Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway
Windermere Lakeside Station carries no regular passenger service, but this ex-Furness Railway branch comes to life during the summer months. LMS Fowler-designed 2-6-4 tank No.42376 leaves with the 7.18 pm train to Ulverston and Barrow on 1st August, 1953. W.A.Camwell
Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway – Cumbria, England
Terminus – Lakeside
Ulverston to Lakeside Line
Built by Furness Railway – Original gauge 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Preserved operations – Operated by Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway
Stations 3 – Preserved gauge 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Opened 1 June 1869 – Closed 6 September 1965
Opened 2 May 1973
The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway is a heritage railway in Cumbria, England.
The L&HR runs from Haverthwaite at the southern end of the line via Newby Bridge to Lakeside at the southern end of Windermere. Some services are timed to connect with sailings of the diesel excursion vessels or steam vessels on Windermere, sailing from Lakeside to Bowness and Ambleside.
The railway is a former branch line of the Furness Railway (FR) and was opened on 1 June 1869. The line was served by local passenger trains which started their journey at Ulverston on the FR’s mainline from Carnforth to Barrow-in-Furness. The FR branch trains travelled east to the triangular junction at Plumpton and then turned north via Greenodd and on to stations at Haverthwaite, Newby Bridge halt and Lakeside. The FR’s weekdays passenger service in July 1922 comprised eight trains in each direction. There were advertised train-to-boat connections that were established in 1869. During the summer season, excursion trains from Lancashire and elsewhere used the east-to-north side of Plumpton Junction to reach Lakeside, where their passengers joined the boat sailings on the lake.
Closure of the branch and re-opening by L&HR
A group of enthusiasts chaired by Dr Peter Beet formed the Lakeside Railway Estates Company, with the idea of preserving both the line and the former LMS 10(A) shed at Carnforth, to provide a complete steam operating system. However, although backed by then transport minister Barbara Castle, the need to build a number of motorway bridges and re-routing of the A590 road from Haverthwaite via Greenodd to Plumpton Junction, meant that the complete vision was unsuccessful. Beet acquired 10(A) in partnership with Sir William McAlpine, 6th Baronet, which became the visitor attraction Steamtown from 1967. The venture folded as a public access visitor attraction in 1987, but the preserved site was taken over by businessman David Smith to become the base for his West Coast Railway Company.
Resultantly, Austin Maher became chair of the LREC, which then re-opened the truncated 3.5 miles (5.6 km) L&HR as a heritage railway on 2 May 1973. Maher and fellow L&HR director Jim Morris each bought one LMS 2-6-4T Class 4MT, Nos. 42073 (Maher) and 42085 (Morris), which eventually restored as L&HR Nos. 3 and 4 became the lines core steam power units.
The company still hopes one day to possibly extend to Greenodd alongside the widened A590 road if the necessary funds can be raised as land between Haverthwaite and the old site itself still exists and is free from re-development, However a level crossing will be required as part of the possible extension (and could even see another halt halfway along the Greenodd route extension, once finances could allow).