The Anonymous Widower


When I got to Carlisle it was nearly four and too late to go the long way back to Preston via the Settle and Carlisle Line to Leeds and then the Calder Valley Line.

I think to be fair, if I’d planned the trip better, I could have relied on getting the 16:18 to Leeds and then the 20:05 back to Preston. But the Calder Valley Line is probably best done with the scenery illuminated!

So I decided to have a walk round Carlisle city centre and then get one of the numerous fast trains back to Preston.

The centre is compact with most places you’d want to visit within easy walking distance of the station.

What surprised me was the very big Marks and Spencer, which unlike Preston had plenty of gluten-free food, including sandwiches.  The shop was several times better than Preston. I can now understand why Preston was found to be the most unhealthy High Street in the UK.

April 30, 2015 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

From Sellafield To Carlisle

I continued up the Cumbrian Coast Line to Carlisle taking pictures as I went.

Note that in some of the pictures, you can actually see the Isle of Man. Or I could on the train!

The Cumbrian Coast Line can’t be the easiest line in the country on which to make money, but according to this article on the Northern Rail web site, they are adding extra trains to Sellafield. So at least they’re trying.

Although there are some large employers along the line, surely such a picturesque line should be able to get extra passengers like families and walkers, who might want to spend time in the area. One factor going in their favour is the extra services out of Preston to Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool. These will make it easier to get people to the line, especially if they ran decent trains on the line, with perhaps a trolley.

At least the line is a Community Rail Line and their web site is

April 30, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

From Ravenglass To Sellafield

After lunch, I continued up the Cumbrian Coast Line towards Carlisle and these are pictures I took between Ravenglass and Sellafield stations.

You get good views of the coast and also the Sellafield nuclear facility.

As I get older, I’m getting more and more sceptical the value of nuclear power.

There are so many things that we think are commonplace today, that in fifty years time will be laughed at by our descendants.

Nuclear power could be one of those things that will be no longer used for power generation, except possibly as a last resort.

I’m not worried about safety, but I believe that the expense of generating nuclear power and disposing of the spent fuel, will mean that other simpler and less-worrying for some methods of generating electricity for our needs. I don’t think wind will be promoted as much as it is now, as something better will come along.

We’ll still need plants like Sellafield, as we’ll be keeping some plants running and decommissioning others. This Google Earth image gives an idea of the size of the facility.



I just wonder what Sellafield would be like today, if the River Severn had been barraged around fifty years ago, as was proposed by Sir Frederick Snow.


April 30, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Ravenglass Station And The Ratty Arms

My choice of Ravenglass station for a pit-stop was a good one, as I was able to get a simple baked potato well-filled with tuna mayonnaise at the Ratty Arms.

The one problem was that there was no train information or mobile signal at the station. But in the end it didn’t matter as the train arrived at the appointed time on the time-table.

To get a better feel of Ravenglass station and the area it serves, this is the Google Earth image of the area.

Ravenglass Station

Ravenglass Station

Note how the Cumbrian Coast Line crosses the River Esk on a viaduct and the Ravenglass amd Eskdale Railway, which has a terminus at the station, curves away up the valley.

April 30, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

From Barrow-in-Furness To Ravenglass

After a brief walk around the town I returned to Barrow-in-Furness station and swapped my smart Class 185 train and headed north to Carlisle on the Cumbrian Coast Line in a more basic Class 156 train.

I was hungry so as there was another train an hour behind, I got off at Ravenglass station to search out some lunch.

April 30, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

From Preston To Barrow-In-Furness

I took a morning train direct to Barrow-in-Furness.

It was certainly easier, than the journey one of C’s Liverpool University friends; Liz Cox, used to take between Barrow and Liverpool in the mid-sixties, where she had to change several times, from one terrible diesel multiple unit to another.

Barrow-in-Furness seemed to be a town with little to recommend it. I couldn’t find a decent cafe on my walk around the town and the only thing I saw of note was a marvellous cliché-free statue of Emlyn Hughes, who was born in the town.

April 30, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment