RMT have another strike day on Saturday 3 March. Timetables in summary are seven buses each way from Carlisle to Workington from 0646 to 1715 (the last to Whitehaven) and six back from Workington from 0843 to 1942. There are six trains each way from Workington to Barrow (0826-1726) and return (0655-1732) with ten minute connections at Workington. Barrow-Lancaster has four trains each way (0850-1715 from Barrow, 1001-1825 from Lancaster) but with very poor connections in Barrow.
Newcastle-Carlisle has seven trains each way. There are two from Leeds to Carlisle and two from Carlisle to Skipton plus buses between Carlisle and Kirkby Stephen. Windermere-Oxenholme has seven trains each way supplemented by five or six buses.
Buses are a viable alternative all day between Whitehaven and Carlisle (except for Dalston) as well as from Carlisle to Newcastle and Windermere to Kendal with a change for Oxenholme.
Preston-Blackpool North replaced by buses until 25 March
Wigan-Manchester Airport replaced by buses on 4 February
Buses replace trains between Skipton and Leeds and Bradford Forster Square on 4 February
Buses replace trains between Preston and Manchester Victoria on 10-11 and 17-18 February
Trains from Preston via Bolton replaced by buses on Saturdays and Sundays until further notice
Over the Easter weekend 31 March-2 April west coast lines have buses between Carlisle and Glasgow/Edinburgh and on 1 April also between Carlisle and Lancaster. There are no trains at London Euston on 1 April.
The planned improved timetable for December 2017 has now been put back at least to mid 2018 because of delays in electrification in the Bolton area and elsewhere and subsequent transfer of trains. This will include Sunday services between Whitehaven and Barrow, some earlier and later trains and generally fill almost all the gaps in the current timetable. The previous date for the withdrawal of loco hauled trains and Pacer units of December 2019 still stands, when we should be served by a fleet of four car refurbished class 156 diesel multiple units.
Scotrail are offering 20% off Spirit of Scotland travel passes during February – £111 for four days out of eight or £143 for eight days out of fifteen with the usual railcard discounts for travel from Carlisle anywhere in Scotland including some ferries and buses.
There is a free discovery evening on 20 February 7-9om at Whitehaven Archives on Scotch Street with films of west Cumbria including some of railways.
There is a talk by Eric Robson titled An historical tour of Cumbria with the mad, the bad and the dangerous to know recounting a railway journey from platform 6 to platform 2 at Carlisle at Rheged on 23 March at 1900 (£10 or £25 with buffet supper)
Railfuture’s summer conference is in Carlisle on 23 June. CRUG members can take advantage of our membership price of £25 if booked by the end of April.