Station Name: CLIFTON & LOWTHER

 

[Source: Nick Catford]


Date opened: 17.12.1846
Location: At the end of a short access road running east from A6
Company on opening: Lancaster & Carlisle Railway
Date closed to passengers: 4.7.1938
Date closed completely: 1.6.1951
Company on closing: London, Midland and Scottish Railway
Present state: Demolished
County: Westmorland
OS Grid Ref: NY540252
Date of visit: 14th September 2007

Notes: The Lancaster & Carlisle Railway opened their line between Lancaster and Oxenholme on 22nd September 1846 and between Oxenholme and Carlisle on 17th December 1846, a number of intermediate stations between Oxenholme and Carlisle were opened with the line, one of these was Clifton between Shap and Penrith.

During the construction period there were several proposals for cross country lines linking to the Lancashire & Carlisle's route into Scotland. In 1846 the Northern Counties Union Railway received authority to build a line from Thirsk on the Great Northern Railway through Hawes and Appleby to a junction with the Lancaster & Carlisle south of Clifton.
The NCU line was never built but on the 8th August 1861 a cross Pennine route was opened by the South Durham & Lancashire Union between Barnard Castle and Tebay on the L & CR while the Eden Valley Railway opened their line for Kirkby Stephen on the SDLU to the Lancaster and Carlisle at Clifton.

The Eden Valley Line opened to mineral traffic on 12th April 1862 and to passengers on June 7th 1862 with a south facing junction with the L & C just north of Clifton Station which became a junction for the cross Pennine route. Almost immediately the Eden Valley Railway was absorbed by the Stockton & Darlington Railway which itself was amalgamated with the North Eastern Railway in July 1863.

Before the Eden Valley line opened it was suggested that a north facing junction would give a direct link between the Durham coalfields and the industrial area of West Cumberland via the Eden Valley line and the Cockermouth & Workington Railway's new line between Workington and the L & C at Penrith.

On July 7 1862, four weeks after the Eden Valley line had opened, an Act for a north facing curve to join the L & C 75 chains north of Clifton was granted. The Stockton & Darlington obtained running powers over the Lancaster & Carlisle from the new junction into Penrith Station.

The Kirkby Stephen - Clifton trains were diverted to Penrith in August 1863 calling at a new Clifton station on the Eden Valley line. Despite the loss of the cross Pennine traffic the original Clifton Station remained open changing its name to Clifton & Lowther on 1st February 1877. The station finally lost its passenger service on 4th July 1938 and its freight service on 1st
June 1951. A private siding was retained at the station after this date but it has subsequently closed.

When Clifton first opened Earl of Lonsdale who lived in the nearby Lowther Castle could stop any train on demand. With the opening of the new Clifton Station in 1863 the Earl was provided with his own private waiting room.

For a more detailed history of the abandoned south facing curve at Clifton see the Cumbria Railways web site.

See also Clifton Moor station on the Eden Valley Line


Clifton & Lowther Station looking north c.1900
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection



Clifton & Lowther Station in May 1966
P
hoto by John Alsop

Down goods train passing through the closed Clifton & Lowther Station in June 1967
Photo by Bernard Mills see Bernard's Fotopic web site

The site of Clifton & Lowther Station looking south in September 2007. The up platform would have been on the far side of the tracks, the down platform would have been behind the photographer.
P
hoto by Nick Catford

Looking south towards the site of Clifton & Lowther Station in September 2007
P
hoto by Nick Catford


 

 

 

[Source: Nick Catford]


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