Carlisle & Silloth Bay Railway - History

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Carlisle & Silloth Bay Railway - History

  • Bill introduced in 1854 to make floating dock of four acres at Silloth Bay and to connect the dock with Carlisle by means of a railway 12 long
  • Carlisle & Silloth Bay Railway opened in 28th August 1856
  • Foundation stone of dock laid in 1857
  • First ship in to Silloth dock basin in 1859
  • Carlisle & Silloth Bay Railway sold off the railway to North British Railway on 30th June 1859
  • From 1st July 1864 Silloth and Port Carlisle trains departed from Citadel sation instead of Canal Street
  • On 13th September 1869 goods traffic opened on the Solway Junction railway which used the Silloth line between Kirkbride and Abbey Junction
  • Kirkbride Junction Signal Box closed in 1922
  • Became part of LNER in 1923
  • Became part of British rail in January 1948
  • A fatal accident occured on 23rd October 1950 when a passenger train derailed near Drumburgh killing the Driver & Fireman
  • Engine shed at Silloth closed in July 1953
  • Grinsdale Siding closed in 1953
  • On 29th November 1954 two diesel units intoduced on the line the first in Britain
  • Traffic from Fisons private sidings at Silloth ceased in 1962
  • Closed to goods traffic on 1st June 1964
  • Line closed on 6th September 1964

When the Carlisle & Silloth Bay Railway & Dock Company (C&SBRDC) opened their Carlisle - Silloth line in 1856 it utilised the Port Carlisle Branch as far as Drumburgh and the remaining part of the Port Carlisle line then became a horse worked branch. The Port Carlisle Railway Company agreed to supply a locomotive if the C&SBRDC provided rolling stock. The NBR leased the line from 1862 and it was absorbed by them in 1880. Several stations were at first only open on Saturdays! In 1954 it became the first line in the country to have steam trains replaced by diesel units but even so it closed completely ten years later.

Relics of The Line Today

Stations - Kirkandrews and Burgh both residences; Drumburgh lost to road improvements Kirkbride station house survives; Abbeyholme and Black Dyke residences; Silloth station part of platform with buildings converted into flats but boarded up in 1999.

Bridges - Most bridges either intact (some with weak bridge signs) or filled in; road overbridges in Burgh by Sands (NY318589) and Dykesfield (NY307591) listed grade ll.

Loco Sheds - Carlisle Canal (NY381564) on north side of Silloth line west of canal junction demolished in 1964 and later industrial units occupied the site but these have also gone and it is now grass and woodland with paths crossing the area. Silloth two road shed demolished site landscaped; Silloth (NY110533) on south side of Silloth station demolished between 1967 and 1971.

Silloth Docks Plan

This image is by courtesty of Holme St Cuthbert History Group and Mrs Mary Marshall of Silloth and should not be reproduced without their consent


Silloth Railway Timetable

Silloth Railway Timetable

Silloth Railway Timetable

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