The Newcastle & Carlisle Railway
The Newcastle & Carlisle Railway across England's narrowest neck, bounded to the south by the Pennines and to the north by Border country leading to the Southern Uplands, is a fascinating cross-country route once linking numerous branches, often of single track, threading the thinly populated Northern Fells, yet at one and the same time serving in times of emergency as a link in the principal Anglo-Scottish routes. Apart from joining the towns of Newcastle and Carlisle, the line connects the principal East and West Coast trunk routes but has always been linked politically for most of its existence with the East Coast route. When the Kings Cross-Edinburgh main line has been impassable north of Newcastle from flood, wash-out or tunnel collapse the Newcastle & Carlisle line was always available as a stand-by carrying the heaviest and most important East Coast expresses round the obstruction. Yet the Newcastle & Carlisle in past years has played an important role in border transport. Since the 1950s the hard facts of life have brought closure to almost all branches. As long as there is a sensible British Rail network by reasons of geography one cannot envisage a rail-less gap between Newcastle and Carlisle; It would seem illogical, yet no railway like the N&C can be considered really secure even with recent enlightened thinking.
G Whittle in this history of the line and its associated branches traces the story from the late 18th century with plans for an East-West canal to the present day, with the surviving thread between England's two most northerly cities.
Hardback with dust jacket, 208 pages, black & white photographs and more
Condition: Very Good
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Updated: 29 December 2021