Northern has further RMT strike action on 8, 10 and 12 January. In summary Cumbrian coast trains mainly run between Workington or Whitehaven and Barrow with very limited connections to Lancaster. There are mostly buses between Whitehaven or Workington and Carlisle.
On other routes there is one early bus from Carlisle to Dumfries in addition to the Scotrail service.
Newcastle trains are terminating at Metrocentre with 3 or 4 buses an hour on to Newcastle.
There are 2 trains to Skipton (change for Leeds and Bradford) and 2 back from Leeds to Carlisle. together with 5 return buses between Carlisle and Appleby.
Oxenholme to Windermere is a mixture of trains and buses.
In more detail on the coast line there are buses from Carlisle at 0523 1046 and 1325 to Whitehaven and 0654 0753 and 1600 to Workington returning from Whitehaven at 0728 1249 and 1459 and from Workington at 0932. Trains run 0558 Maryport-Barrow, 0728 Whitehaven-Barrow, 0907 Sellafield-Lancaster, 0839 Workington-Whitehaven, 0935 Whitehaven-Barrow, 0938 Carlisle-Workington, 1133 Workington-Barrow connecting with the 1331 to Lancaster, 1251 Whitehaven-Barrow, 1208 Carlisle-Whitehaven, 1610 Barrow-Lancaster, 1530 Whitehaven-Barrow, 1435 Carlisle-Workington and 1737 Carlisle-Workington.
Return trains are at 0610 Barrow-Whitehaven, 0650 Barrow-Workington connecting to the 0842 Workington-Carlisle, 0902 Whitehaven-Workington, 0801 Barrow-Sellafield, 0910 Barrow-Workington connecting to the 1100 Workington-Carlisle, 1332 Workington-Carlisle, 1122 Barrow-Whitehaven, 1219 Lancaster-Barrow connecting to the 1331 Barrow-Whitehaven and 1450 Barrow-Workington connecting to the 1641 Workington-Carlisle.
Overall a bit better service on the coast but very difficult to link to the very few Barrow-Lancaster trains and all finishing by late afternoon.
If you are checking the timetables please ensure you look at both train and bus timetables.
The alternative (and the only possibility for later journeys) between Whitehaven and Carlisle is Stagecoach’s 300, 301 and 600 buses – 300 and 301 serve all places on the line except Dalston (300 not Harrington either) and 600 Carlisle only. 300s north are from Workington at 0440 and Whitehaven 0525, 0600, 0640, 0805 hourly until 1705 then 301s at 1920 and 2100 returning from Carlisle hourly from 0610 to 1910, 2110 and 2300 (1810 onwards are 301). 600 from Whitehaven at 0930, 1155 and 1355 returning at 0940 and 1145.
Virgin West Coast strikes have now been called off.
New Year There is a normal service on 1 January.
Alterations include: no trains between Manchester Oxford Road and Piccadilly 1 January
Newcastle-Metrocentre trains are replaced by buses from 6-14 January
Preston-Blackpool South replaced by buses until 27 January and Preston-Blackpool North until 25 March
Wigan-Manchester Airport replaced by buses on 4 February
Trains from Preston via Bolton replaced by buses on Saturdays and Sundays until further notice
Buses replace trains between Skipton and Leeds and Bradford Forster Square on 4 February
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.
TransPennine Express have a sale until the end of January for journeys until 29 March and from 9 April to 19 May of 25% off all advance fares.
The December timetable is online with no changes from the current one except for a few on the Furness line, It now incorporates the Lakes line. There will also be two additional services each way between Newcastle, Hexham and Carlisle on Sundays. There will also be five additional Carlisle-Dumfries trains a day making a roughly hourly service from the December timetable and an additional return Glasgow journey.
Regulated fares go up by the Retail Prices Index amount of 3.6% on 2 January, including most season tickets and many longer distance off-peak fares. Average fares rise by 3.4% nationally but 4.7% on Northern and 4.6% on TransPennine Express. However sample fares on the Fares 2018 page increased by 10-60p or 2.0-4.4% – less than Northern’s advertised increases across their network.
The planned improved timetable for December 2017 has now been put back to May 2018 because of delays in electrification in south west England 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.
Cumbrian Railways Association have published a new book An introduction to Cumbrian railways by David Joy at £9.95.
The estimates of station usage for 2016-17 show little change from the previous year. However if we compare last year’s figures with 1997-98 there is a 23% increase over the period with some big changes. Corkickle has grown by 322%, Drigg 218%, Ravenglass 140% and St Bees 84% though the actual numbers are quite small – Corkickle moved from 11,000 to 46,000. Of the bigger stations Whitehaven is up 60% and Workington 16%. Five stations have less users – Flimby has a 1% drop, Sellafield and Millom 6% each, Bootle 19% and Braystones 39%. By comparison Carlisle had 100% increase from 930,000 to 1.9m.
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the creation of British Rail, Whitehaven Archive and Local Studies Centre is showcasing railway records and plans on 16 January 1900-2100.
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.