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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

Sad demise of scenic route to mountains

WE are taking a look at the sad demise of the branch railway line linking Foxfield to Coniston through the pages of the book The Coniston Railway.

The book, by Michael Andrews and Geoff Holme, has just been published in a new edition as part of a series on the county’s historic lines by the Cumbrian Railways
Association.

A 1957 survey showed an average of just 18 people using winter rail trips and it was estimated that closing the Coniston branch line would save £17,000 a year.

The last scheduled passenger train arrived at Coniston on Sunday October 4 in 1958 with Mr T Watson as driver and Ron Gaitskell as fireman.

Complete closure of the branch to freight traffic took place on April 30 in 1962.

Demolition of the branch followed shortly after closure, with the work being carried out from April 16 in 1963 by the railway’s own staff based at Barrow.

Nothing re-usable was left behind.

The frame from the Coniston signal box was re-used at Park South, near Barrow, and is still in use.

The footbridge was installed on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway.

Removal of the last of the track to the junction with the main line at Foxfield was completed by November 15 in 1963.

Station buildings at Broughton, Woodland and Torver survive as private houses but Coniston station was demolished at the end of 1968 and the land used for light industrial units.

  • You can find out more about the book, and the work of the railway group, on the website at www.cumbrianrailways.org.uk or contact CRA Publications at 50 Tattershall, Toothill, Swindon SN5 8BX

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