John Speller's Web Pages Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - L&NWR
Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway LNWR Untitled
The Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway was authorized by an Act of 1 August 1861 and built between 1862 and 1864. It opened for goods traffic on 26 October 1864 and for passenger traffic on 2 January 1865. The Engineer was the infamous Thomas Bouch, with John Wood as Resident Engineer. The company enjoyed mutual running rights with the London & North Western and North Eastern Railways at the Penrith end of the line, and with the London & North Western through to Workington at the Cockermouth end. The Caledonian and Maryport & Carlisle Railways also enjoyed running rights to Cockermouth via Bull Gill and Brigham. The 31 mile 54 chain ralway was single tracked except for double track sections between Redhills Junction and Blencow, and between Penruddock and Threlkeld. The summit at Troutbeck was actually higher than Shap Fell and the line was one of the most heavily graded in the country. The branch from Marron Junction, 2 miles west of Cockermouth, to Whitehaven was jointly owned by the CK&PR and L&NWR. The CK&PR was originally worked jointly by the Stockton & Darlington (later North Eastern) and London & North Western Railways, but the North Eastern eventually dropped out of the picture. The line remained independent until the Grouping of 1923, when it became part of the London, Midland & Scottish group. Rather unusually, the line closed to goods traffic before it closed to passengers -- goods services being withdrawn on 1 July 1964, with passenger service beyond Keswick following on 18 April 1966, and Penrith to Keswick on 6 March 1972. Regardless of its profitability or lack thereof, it is inconceivable that the government should have allowed the closure of a railway that was so integral to the tourist industry of the Lake District. There is currently some talk of reopening the line.
Map of the Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway and surrounding lines
Gradient Diagram of the Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway
Manchester Victoria to Workington passenger train behind Ivatt "2-MT" 2-6-0 No. 46449 at Bassenthwaite Lake station on 11 August 1951. Image copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
A busting Cockermouth station in a postcard view of around 1905 with an L&NWR passenger train entering the station behind a "Jumbo" 2-4-0
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