Events took place at both Penrith and Carlisle railway stations last week to celebrate the Lancaster to Carlisle Railway Line 175th Anniversary (1846 – 2021). Commemorative plaques were unveiled and can now be seen at the stations to remember this key anniversary.

On 15th December 1846 the inaugural train from Lancaster arrived in Carlisle. Two days later, timetabled passenger services started. These events marked a milestone in the construction of what we now know as the London to Glasgow “West Coast Main Line”. At Carlisle and Penrith, it was now possible to travel to and from the south by rail.

This sixty nine mile railway from Lancaster to Carlisle, across Shap summit, and the associated stations and viaducts, had taken an incredibly short 30 months to complete.

The Cumbrian Railways Association (CRA), Avanti West Coast, Network Rail and the Cumbria Community Rail Partnership joined together to mark this significant event.

CRA Chairman Philip Tuer says: “The CRA and our other partners believe that this milestone of railway construction should be properly recognised and celebrated as a key event for Cumbria, Penrith, Carlisle and the railway network as a whole.”

Mark Green, Station Manager at Avanti West Coast, said: “We’re proud to be playing our part in this important celebration with the railway community and local people. As gateways to the North Lakes and the City of the Lakes, Penrith and Carlisle stations are key destinations on our route, where our iconic Pendolino trains provide a clean, green journey option for visitors to the region.

At Avanti West Coast we want to connect people and places, so we’re excited to highlight the vital role the Lancaster and Carlisle railway has played for the community and transporting visitors over the last 175 years, which remains just as important today.”