The 19mile Ingleton line was a rural railway line originally within the boundaries of West Riding of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Westmorland.
Planned in 1846 to form part of a main route from London to Scotland it’s 3 county journey started at Clapham stopping short 4miles away at Ingleton laid by the Little NWR eager to reach a sought after spot Nth of Shap on the WCML.
Above: Clapham Stn
It only served 10 mths before the line closed thus the race was back on! Many railway companies were keen to see it completed as it would be quicker this way rather than the what the WCML had to offer due to the difficult terrain.
Below: Road bridge near Clapham Stn
The final 18miles was built by the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway from 1861 by 1600 Navies with 70 horses taking stone from a local quarry.
Below: Sleepers near said top bridge and Jordan Ln Bridge.
Above & Below: Rawthey Bridge
Stone was taken from quarries like this one near the famous WSCaves. One of the largest known cave chambers in GB - unknown to many this great visitor attraction once had a branch railway line running across this area down to it’s parent line at Ingleton delivering it’s stone.
Above: Bridge found nr Sedbergh Stn line
The single line continues to it’s next stop to a town that has Saxon origins - Sedbergh.
The line’s future was doomed to succeed from the early offset as it only remained as a rural branch line mainly serving the small towns of Ingleton, Kirkby Lonsdale and Sedbergh. L&CR would not cooperate with the Midland Railway at Ingleton to run it’s express trains on this line thus in reaction the S&C railway was built and robed this line of it’s intended potential.
Below: Rails kept as a historic feature by previous owners at Sedbergh (Station) yard - now a coal merchant. The only bit of track that still remains!
With financial difficulties and shear bad management the line being a victim to this rivalry between railway companies at Ingleton struggled to thrive.
The gorgeous Ingleton viaduct and it’s saga often takes a lot of the focus from this line so next I’ll travel to some of the lesser known gems with an even more gorgeous hidden beautiful grade 2 listed structure.
Above: Ingleton and it's viaduct.
Below Image Middleton: Away from Ingleton our first station would have been Barbon now totally erased from recognition now covered by housing it’s neighboring station Middleton is now a home. Once it had a weighing machine and a signal box. Opening as Middleton in 1861 it was renamed Middleton-on-Lune on 19 July 1926 closed five years later!
Even after the line closed in 1964 it was used occasionally for goods, weekend excursions and to transport pupils from the boarding schools it even held on as a relief route until the final curtain came down in April 1967.
Above: Known locally as Waterside Viaduct, it was a major engineering contract awarded to Coulthard & Allen by the Lancaster & Carlisle Railway in 1858. Stood 100ft beside The Dales Way a 80-mile long footpath from West Yorkshire, to Bowness-on-Windermere, this grade 2 listed structure built with Penrith stone & cast-iron carried the track to Tebay above the river lune since 1861.
Once complete the board of trade came to inspect by Colonel William Yolland who granted his approval allowing the test train of 3 locomotives and full tenders to pass across - a total weight of 250 tonnes proving the structure strength.
Over time many Black 5 Locomotives would of passed over this viaduct especially when it’s younger rival the S&C line became snow blocked taking on it’s diverted traffic to Scotland - and even LNER’s no4472 Flying Scotman paid a special visit across this way in 1963.
Not long back a £600,000 refurbishment and repairs program was carried out with improvements on the drainage system, downpipes and other areas of Waterside. The old surface of the deck was removed and a modern waterproofing membrane was fitted protecting it for many many years.
This line ferried it’s last passengers in 1954 with a farewell ceremony much larger than it’s opening. On the 30th January the 6:42 a packed 5 coach train left Clapham with many people in Victorian costume accompanied with the Kirby Longsdale Brass Band who’s predecessors had performed a century prior at it’s more modest opening.
Above: Looking East then West - The line continues to Tebay via Lowgill Viaduct (Below photo). At Lowgill there were speeches and a wreath laid upon the final loco as well wishers at Ingleton and along this line sang a final rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
Above: View from Lowgill Viaduct looking North.
The videos below are from the same line as described above albeit filmed on two separate date due to the length of this magnificent line.
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I'm fascinated with what surrounds us!
Being out doors is definitely the best form of adventure to us all.