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August news

The RMT union has announced more strikes on Saturdays 25 August, 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 September. Timetables are usually available by Tuesday for the following Saturday. On 25 August on the Cumbrian coast there were two return journeys between Workington and Barrow with six or seven buses between Carlisle and Whitehaven connecting with the trains. On the Furness line there were five return journeys between Barrow and Lancaster, none of them connecting with the coast trains. The Tyne valley had seven return trains between Carlisle and the Settle and Carlisle line had two trains between Carlisle and Skipton with connections to Leeds and Bradford and one or two buses as far as Appleby. Timetables for the following Saturdays are likely to be similar.

As usual the alternative for stations between Whitehaven and Carlisle is the 300 and 301 bus service for all stations except Dalston and just for Whitehaven and Carlisle the 600.

There are still cancellations on both the Cumbrian coast and Furness lines particularly at weekends but the position does seem to be improving. The Lakes line from Windermere returned to its normal timetable on 30 July.

The timetable from 20 May means that there are Sunday services between Barrow and Carlisle and additional evening trains. This is not the full service promised but a considerable move towards it. Timetables are online with printed timetables  in very short supply. There are also four return Barrow-Manchester Airport and one Windermere-Manchester Piccadilly services. 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. Other Northern timetables are also online. The Whitehaven ticket office is now open on Sundays 0930-1630. Additional facilities such as ticket machines and some additional seating and shelters are being installed at all stations on the line except Nethertown and Braystones. The Seascale ticket machine will be outside the station in the car park on Gosforth Road side. Existing customer information screens on some stations will remain. No substantial alterations to the timetable are expected in December and therefore improvements such as the TransPennine Express Liverpool-Glasgow trains are expected to be introduced in May 2019.

Engineering work

Trains from Preston via Bolton replaced by buses on Saturdays and Sundays until 4 November and for the week 25 August-2 September.

London Euston will be closed for the weekends of 18-19 August, 25-27 August and 1-2 September with no trains south of Milton Keynes.

Carlisle-Glasgow 26 August and 23 September line closed before 1700 and replaced by coaches..

West Coast Railways have excursions to Stratford on Avon on 6 September from Carlisle, Penrith, Oxenholme and Lancaster and to Shrewsbury on 13 September from Carlisle, Penrith and Lancaster.

Michael Portillo is speaking and signing his new book Sympathetic developments at the Carnegie in Workington on 22 January at 1930. Tickets are £17.50.

Regulated fares (off peak returns and season tickets) are expected to rise by 3.2% in January 2019.

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