The 11½ mile Carisle - Port Carlisle Canal opened in 1823 but 31 years later it was converted into a railway to Port Carlisle thus becoming one of several railways in Britain built over a canal. The Port Carlisle Railway Company filled in the canal basin at Carlisle and built sidings and a passenger terminal there. Passenger services commenced in 1854 but were discontinued two years later when the Silloth line opened (see below). A horse worked service was provided between Drumburgh and Port Carlisle from 1856 but in 1914 this was replaced by steam power and later attempts to avoid closure involved a steam railmotor Flower of Yarrow which lasted until the branch closed in 1932.
At Canal Junction the railway made an end on junction with the earlier NCR goods branch from London Road and it was this section on to Drumburgh (pronounced drum-bruff) that was taken over by the Carlisle & Silloth Bay Railway & Dock Company. Immediately west of Drumburgh station the branch diverged from the Silloth line and passed under a minor road to Port Carlisle. Keeping close to the south bank of the Solway Firth and the course of Hadrians Wall it headed NW across low ground to the end of the line at Port Carlisle.
The Route Today - A short section of embankment can be walked from the point where it passed under the road at Drumburgh and about a mile near the end of the line can be followed along the shore. Part of the Roman wall and vallum alongside the line between Drumburgh and Glasson is an Ancient Monument. At Port Carlisle are the remains of the canal basin and the sea lock giving access the derelict harbour. Part of the canal that wasnt filled in can be seen running alongside the railway formation for a short distance. Relics - Stations - Drumburgh lost to road improvements; no trace of Glasson; Port Carlisle platform still exists most of it having been filled in as part of the bowling green car park. Bridges - Most bridges have been filled in or demolished; road overbridge in Glasson (NY254606) listed.
Click here to see some excellent Port Carlisle Railway Photo's
The best book on the Port Carlisle Railway is Solway Steam - The Story of the Silloth and Port Carlisle Railway - Stephen White
Many thanks to everyone who helped with information and photos for the website Bibliography