The Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway (2001 Edition)
In The Times of 26th August, 1998 there was a news item headed 'Ministers pledge cash for revival of rail links'. Prominent against the text was a large photograph of Bassenthwaite Lake station, taken in 1959. Holidaymakers and local people are alighting from the two-coach train, the people in , the photograph look happy. The station is well cared for with hedges neatly trimmed and flowers in the borders. The hills, so impressive, make a superb back-drop to the scene. It is idyllic. Yet all is not well even though the people in the picture are smiling, possibly for the camera. The guard seems to look rather more concerned than happy; the railway system in this part of the country was coming under close scrutiny and, ultimately, a threat. In only a little more than a decade after the photograph was taken, the line would be closed. In the accompanying article the writer informed his readers about the recent move by the Government to give one the green light to a string of railway construction projects. Railtrack, it was reported, was supporting proposals that it considered to have a strong commercially viable case. These included a connection from Penrith to Keswick, on the former CK&PR. . .
It is probably true to say that until a few years ago, only a small number of people in their wildest dreams would have countenanced such a possibility. The Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway was something in the past; assigned to history. The story had ended. However, the final decade of the 20th century witnessed a remarkable change in attitudes. As a result the railway, thought of as finished and gone for ever may not be so.
This book gives an account of the planning, building and operating of a railway which fell foul of the draconian measures applied to numerous rural lines in the early 1960s - which led to closure. A railway once considered to be gone forever but which now may well be revived - at least in part. A railway many would argue should never have been closed in the first place, serving as it did of the most strikingly beautiful areas of rural England.
Softback, A5 format, 200 pages, 120 illustrations.
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