Barrow, Class 25
Around Barrow
Original views from John Broughton
& updated with contributions from other photographers

Our second contributor has provided us with some wonderful views of Class 25s in the Barrow area, varying from dull grimy days in the industrial quarters of Barrow to the fine coastal landscapes that grace the line north and east of Barrow.

25321 leans into the curve through Arnside station on the evening of June 14th, 1985 with a train of tanks from Whitehaven bound for Merseyside. The train has just come off Arnside viaduct which spans the estuary of the River Kent at the head of Morecambe Bay. To the right of the locomotive is the trackbed of the now-closed Hincaster branch which ran from Arnside to Hincaster Junction on the West Coast main line. The tanks of phosphoric acid originated from the Albright & Wilson plant at Marchon (Whitehaven), one of the largest producers of sulphuric acid in the United Kingdom.

Morecombe Bay provides a scenic backdrop (if one gets creative) for much of the route from Lancaster to Barrow, although the WCML at Hest Bank is about the only location where you might see the ocean from the train between Euston & Carlisle! After turning onto the ex-Furness lines at Carnforth the first estuary is crossed at Arnside, the River Kent requiring a lengthy low bridge.

If the photographs are organised correctly they should portray a journey from the junction with the WCML at Carnforth heading west towards Barrow and onwards. Location and train information have been graciously provided by John. Gaps will be filled in as time permits.

Unless otherwise stated all photographs on this page are the copyright of John Broughton.

Class 25 No. 25249 crosses a small stream at Meathop near Grange-over-Sands on the evening of July 11th 1986 en route to Whitehaven. The day before 25249 had come to the rescue of failed 45040 working the 08.17 Holyhead - Newcastle at Chester, the Class 25 assisting as far as Manchester, where big sister 47110 substituted. And of course 25249, with 25313 hauled the last Class 25 Railtour less than two months later.
From the same vantage point, 25249 is captured heading west towards Grange-over-Sands.

Grange Over Sands

Class 25 No. 25226 at Grange over Sands on April 26th 1984.
Grange over Sands September 8th 1984, an unidentified Class 25 hauls a parcels train with a 'Black 5' tucked in behind the locomotive, no doubt a re-postioning move and probably destined for Carnforth.
An un-identified Class 25 hurries its train of tanks through Grange over Sands, July 26 1984.
25050 heads westwards throuh Grange over Sands station towards Barrow with just one van in tow.
Photograph courtesy Malcolm Roughley
Class 25 No. 25191 runs across Plumpton Viaduct on May 17 1985.
An unidentified Class 25 works the small yard at Plumpton Jct, date unknown. The view is looking eastwards towards Carnforth.
Photograph courtesy Malcolm Roughley
Looking in the other direction from the above view, 25109 marshalls a lengthy train of empty ballast wagons. In the background is Hoad Hill and the Sir John Barrow monument, Sir John being a native of nearby Ulverston.
Photographer not known.
Looking in the Carnforth direction a Class 25 enters the ornate station at Ulverston, date unknown.
Photograph courtesy Malcolm Roughley
Salthouse Jct
25190 rounds the curve at Salthouse Junction, in Barrow, with an up goods at lunchtime on July 25th 1984. Salthouse Junction (once controlled by its own signal box but now sadly demolished) is the point where the lines for Barrow docks leave the main line. The docks now see very little traffic apart from the occasional nuclear waste train.
A lunchtime up goods on June 16th 1984, comprised of heavy track panels hauled by 25212 & 25244 are caught just east of Salthouse Junction in Barrow whilst heading for Carnforth where they will gain access to the West Coast main line.
Moving past the photographer from the previous view 25212 & 25244 slowly draw their heavy train towards Salthouse Junction signal box. One wonders about the thoughts of the onlooker peering over the wall, somethings never seem to change.
Barrow Docks
25190 surveys some of the grim scenery found in the Barrow Docks area July 25th 1984. One wonders about the purpose of the street light in this area of abandoned sofas, bedframes and the like!!

From this perspective one can clearly see the empty space to the right of the fuel tank/batteries. On a boiler equipped locomotive the boiler fuel & water tanks were fitted here.

September 26th 1984 finds 40079 & 25076 close to the football ground at Barrow. 25076 would not see the year out, being withdrawn in November. 40079 faired little better, only surviving until January 1985, being reduced to scrap at Doncaster Works the following month. 25076 lingered until August 1986 when the end came at Swindon Works.
Another view on September 26th 1984 of 40079 & 25076 as they pass by the Barrow football ground.
25106 with sleeper coaches at Barrow on April 2nd 1983.
Photograph courtesy Barry Daniels.
A Barrow - Carlisle passenger service leaves Barrow sometime during 1982.
Photographer unknown.
Barrow was also the home of Vickers Armstrong, which played a major part in the construction of the Sulzer engines. From time to time completed locomotives came to Barrow for inspection by a variety of senior people. Standing in the cab doorway is Mr. A Storey, Works General Manager whilst on the extreme right is Mr. R Keay, Engineering Works Manager. The locomotive is D5125, new from Derby Works during July 1960, which must provide a clue to the date of this photograph.
Photographer unknown.
Duddon Viaducts

North west of Barrow 25051 is seen heading light engine across Duddon viaduct at Foxfield on the Cumbrian Coast line on June 28th 1985. The locomotive is probably returning from taking a train up the coast perhaps to the large British Nuclear Fuels plant at Sellafield.

Duddon sands and the estuary of the River Duddon cause another considerable detour for rail & road.


A pair of Class 25's with a track panel train cross Ravenglass viaduct, date unknown.
Photograph collection of Webmaster
A fine summers day during July 1972 finds an unidentified Class 25 heading north through Ravenglass station with a with a freight train.
Photograph courtesy Doug Nicholls

25059 at Sellafield.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
25283 & 25222 stand in the North Sidings at Sellafield with the remains of its train of bulk tankers. The previous day the rear of the train had derailed very badly at Braystones (see view below).
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

Trouble at Braystones, with a train of derailed tankers awaiting the clean up crew. The 100ton bogie tankers were filled with sodium tripolyphosphate, the extent of the damage closed the line for nine days.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
On the evening of Monday July 4th 1977 the 6E32 Corkickle (Marchon Products) - West Thurrock with 25283 & 25222 derailed seven of its ten bogie soda ash tanks at Braystones. The tankers were loaded with sodium tripolyphosphate, a chemical used in the manufacture of detergent. Apparently a small bridge failed as the train was crossing derailing many of the tankers, sending some crashing down onto several beach cottages on the west side of the line. Fortunately the bungalows were not occupied at the time, ironically these bungalows were built by the Furness Railway. A considerable length of track was damaged, a bus service operated between St. Bees & Sellafield, it took nine days for the track to be repaired and normal service resumed.

Trouble at Braystones, looking south at track level with one of the derailed wagons tilted at a dramatic angle.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
Trouble at Braystones, looking towards the ocean with two upturned tankers in view and what appears to be the remains of one of the seafront bungalows off to the right.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
St Bees

On May 27th 1986 an un-identified Class 25 hugs the coast on its north bound journey with three empty nuclear flasks after processing at Seascale. The unstable nature of the coastal cliffs here is clearly shown here with the 'stepped' slope of the cliffs above the locomotive.

After the dramatic scenery along the line in the St Bees area, the line took the landward route around the back of St Bees Head on its approach to Workington. On the south side of Workington was Corkickle, the site of a small yard which at one time served three branches. The yard had three running roads, the up & down main and the permissive which was bidirectional and signalled for such. The branch to the north reached Workington, Preston Street, to the south ran the branch to Moor Row. And close by Corkickle yard was 'The Pit' which served a local chemical company. A steep inclined plain served some sidings until these closed in 1986. Moor Row succumbed about 1981 when West Cumbria's last remaining iron mine closed, this coincided with the closure of Workington work's blast furnaces. And when Preston Street closed in the mid 1990's Corkickle yard lost its last reason for being.

An unidentified Class 25 heads north past Corkickle Yard on a gloomy day. In taking this view the photographer is standing where the purple wagons are in the view below. Behind the train is Corkickle No.1 signal box
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

40002 was 'going through the road' at Corkickle Yard. Its coming off the 'Pit', the location of three sidings at the foot of a very steep inclined plane, which was rope worked.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

40060 in charge of a Workington - Dover service, which attached wagons at Corkickle. The purple tanks were conveying powered sodium-tripoly-phosphate for a soap powder factory at Warrington Bank Quay. Corkickle No.2 signal box is just visible in the far distance.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

40137 stands at Workington with damage to the secondman's side of the locomotive. A signalman's error at Corkickle led to the damage to the Class 40. It was removed to Workington, then on to Kingmoor where it was condemned and sent down to Swindon Works for breaking up, which took place during December 1981.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
When Ian started on the railway there were four Class 08 shunters allocated to Workington. One of these shunters was outstationed at Corkickle from Monday morning to Saturday lunch time. This shunter was eventually replaced by a trip working and then later, by the train engines carrying out any necessary shunting.

Preston Street level crossing looking south towards Corkickle, with Corkickle No.2 signalbox visible in the distance. A pair of Class 25's and a single wagon are just visible, possibly the same pair in the view below.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

25283 & 25222 at Whitehaven Preston Street prior to working a train of 102ton bulk powder tanks southwards later in the day. This train would come to grief at Braystones when a number of the tanks derailed (see view above).
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
08465 and a box van await access to the National Carriers depot, which originally was the Furness Railway's northern terminus at Preston Street. Activity at this yard included the transfering of powder from road tankers into the purple rail tanks mentioned elsewhere, the yellow compressor behind the van was used to make this possible.

Returning to the main line the view below, taken looking southwards from Corckickle station's only platform shows more of the 100t tanks containing powder which are awaiting departure to the south. It was tanks similar to these that became derailed at Braystones, see views above.

Looking south from Corkickle station. The Class 108 DMU is heading south, having just left the single line section which ran from Whitehaven station south to the junction in this photograph.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
At the north end of Corkickle yard the main line returned to single track as it passed Corkickle station. At this point the line enters the 1,322 yard Whitehaven Tunnel which doglegs to the west before returning to daylight at Whitehaven station. The tunnel was bored through the local sandstone and left rough hewn until about 1928 when the LMSR began a project to smooth the bore. This project was not completed until 1958, reducing the length to 1,291 yards.


After leaving the tunnel the line immediately entered Whitehaven station where it also became double track. The opening of the tunnel in 1852 rendered the original Whitehaven, Preston Street terminus of the Furness Railway somewhat redundant. It would continue to see use in a secondary goods role into the 1990's.

An interesting view from 1981 showing 850 'Lord Nelson' enroute from Sellafield to Carlisle, prior to working a special over the Settle & Carlisle. Behind the locomotive is the entrance to Whitehaven tunnel. To the right are signs of the demolition of the original station. 850 is running wrong road at this point because of restricted clearances.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

Whitehaven station on April 19th 1978 looking southwards as 40108 comes out of the tunnel with a northbound working. Ian comments the train could be bound for Bransty dock, Derwent or Maryport for reloading to Huncoats power station at Barrow. The 21ton hoppers were known locally as north east hoppers, due to their extensive use on former LNER metals.
Photograph courtesy Brian Daniels.

A view looking north at Whitehaven Bransty as a distant 25191 runs round its train of 21ton wagons that have been brought in from Derwent as either the 9T90 or 9T91.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

Bransty signalbox looking in a southerly direction with Whitehaven station to the left, the entrance to the tunnel is just visible. The DMU had worked into Corkickle on a rugby special. These units (Cravens Class 105?) were banned north of Maryport being standard stock (9'3" width without window bars) and had no doubt worked in from the south.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
The DMU's which normally worked the Workington/Whitehaven services were the Kingmoor allocated Class 108's which were 9 feet 2 inches wide with bars on the windows.

An angry sea pounds the coastline in the Whitehaven area on May 27th 1986. As the storm moves eastwards an un-identified Class 25 drifts south towards Whitehaven, its already pitted and rusting bodywork getting an unhealthy covering of saltspray from the storm tossed waves.

A northbound DMU receives a good coating of saltspray as it journeys north of Whitehaven on May 27th 1986. Shortly after these views were taken the line was closed temporarily until the storm abated and the integrity of the line could be checked.
Whitehaven Harbour

A North british built 0-4-0 shunter works the NCB operated lines at Whitehaven Harbour sometime around 1980. The substantial roofless walls behind the shunter belong to the former LNWR Bransty carriage sheds. At this time the site was operated by a bus company for the fuelling, washing and stabling of buses. It has now all been swept away to make way for that great icon of the late 20th century - a car park, this one for Tesco's shoppers.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh
Moss Bay

The line between Moss Bay Iron Works and Parton was singled from March 1970 owing to the unstable cliffs along this section of line.

For the journey north from Whitehaven the railway line hugged the coast providing some spectacular scenery before approaching Workington. Here the evidence of industrialisation manifested itself very quickly. As the railway curved slightly passing Salterbeck the British Steel Corporation's plant would come into view as the line approached Moss Bay.

However one might feel about the location of this large industrial complex it brought jobs to the Workington area, much traffic to the railways and produced products that could only be used by the railways. The mid 1870's saw the development of the Moss Bay site into an industrial complex with blast furnaces producing pig iron and then steel. During 1877 the first steel rails were produced from the recently completed rolling mill. From 1881 the company was known as The Moss Bay Hematite Iron & Steel Company Ltd. Names changed to the Workington Iron & Steel Company, United Steel Companies, and then after nationalisation in 1967 the plain and simple British Steel. A merger in 1999 brought a new company, Corus into the picture, who kept the railmaking plant open until 2006.

Steelmaking had ceased in 1974, ingots (blooms) were then received from Teeside, Moss Bay's electric arc furnaces were used to reheat the ingots prior to rolling out into rails. That the rail from Workington was of high quality and well known throughout the world seemed to have little influence on events that would see Workington lose ground in its share of rail products. Workington had been supplying welded rail in lenths upto 180 metres, welded from shorter 32 metre lengths. Rail operators preferred the factory welded lengths rather than welding lengths together on site since the latter had a perception of being more likely to give problems. However rail operators, including Railtrack were increasingly looking for longer rail lengths that contained fewer welds of any kind. Many of the West European manufacturers made the required investment to meet this new demand from the operators.

British Steel took a different track by improving the welding facilities at Workington and making no change as to the basic length of rail that would be produced. As other operators sought the longer welded rail, events such as the Hatfield derailment and the general desire for Railtrack also to purchase the longer lengths led Corus in 1999 to acquire for GBP83 million the French rail making plant at Hayange. Studies had shown that a GBP50 million investment at Workington would have allowed the plant to make the longer rails. That Corus could ship long welded rail lengths from Hayange, France through Teesport to the local destination in the UK at cheaper cost than a similar product made at an upgraded Workington plant has to make one wonder, and realise that the writing was on the wall for the Workington plant.

Workington was still producing short rail lengths, as was Hayange, but Workington no longer had the long rail making capacity, thus increasing the fixed overheads and making the plant less competetive. And so in 2006 rail making would move from Workington to Scunthorpe.

25149 approaches Moss Bay.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
Just a run of the mill shot of 25120 at Moss Bay, or is it? Take a look at the trailing axle on the leading (right) bogie and there's a wheelskate in use. Ian advises the wheelskate had been fitted at Barrow and 25120 worked at reduced speed to Carlisle Kingmoor for attention to the traction motor. In the background can be seen the trackbed of the former C&W Moss Bay branch which closed in 1973.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
An interesting view of Moss Bay, looking northwards towards Workington. A short distance to the left and behind the photographer is the beach & the Irish Sea. Which would make for a challenging work environment when a strong westerly gale was blowing through!
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
An interesting view of Moss Bay, looking northwards towards Workington. A short distance to the left and behind the photographer is the beach & the Irish Sea. Which would make for a challenging work environment when a strong westerly gale was blowing through!

Derwent Ironworks

Beyond the Moss Bay facilities was the Derwent Ironworks which also generated much freight traffic.

Looking south 40001 fills the lens as it backs down on to its train at Derwent Ironworks Yard.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
A once very familiar view of a high sided hopper wagon attached to 25149 at Derwent Ironworks yard, date unknown.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
An unidentified Class 25 and brakevan wait for their next turn of duty at Derwent Ironworks yard, date unknown.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
A Class 25 in the distance as seen from Derwent Haematite ironworks. (See more detailed information below)
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
The 1975 view above of the distant Class 25 was one of Ian's pictures taken early in his photographic career. The view is taken from Derwent Haematite ironworks looking north, the Class 25 was working the 8E76 service, a shortlived working from Workington to Sheffield Tinsley to provide a through service for ingot-moulds traffic for British Steel. The coal mine to the right was the penultimate deep coal mine in West Cumbria and had closed in April 1973. The train is on the Up main line heading south having just left Workington Down yard. To the left are the slow, or goods lines which ran north to south from Workington No3 to Moss Bay Ironworks, and with another three boxes inbetween; No2, No1, and Derwent Haematite ironworks, which was behind the photographer to the right.

Workington Down Yard

Workington Down Yard on what appears to be a damp overcast day with an odd mixture of motive power (see note below). In the background is part of the industrial complex that provided much of the reason for the multitude of tracks in the foreground, and the fine collection of wagons in the sidings.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
Ian describes the shot above as a lucky one, featuring 47077 North Star & 850 Lord Nelson, showing a W.R. & ex S.R. machine at one of the farthest flung outposts of the L.M.Region! The clean Class 47, maybe not too long out of the Works, had failed and was about to be hauled dead-in-transit to Carlisle Kingmoor. 850 had worked an excursion to Sellafield and was en-route to Carlisle Upperby, prior to working south ex-Carlisle the following day over the Settle & Carlisle. The picture was taken looking south from No.2 signal box in 1980. The bridge in the background at the time was un-named, but would be replaced about five years later by an ugly concrete structure, given the grandiose title 'Bessemer Way Bridge', which over the years has caused some confusion!. The original bridge in the shot carried a standard gauge line connecting the nearby Solway Colliery with the ironworks site, which in turn probably replaced an earlier colliery tramway. The Class 08's lurking in the background are probably 415 & 419.

A similar view to the one above with 47077 taken from Workington No.2 signalbox. However this is a night time view and with a regular camera lens. Behind the flat topped hut in the foreground is the entrance to the Langton Park ore sidings.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

Another view from workington No.2 signal box, taken looking at a pair of Class 31's at the north end of BSC's Langton Park. The large building in the background was BSC's Central Engineering Workshop which maintained and overhauled just about everything electrical & mechanical that they owned. This included rebuilding wagons. Beyond this building was the ore stocking ground and sinter plant.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

Nightime at Workington Down Yard (No.1 signalbox is behind the bridge), 40023 waits to leave with a train of plate wagons loaded with pig iron from Workington's blast furnaces bound for LCP, Pensnett in the West Midlands.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
During 1975 there were four trains working in from Redcar or Lackenby generally hauled by pairs of Thornaby or Immingham Class 31's with the Lackenby working also featuring pairs of Class 37's:
6M33 07.30 from Redcar, return 6E37 at 13.59
6M71 03.10 from Lackenby, return 4E36 at 09.35
6M52 01.30 from Redcar, return 6E48 at 07.55
6M59 13.35 from Redcar, return 6E49 at 19.52


Workington at one time had its own depot, being a sub-shed to Barrow and allocated depot code 11B. It later became a sub-shed to Carlisle and allocated the depot code 12D. With the implementation of the computerised TOPS system the depot acquired the code WK, although by this time its only true residents were the Class 08 shunters that worked the yards in and around Workington.

Its June 15th 1968 and behind 7511 is the ten road Workington steam shed, although it had officially closed to steam six months earlier from January 1st 1968.
Photograph courtesy Pete Hackney.

Almost three years earlier, June 11th 1965 the shed was hosting a number of steam locomotives, including 46432, 42697 & 43025 with 44192 & 44536 barely visible in the shed.
Photographer not known.
Workington station would later become the stabling point for diesel locomotives, with its typical mix of LMR allocated locomotives. The most familiar locomotives parked around the station would be of Classes 08, 25, 40 & 47.

Classic diesels at Workington stabling point headed by 25182 and 40012.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
More classic traction at the south end of Workington station. Included in the view is a TPO, possibly M80302 or M80303.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
Two Class 40's are front and center in this view set in the small yard behind the station. 40181 looks to be not too long out of a repair & repaint at Crewe Works and both Class 40's have been scotched to prevent them from rolling away.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
Four Class 47's are parked in the yard, front and center is named 47081. The Western Region namers appeared to be frequent visitors to the Barrow area, judging by other views provided by Ian that can be found elsewhere on this page. It was always good to come across these namers especially when they were many miles from the WR, particularly since so few of this large class carried names until the late 1970's.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
A collection of locomotives and a DMU are captured in this view at Workington sometime during the early 1970's. The only identified locomotive is green liveried D7546 on the left.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
08826 & 25218 keep company at Workington, date unknown. In my early spotting days there were two Class 08s allocated here, 08142 & 08216 (I think) - I often wondered how I would get them underlined in my shed book since the Barrow & Workington area was not high on my list for my meagre pocket money. As luck would have it they were both transferred to Derby and so became as common as muck!

The timetable changes commencing May 1977 saw the loss of the through services from Euston (the 07.45 Barrow - Euston & 18.05 return) utilising the later model MkII coaches and a Class 47/4. New services from Barrow to Lancaster/Preston would now provide the connections to/from London as well as a Barrow - Crewe service. The only remaining through working was the sleeper service and the postal/parcels turn to Workington which was seeing a greater use of Class 47/4's in replacement of the Class 40's. The coaching stock of the postal trains show up in a number of Ian's Workington views.

The Class 45/46's - Strangers in Town

45044 on an overcast day at Workington sometime in the late 1970's. Workington No.2 signalbox is on the right. Behind the locomotive is the former steam depot which survived long after the diesels featured in these photographs (apart from the Class 08's) had gone to the scrapyard.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
At the height of the national lorry drivers strike at the back end of the 1970's Ian was night shift yard foreman at Workington. On this particular night it was a Sunday, with a midnight start but only a six hour shift! On arrival the yards were filled with outward bound wagons loaded with pig iron, ex-British Steel. Because of this the instruction was given to load the 03.00am Workington - Carlisle to capacity, with 1,220 tons trailing this Class 8 freight.

For this working a Class 37 was rare, Class 40 was normal and a Class 47 occasional, with provision also made for a Class 50! All these locomotives were allowed the same loading, but the Class 45/46 were allowed an extra 200 tons. During the course of the shift Ian had reason to speak to Carlisle Control and requested a Peak for the rest of the week, but without much hope.

Remarkably Carlisle sent down 45044 with the train being loaded up with an extra 200 tons. And as regular as clockwork 45044 showed up again on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. Somewhat bemused by this good fortune Ian inquired as to how the same Peak had showed up four days in a row? The response was the locomotive was on a restricted (local) working because the traction motors were isolated on one bogie! Which has to be some sort of testament to these fine workhorses.

46035 at Workington with the author of many of these notes, Ian Marsh, leaning out of the doorway. Presumably 46035 had arrived in the area on a freight working from Carlisle or the Newcastle area.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
46009 on the down slow line at Workington No.3 signal box.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

A train of empty plate wagons from Stanton Gate ironworks approaches Workington No.3 signal box on the Up main with 46005 in charge. 46005 had the misfortune to be the first of the Class 46's to withdrawn, being taken out of service by Laira in December 1977 and scrapped at Derby four months later. For this trip however 46005 has had views of the Irish Sea rather than the more normal Devon & Cornwall views of the English Channel.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
The above view of 47484 shows it coming through the No.3 road at Workington station, date unknown. The Class 47 had just arrived with the Huddersfield - Workington T.P.O., most likely a running-in turn for this machine. When steam finished on this turn it was handled by Class 50's - it was booked to Bransty as the 1M43 and ran as empty stock 4M43 to Workington for servicing. The following day it would form the balancing return working back to Huddersfield. Ian writes he wasn't too fond of the Class 50's, in particular the positioning of the jumper cable sockets below the cab windows. The train required shunting on platform 2 at Workington, this was on a rather severe curve and gangwayed stock made this operation rather difficult. The transfer of the Class 50's to the Western Region saw them replaced in the Workington area by ETH fitted Class 47's, easier to work on than the 50's, Ian remembers.

It looks like a very damp day at Workington as 47451 handles a Wirral Railway Circle railtour on April 19th 1975.
Photographer not known.
The very long nameplate on this Class 47 leaves no doubt that this is 47484 Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the nameplate being a clue that this was also a long time Western Region allocated machine, ironically the WR also had probably the shortest names attached to their locomotives, including Thor & Odin, these were also fitted to Class 47's, whilst the equally short Zest & Zulu could be found on the sides of two Warship class locomotives.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
25038 and brakevan await their next turn of duty from Workington.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
A class 37 with train 6C47 stands on No.1 siding at what's left of Workington down yard, Workington No.2 box is visible on the extreme right as are the down & up main lines. The waste ground was the location of the slow lines. The B&Q store is built on the site of the former BSC Langton Park iron ore sidings. The freight train has a Croxton & Gary Ltd china clay slurry tank bound for Workington docks, next is a 60' YLA rail carrier followed by a 600' YEA nine vehicle long welded rail carrying set bound for the steelworks.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

In contrast to the above 1990's view of the Class 37 with train 6C47 here is a view of a pair of Class 31's at Langton Park sidings, full of wagons and piles of scrap to the left. Ian's opinion of the usefulness of Class 31's cannot be written here, suffice to say they were considered poor replacements for the Class 25's. When the Class 31's were stopped overnight at Workington Carriage shed Ian remembers there was so much clag and exhaust created by them when started up the next morning that on occasion the local fire brigade would turn up looking for the source of the thick grey-black acrid fumes.

Workington Open Day

Its September 13th 1983 and Workington is host to an unidentified Class 25 about to take 55002 to Carlisle as part of its movement back to the NRM at York. The Class 55 had been one of the exhibits at Workington Open Day - see story below.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

During 1982 Ian had visited an Open Day event at Carlisle and went home thinking, well if they can do this, then we can put something special on at Workington. The idea was taken to management saying anything they could do, we could do better! Eventually approval was from those that make these major decisions, probably emanating from the the inner sanctums of Carlisle Citadel station.

With the approval to go-ahead, an all grades committee was formed, a secretary elected and a date was duly set. We were placed under the watchful eye of the organiser of Carlisle's Open Days, so knowing this we decided to shoot for the moon, writing to the curator of the N.R.M. York asking if they would loan to us the recently preserved and restored Deltic 55002. Other requests were made which led to the presence of 1041 Western Prince from the East Lancs Railway, steam locomotive 850 Lord Nelson from the then operative Steamtown at Carnforth, plus quite a few other oddities. Also asked for was 45043 The King's Own Royal Border Regiment, a regiment with local connections, which to my surprise turned up spick-and-span!

In addition to the locomotives mentioned above also on display on Saturday September 10th were 20189, 26031, D200, 40155 & 40170. Additional exhibits included were British Nuclear Fuel's 0-4-0ST No.1, delivered by road; British Steel Corporation's fairly new Hunslet 0-6-0D.H. 403 which arrived under its own power; a 2'6" gauge Hunslet and rolling-stock from the R.N.A.D at Broughton Moor (Buckhill dump); the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway 15" gauge steam locomotive Synolda, static on the back of a lorry.

In contrast to the big BR Type 4's that were on display, the MOD at Buckhill sent one of their 0-4-0 2'6" gauge locomotives and a box van to the Open Day. This view clearly shows the restricted access to the small cab!
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

The request for an A.C. Electric was declined, there was concern about the restricted loading gauge between Carlisle Currock and Maryport; also because it may have inspired hope that the route would be electrified in the near future! Unfortunately for the organising committee the day proved to be overcast and wet, which no doubt affected the attendance.

26031 and D200 are prominent in this view of the locomotives and other exhibits on display, it looks like afew parka clad spotters have turned up for the day's festivities despite the inclement weather.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

After the event the locomotives and other exhibits made their way back to their respective homes. I had wanted to go to Bury with Western Prince, but the presence of 55002 was a thorn in my side, comments made by my boss that cannot be printed here said amongst other things: 'Take that thing back to York, You wanted it, You got it, You take it back'! So on Tuesday 13th a Class 25 was attached to 55002 to begin its journey back to York. After a short delay we left Workington at 07.20. It was the second-man's job to tie the two locomotives together, the air & vaccuum pipes were connected but the heavy coupling was overlooked. The second man had recently been given a right good telling off for trying to enter the cab of Western Prince by kicking the cab doors when they were locked! So there was much abuse hurled about when the Class 25 moved off and not surprisingly damaged the vacuum pipe connection.

A couple of spanners were 'borrowed', the vacuum pipe reattached, and this time the couplings were connected and then we were off to Carlisle Kingmoor as a Class 8 freight. At Kingmoor the Class 25 was removed and lo and behold the spick and span 45043 coupled on. The Peak had left Workington on the Sunday light engine, making me wonder why all the fuss had been made about it returning to Kingmoor so quickly.

We left Kingmoor about 11.00 arriving at Tyne about 14.00. Here I was supposed to sit with the Deltic until 03.00 the following morning!! As the day wore on my liking of the Deltic was rapidly diminishing. By 20.00 that evening I decided I didn't like Deltics anymore and promptly cleared off for a pint in the Newcastle Railway club, followed by a couple more in the Gateshead club, then Gateshead shed and a couple more, then back to Tyne Yard. We left here around 04.00 for York, after train brake problems we sat for another few hours at York North Yard until 10.30 when I was able to hand responsibility for 55002 back to the late John Bellwood, then Chief Engineer at the N.R.M. York. It was then off to the canteen of the B.R.E.L. Works for some badly needed lunch, which was most enjoyable. My return to Workington was via Newcastle and Carlisle. I've not been particularly fond of Deltics since then!

The Open Day is over, the crowds have gone home, it just remains to get the locomotives back into traffic. Lined up in the yard and awaiting the call to duty are 45043, 40122, 26031 & 20169.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

Visitors to Workington

An unidentified Class 25 and Black Five 5407 pass through Workington.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

Probably the least likely Sulzer powered locomotive to be seen at Workington would be a Class 33. Here we have the odd combination of a Class 33 & a Class 31 at Workington on railtour duty.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

The cab of 47282 presents an unhappy image as it is hauled south by 37191 en-route to Crewe Works for repairs.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.

Inverness based, headlight equipped 26022 catches the sun at Workington fuelling point, behind sits 47068.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
Derwent Derailment

In the three views above 37002 & 37006 have come to grief opposite Derwent Ironworks. The locomotives were using Derwent's main crossover in order to cross from the Up main to the Down slow whilst completing a run-round movement. It appears that 37002 still has all its wheels on the rails but it looks like 37006 is well and truly resting on the sleepers! Traffic was still able to pass the scene as evidenced by one of the local DMU services.

Later in the day 25196 arrived with a brakedown crane to rerail the errant 37006 and allow business to get back to normal. The views are not dated but since 25196 was withdrawn from Kingmoor in March 1986, these views must predate that event.
All photographs courtesy Ian Marsh.

Some 20 years after the above views were taken here is an interesting view of a derailed XYLA carrying 120 foot rails. The wagon had derailed on a pair of faulty hand points.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh.
Unusual Loads

The huge industrial complex in the Workington area did on occasion generate some large out-of-gauge loads for delivery to other parts of the country. The end use for these loads were generally not for the railways, the one exception might be the lengthy sections of continuously welded rail. Distington Engineering (later Corus Cumbria Engineering) did produce some huge ingot moulds destined for other B.S.C. companies, usually in the Sheffield & Scunthorpe areas. These moulds travelled on specially built 'Weltrol' wagons some of which were allocated to the Workington area. In particular Ian remembers an LMS built 120 ton carrier numbered M17000 and scrapped late in the 1970's.

The rail plant didn't generate the out-of-gauge loads until the early 1980's when the plant started producing 120' (36m) flat bottomed rail. They were originally subject to exceptional load conditions since multi-wagons loads were relatively untried. These loads were later eased and allowed to travel under load examined conditions, one result of this avoided the payment of large pay raises to a number of rail staff responsible for preparing these trains. In the 1990's BSC bought BR's welding plant at Redbridge and brought the plant up to Workington. Initial orders were for 600' rail lengths for the Channel Tunnel, later lengths were increased to 720' (216m) for general rail use, and continued to travel under load examined conditions.

A view from Workington Down yard sometime during 1975 with a couple of workers preparing this considerable load for movement. This is a hot metal carrier, also known as a torpedo car. This immense load has been created by the British Steel's Chapel Bank works, (later BSC Cumbria Engineering, BSC Special Steels and now under the name of Corus), with this car destined for Scunthorpe. These vehicles were unbraked, a condition which would give the present day Health & Safety Executive apoplexy.
Photographs courtesy Ian Marsh.
Two views of a familiar product from Workington, continuous welded rail. On the left is a close up of a partial load of 72m rails being loaded whilst to the right is a full load of 72m rails on IGA wagons awaiting movement.
Photographs courtesy Ian Marsh.
Siddick Junction - Calva - Broughton Moor RNAD (Buckhill)

About a mile and a half north of Workington station was Siddick Junction. This junction provided the connection to the RNAD facility at Broughton Moor.

Light engine 25119 waits to join the mainline at Siddick Junction. Maryport is to the right, Workington to the left, which is more than likely where 25119 is headed. The locomotive had worked a train up to the 'dump' at the end of the Buckhill branch.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh
Looking in the opposite direction from the above view, a Class 40 with a short train of wagons loaded with ammunition approaches the main line at Siddick Junction.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh
In the views below ex-works 25142 is in charge of the 6T42 loaded ammunition train from Broughton Moor RNAD to Workington yard for onward movement to Carlisle. At one time Calva Junction was a busy place on the former Cleator & Workington Junction railway between Workington, Siddick & Seaton. This mainline closed in 1964 with only a few isolated parts remaining open after this. The Calva remnant was the last to close, during 1992. Ian remembers this short branch was a difficult one to work with some gradients as severe as 1 in 70. And the condition of the track in the views below suggest speeds would not be high!

25142 was present at Derby Works from August 1978 to January 1979 so possibly the views below are from sometime in January or February 1979.

In the above views of 25142 at Calva the train has arrived from the RNAD facility and will now reverse its loaded ammunition train down to Siddick Junction where it will then proceed on to Workington yard. These moves could be quite hair raising particularly with the 1 in 70 ruling gradient. Ian remembers a heated and protracted debate with a senior supervisor concerning the need for a brake van on these trains. The rulebook said that for trips under five miles a brake van was not necessary, but no mention was made of the propelling moves! Delving into the sectional appendix provided the answer, the mileage was 5 miles 79 chains each way!

Lowca Lane Crossing

The three views below, all from the camera of Ian Marsh, show two Class 25's on engineering duties providing support for repairs to the seawall between Siddick & Flimby. The date is believed to be 1977 and the line between Carnforth and Maryport had sustained considerable damage from several storms. The width of the rocky beach in the left picture makes it obvious that it must have been a strong storm to be able to push the sea up to the low embankment supporting the tracks.


25149 runs round its train at Maryport. The sheeted wagon to the right of the locomotive contains imported pipes. Because of the discontinuance of the headcodes the local trip workings carried round targets on the lamp brackets to help identify what the working were.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh
The Class 45/46's were infrequent visitors to the Workington area. Here 45052 heads into the sun at Maryport station with a Carlisle - Workington freight. This was the first train to use the trackage which had been washed out in the views above at Lowca Lane Crossing. I guess sending one of the heaviest diesels you can muster across the new trackage will confirm whether its sound or not!
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh
A nice view of a Class 25 (possibly 25144) at Maryport, date unknown. The locomotive carries 'Target 45' on one of the lampbrackets.
Photograph courtesy Ian Marsh
5295 at Maryport requires the help of a big crane to get the locomotive back on the rails. Taken sometime during the 1970's.
Photograph courtesy Tom Jenkins

Dalston (Oil Sidings)

During the late 1970's five or six trains a week were received at the Shell-BP depot. Motive power was usually a Class 40, but any LMR allocated Type 2 or 4 or ER Class 37 could show up. The oil trains originated from Teesport.

The Oil Depot at Dalston in northern Cumbria receives its daily tank train on April 26th 1985. 25051 & 25109 are seen backing the train into the depot. Dalston is the first station out of Carlisle on the ex-Maryport & Carlisle line from Carlisle to Maryport and beyond to stations on the Cumbrian coast. 25109 would survive until all remaining members of the Class 25 fleet were withdrawn in March 1987.
Another view of 25051 & 25109 at Dalston Oil depot. The depot is built on the site of the former goods yard at Dalston. The depot supplied petrol for the Scottish border area and parts of Cumbria.

Page last updated October 26th 2016

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