John Speller's Web Pages Silloth Branch

John Speller's Web Pages - North British Railway

Carlisle & Silloth Bay Railway
In 1823 an 11 mile canal was opened linking Carlisle with a quay on the Solway Firth named Port Carlisle. In 1854 this canal was converted to a railway named the Port Carlisle Railway. In 1856 the Carlisle & Silloth Bay Railway and Dock Company established a deepwater dock at Silloth and took over the Port Carlisle Railway, building an extension of the railway from Drumburgh to Silloth. The new port at Silloth ran ferries and cargo ships to Liverpool, the Isle of Man, Ireland and even North America. The line was worked by the North British Railway from 1862 and absorbed into the NBR in 1880. It subsequently became part of the LNER in the 1923 Grouping.

After 1856 the Port Carlisle branch was worked by a famous horse-drawn "Dandy." In 1914 this was replaced by steam power, and in 1922 by a Sentinel steam railmotor named "Flower of Yarrow" before being closed in 1932.

The rest of the Carlisle and Silloth Bay Railway closed on 6 September 1964. A film of Silloth station and docks in 1938 may be seen here.
Map of the Railways in the environs of the Solway Firth showing the Carlisle & Silloth Bay line, North British Railway (LNER)
The Port Carlisle Railway's famous horse-drawn "Dandy"
The goods yard at Silloth in the early twentieth century
The railway station at Burgh-by-Sands on the Silloth line
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