Oct 162018

Kirkby Stephen station on the Settle & Carlisle Railway.

Kirkby Stephen railway station serves the town of Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria, England. It is operated by Northern, which provides all passenger train services. It is 41 1⁄2 miles (67 km) south of Carlisle on the Settle-Carlisle Line.

The station was designed by the Midland Railway company architect John Holloway Sanders.

The station is more than 1 1⁄4 miles (2 km) from the town (and over 150 feet (46 m) above it) at Midland Hill and was formerly known as Kirkby Stephen West because of the older Kirkby Stephen or Kirkby Stephen East station in the town, on the North Eastern Railway’s Stainmore and Eden Valley lines. Its remote location was necessitated by the Midland Railway’s desire to keep gradients on the line to no greater than 1 in 100 for fast running. Had it been any closer to the town, the climb up to the summit of the line at Ais Gill would have exceeded this limit considerably. The West station was closed (along with all other stations on the line except Settle and Appleby) in May 1970, but reopened by British Rail in July 1986.

The station is leased by the Settle and Carlisle Railway Trust, which comprehensively restored it in 2009. The main buildings on platform 1 now incorporate a caretaker’s flat, offices, holiday accommodation and the Midland Room, opened in July 2011, which includes a cafe and exhibition of items related to the Settle and Carlisle railway. Platform 2 (northbound) has a stone shelter. The old goods shed to the south is now in private commercial use, goods facilities having been withdrawn here in 1964.

We had planned to travel on the railway on the Saturday of our recent Boys’ Weekend to get us to Horton-in-Ribblesdale for our climb up Ingleborough but there was yet another strike by members of the RMT so there were no trains running then. We went the next day instead.

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