightly modified to become a private dwelling.

To the east of the "up" platform is the site of the goods yard which was heavily used for the stone traffic from the sandstone quarries at St Bees in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It also handled the traffic from Walker's scone flour works and pickle factory, and the luggage traffic for St Bees School at the beginning and end of term.[8] The yard is now a public car park which is subsidised for free public use by the Parish Council.[9] The coal yard was off the down line on the north side of the level crossing.

Step-free access is available to both platforms via ramps from the road, and the low platforms have Harrington Humps for mobility-impaired users. Following the introduction of four-carriage locomotive working, in 2016 both platforms were extended by re-instatement of sections of unused platform. Train running information is offered via timetable posters, CIS screens and telephone. Tickets can be bought from a vending machine at the station or on the train.

Signal boxEdit

 
The Arts and Crafts design signal box, showing its architectural features

The station has a 24 lever signal box, which was opened in 1891 to meet the heavy traffic demands of that time. In December 2013 this was designated a Grade 2 listed building, being one of the few in the UK built in the "Arts and Crafts" style.[10] This is a Furness Railway type 3 design. The English Heritage listing recommendation report says:

"The Type 3 design is one of the most distinctive boxes ever erected, in an arts and crafts style, probably influenced by the stations that Austin & Paley were designing for the Furness Railway. It has a tall battered base in stone and a steeply pitched tiled hipped roof. Tall window frames are individually grouped. Unfortunately the survivors have all had their windows replaced but this has altered their character less than other boxes with larger expanses of window and more complicated patterns of glazing. Examples survive at Park South (1883) and St. Bees (1891), the latter in an attractive rural setting is worth consideration [for listing]."[11]

The level crossing is controlled by the signalman, who is also responsible for delivering the key tokens for both single line sections to train crews.

PositionEdit

The station is in the centre of the village, and there are three pubs within easy walking distance: one, the Albert, formerly being noted for having warning of the approaching trains rung through from the signal box in the evening. The beach, and the start of the Coast to Coast Walk are a 20-minute walk away.

St Bees Golf HaltEdit

St Bees Golf Halt was provided about a mile south of the village for golfers visiting the golf course. From 7 April 1914 golfers could halt a train by operation of a signal provided.[12] The halt ceased operation in 1918.[13]

ServicesEdit

Northern Trains
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 for Eskdale  
 
Bootle  
 
Silecroft
 
Millom    
 
Green Road  
 
Foxfield
 
Kirkby-in-Furness  
 
Askam  
 
Barrow-in-Furness    
 
Roose
 
Dalton  
 
Ulverston      
 
Cark & 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      

On Mondays to Saturdays there is a roughly hourly service northbound to Carlisle and southbound to Barrow-in-Furness, with some extensions to Lancaster and Preston.[14] A roughly hourly (each way) Sunday service was introduced at the May 2018 timetable change[15] - the first such regular provision here since 1976.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Northern Rail timetable, Carlisle to Barrow-in-Furness, 11/12/2011-13/5/2012
  2. ^ Rush, Robert W. (1973). The Furness Railway 1843-1923. The Oakwood Library of Railway History. Lingfield: Oakwood Press. pp. 33–34. OL35.
  3. ^ Rush 1973, p. 34
  4. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 202. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
  5. ^ Canon Richard Parkinson DD. "In Defence of Keeping a Diary". St Bees Cumbria web site. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
  6. ^ The Furness railway - A history, by Michael Andrews. Pub 2012 by Barria books, Barrow.
  7. ^ "Train derails after hitting landslide". ITV News Border. ITV plc. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  8. ^ "100 Years of St Bees", Douglas Sim. 1995, ISBN 0-9526990-0-1
  9. ^ Report of the St Bees PC Chairman 2010-2011, published as an insert in the "St Bees News".
  10. ^ "Listing for Garsdale 'fatal error' signal box". Bbc.co.uk. 29 November 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  11. ^ John Minnis. "RESEARCH REPORT SERIES no. 28-2012 : RAILWAY SIGNAL BOXES : A REVIEW" (PDF). Servies.english-heritage.org.uk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  12. ^ The Furness Railway - a History. Michael Andrews, pub Barrai Books, Barrow in Furness
  13. ^ "Private and Untimetabled Railway Stations" by G. Croughton and others
  14. ^ Table 100 National Rail timetable, December 2019
  15. ^ "Train Details". St Bees. Retrieved 29 October 2020.

External linksEdit

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Corkickle   Northern Trains
Cumbrian Coast Line
  Nethertown
  Historical railways  
Corkickle   Whitehaven and Furness Junction Railway   Nethertown