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Carlisle is a major hub in the north west of England, just south of the Scottish border, with five lines meeting here: the WCML between Glasgow and London, the Glasgow and South Western (to Glasgow via Dumfries), the Settle and Carlisle,the Tyne Valley to Newcastle and the Cumbrian coast.
Railway type and traffic
Carlisle is served by five TOCs: ScotRail, First North Western, Virgin Cross Country, Virgin West Coast and Arriva Trains Northern. Three freight companies also run trains through Carlisle: DB Schenker, Freightliner and DRS.
ScotRail: 156s between Carlisle,Dumfries, Kilmarnock and either Glasgow or Stranraer. ScotRail units also run through the Tyne Valley, although these are crewed by ATN drivers and guards. Also the Caledonian Sleeper passes through Carlisle.
First North Western: 156s from Carlisle to Whitehaven and Barrow on Furness round the Cumbria coast.
Virgin Cross Country: One or two trains an hour in each direction with both Voyagers and Super Voyagers.
Virgin West Coast: Two hourly service between London Euston and Glasgow Central, formed of 390s Pendolinos.
Arriva Trains Northern: 142s, 156s and occasional 158s.
DB Schenker: Mostly 66s. There are regular coal trains, engineers or enterprise services during the week. There are quite often a couple of locos stable at the station rather than Kingmoor Yard.
Freightliner: During the day there are MGRs from the Scottish open casts to English power stations. At night there are Freightliners to and from Coatbridge passing through.
DRS: Their depot is few miles away at Kingmoor, and there are a numberof workings through Carlisle station. 20s, 33s and 37s all appear on nuclear flasks, usually in pairs (or more). DRS also have 10 class 66s which are generally used on Malcolm's traffic from Coatbridge and Grangemouth to Daventry.
Link to Real Time Trains
RTT Link Carlisle
This link should be close to the location, but may not be the actual
location so please check the page. This link will take you to what is happening 'around now'. Dates and times can be changed at the top of the page.
Carlisle is a busy, staffed station, and the staff here are friendly. You shouldn't have any problems here after dark.
The station is well sign posted from both the A6 and A7 which enter the city from the south and north respectively.Click here to set up your location for directions to this location Carlisle map co-ordinates
There are a number of both short and long stay car parks around the station.
There is a Big Car park down on the Southbound side of the WCML in Viaduct Street. This car park is free after 18:00. If you put any money into the machine it will not give it back to you or issue you with a ticket.
Lots of train services from stations across England and southern Scotland.Click here to set up your location for directions to this location
The station has two toilets, a pub, cafe, WH Smith and coffee stand. Close by the station there are a number of pubs and takeaways.
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Carlisle general view map
Carlisle close up map
Windows Local Live Link
- image quality may vary
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Railway Gen Group
The best place to photo moving trains is the south end of the station. At the north end, the line is crossed by a bridge which gets in the way a bit of photos taken facing north.
Photos can be taken within the train shed - I find early mornings give a nice light. On the west side of the station, next to the stabling lines, there is a high wall, which tends to block off light the early evening. I find though that you can get good shots at any time of day, as it is quite easy to move around the station and take photos from different angles.
Links to photographs at this location
Ewan's Photos - Carlise
Rail-net - The Pennine Felsman
Northern Railways - Carlisle
General views - All photographs © Ewan Tait unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking north
From platform 3 looking towards platfrom 4.
Fig 2 - Looking North
The opposite view to fig 1, from platform 4 looking towards platform 3.
Fig 3 - Looking north
The arriva loco hauled trains along the Settle to Carlisle line terminate in the bay platfroms.
Fig 4 - Looking north - Photo by Marcus Dawson
Locos and units can aslo be found stabled in sidings on the other side of the station wall. This view was taken from the station car park. There is a very tall fence here so steps are a must.
Fig 5 - Looking south
From the south end of the platforms the WCML splits to the right and the Settle line the left. Trains from Settle often have to cross the lines to reach the west of the station.
Fig 6 - Looking north
Inside the train shed is an overbridge which is covered over. But locomotives often stable in the center roads here.
Fig 7 - Looking south
There is a former mail access road leading out of the station. From this vantage point an elevated angle can be obtained.
Fig 8 - Looking north - Photo by Craig Allen
Continuing up the ramp from the Fig 7 location the opposite side of the bridge affords this view.
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