The Anonymous Widower

Carlisle Station Gets A Makeover

In If Manchester Victoria And Birmingham New Street Were The First Two Courses, Is Carlisle The Third?, I wrote how Carlisle station was going to get a £14.7 million upgrade including a new ETFE roof.

These pictures show the progress.


  • There are two through lines in the station for freight and other trains that don’t stop.
  • The four bay platforms at Carlisle are all electrified to some extent and it wouldn’t be the biggest task to make the station fully-electrified.
  • It looked to me like a lot of the magnificent station building, isn’t being used to its full potential.
  • The welcoming square outside the station needs an upgrade to become a real gateway to Carlisle.

I think that after the makeover, it will be a second very high-class station to mark the border between England and Scotland.

Carlisle could be in a unique position in a few years.

  • It is already the best connected city in the Borderlands.
  • Published plans mean that electric express trains will serve Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Manchester Airport, at least once an hour, with some places getting at least double.
  • As I wrote in Arriva Rail North’s New Trains, new CAF Civity trains will be arriving, in both electric and diesel variants.
  • After the current landslide at Armathwaite  is cleared up on the Settle-Carlisle Line, these new trains will surely be running at least an hourly service to Leeds.
  • The new trains will be providing an improvement in comfort, speed and possibly frequency on the hourly service to Newcastle, on the Tyne Valley Line.
  • The new trains, would surely work their magic on the Cumbrian Coast Line around the Lake District.
  • Scotrail is getting new trains too, and will some be used to provide a better service to Glasgow via Dumfries and Kilmarnock, using the Glasgow South Western Line.

If this doesn’t increase the numbers of tourists taking a rail-based exploration holiday of the Borderlands and the Lake District, I would be extremely surprised.

I’m not the only person, who thinks this way, as in the July 2016 Edition of Modern Railways, Theo Steel discusses options for the increase in traffic on the Settle to Carlisle Line.

In addition, other developments may happen, that will also increase Carlisle’s importance to the Anglo-Scottish  railway system.

  • The events of this winter, where the West Coast Main Line was closed because of bad weather, could see the Glasgow South Western Line improved and electrified to provide a valuable diversion route for train services between England and Glasgow.
  • There could be a need for more Anglo-Scottish freight trains, but the West Coast Main Line is very busy. So will this mean that freight trains will increasingly use  secondary routes like Settle-Carlisle and the Glasgow South Western Line.
  • Carstairs station sits between Carlisle, Edinburgh and Glasgow and I can’t believe that Scotrail won’t use their new trains to improve services through the town. As ever, the improvements in services around Carstairs,  will probably be driven by the need for new housing and commuting to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The big question though, is whether the Borders Railway will ever get to Carlisle. If it does, then Carlisle will be ready with a refurbished and electrified platform, alongside the one currently used for services on the Glasgow South Western Line.

Network Rail seem to deserve a few plaudits for their foresight in preparing Carlisle station for the future.

June 21, 2016 - Posted by | Travel | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] of my reasons for my trip to Carlisle station, that I wrote about in Carlisle Station Gets A Makeover, was to explore the Glasgow South Western Line, which was the only line in the Borderlands, that I […]

    Pingback by Carlisle To Glasgow By The Scenic Route « The Anonymous Widower | June 21, 2016 | Reply

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