CKP Railways plc, the main promoter of a scheme to restore the Keswick – Penrith line as a public transport railway, made a submission to the Department for Transport Restoring Your Railway Fund. An award from this fund enables a scheme promoter to make progress towards developing a business case. The scheme was not among those selected to receive funding.
Keswick to Penrith Railway champion Cedric Martindale has praised four Cumbrian MPs who are backing his reopening of the rail line which was closed in March 1972. Conservative MPs Trudy Harrison (Copeland), Mark Jenkinson (Workington), Neil Hudson (Penrith and The Border) and John Stevenson (Carlisle), assisted by Allerdale Borough Council, have put together a bid based on the work done by Mr Martindale’s CKP Railways plc over more than 20 years to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits from re-connecting Keswick to the national rail network. CKP’s proposal would see an hourly service of modern trains from early morning to late evening seven days a week linking the North Lakes directly to the whole of the northern mainland Britain.
Source: Praise for railway reopening bid », on Keswick Reminder website (March 2020).
Reinstated stations (proposed)
© OpenStreetMap contributors | OpenStreetMap copyright notice | View context map
Map created by Alan Young and used with his permission | Disused Stations website
Penrith | Ordnance Survey map, 1946 | View interactive map
Google satellite image of former Redhills Junction south of Penrith station | View on Google MapsThe trackbed is intact at the Penrith end of the line, and a reconnection with the West Coast Main Line at the former Redhills Junction, opposite the Highways Agency building, seems to be doable.
There is a proposal to reopen the line as a modern railway and a feasibility study has been commissioned by CKP Railways plc to examine the business case. However, Eden District Council appears to be against the reopening plan and are allowing development at Flusco Business Park to straddle the trackbed. A proposal to demolish the Mosedale Viaduct was cancelled by the British Rail Property Board in 1997 because of the plan to reinstate the line. The project to reopen the railway has been dealt some serious blows, including numerous trackbed breaches, lack of funding and the NWRDA [North West Regional Development Agency – no longer in existence, ironically] saying the case was not strong enough compared to other much more urgent projects. During floods in 2015, three bridges were damaged or destroyed. This makes it even more unlikely that the railway will be opened once more. In January 2019, Campaign for Better Transport released a report identifying the line which was listed as Priority 2 for reopening. Priority 2 is for those lines which require further development or a change in circumstances (such as housing developments).
A Brief History Of The Cockermouth Keswick & Penrith Railway, on the Disused Stations website
The Cockermouth – Keswick & Penrith Railway, by Thaddeus Epson, on Disused Railway Stations website (in-depth coverage with maps and photos)
Praise for railway reopening bid », on Keswick Reminder website (March 2020)