The RMT union is planning further strike action on 30 May. Details of services will be available later but are likely to be similar to the last time with some daytime trains between Barrow and Workington and buses north to Carlisle.
Railfuture has given our website a 2016 gold award saying it is exemplary is serving the group’s aims and showing best practice.
There is a new timetable from 21 May but with virtually no changes to the coast line.
Mondays to Fridays the 1830 from Barrow is one minute later at stations from Whitehaven to Harrington and at Carlisle and on Saturdays the 1332 from Barrow arrives in Carlisle one minute later.
There are a few changes on the Furness line (beyond Barrow).
On Saturdays the 2135 Barrow-Lancaster is extended to Preston and the 2314 Lancaster-Barrow starts from Manchester Airport at 2200, both from 24 June-9 September.
There are a few changes on Sundays – the 0922 Barrow-Lancaster is extended to Manchester Airport from 25 June; there is an additional 1005 Barrow-Lancaster-Morecambe train until 10 September. In the opposite direction there is an additional 1017 Preston‑Barrow from 25 June and the 1117 Preston-Barrow runs at 1123 up to 18 June and then is replaced by the 1017; the 1604 Preston-Barrow which starts from Blackpool North becomes 1608 and starts at Preston.
Clearly these are slight improvements but no use for the coast line as we are still waiting for Sunday services between Barrow and Whitehaven.
Advance fares From the end of May Northern are promising more advance tickets with online availability of them up to 15 minutes before a train’s departure but will increase some fares by up to 50p on the Lakes line and probably on the Settle and Carlisle but unlikely to be on the Coast or Furness lines.
Engineering works affect the west coast main line over May Day holiday weekends. Virgin and TransPennine trains are affected on 1 May with no trains north of Wigan (Preston after noon).
Club 55 is available again on TransPennine Express at £19 standard class return in the north of England and £29 to Scotland until 16 May with 20% off for railcard holders. However you may find cheaper advance fares available.
The planned improved timetable for December 2017 has now been put back to at least May 2018 because of delays in electrification in south west England and subsequent transfer of trains. 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.
Settle and Carlisle line reopened on 31 March with a revised timetable. £15 day ranger tickets on the line are available until 20 May (£10 with railcards).
West Coast Railways have excursions from Carlisle to York and Scarborough on 17 May and Carlisle, Penrith and Oxenholme to Betws-y-Coed on 20 September together with other departures from Carnforth.
The new Rail room at Millom Discovery Centre at the station has a free open day on 9 June 1030-1730 (usually open 1030-1530, Sundays to 1330 (usual admission £4 and concessions).
Bus or train? There’s a revised comparison of journeys on the FAQ page.
Scenic rail journeys is a new website from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships which features all the Cumbrian lines together with preserved railways in the area.
The new Ratty museum opens at Ravenglass on 24 June.
The Whitehaven ticket machine now only takes cards, not cash.