Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

(See also Boot, Eskdale Green, Ravenglass, Eskdale)

Ravenglass and Eskdale railway station by Nigel ChadwickThe Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is a heritage railway traveling from the coast at Ravenglass through valley scenery to the foot of the mountains in the Lake District National Park. It dates from 1875 when it was used to carry iron ore from the Boot village area to Ravenglass. The next year the train was also used to carry passengers. Unfortunately the train being a three foot gauge one it was not really designed for iron ore haulage and closed in 1913 after many financial struggles.

Eskdale Ravenglass railway Boot by Barbara BallardTwo years later it was used by new owners to test narrow gauge locomotives when the track was changed to a 15 inch one. 1917 saw miniature trains covering the entire length of the line. The train continued in operation, used mainly for carrying granite from a quarry near Beckfoot. This ceased in the 1960s when the line was sold to railroad enthusiasts. Improvements to the rail station and locomotive work was carried out in the 1960s and 70s along with new coaches and locomotives being added. It wasn't until 2007 that the station was opened at Dalegarth.

The trains today run for seven miles. From Ravenglass it goes across Barrow marsh, then stops at Muncaster mill (request stop), then at Irton Rd (by the village of Eskdale Green). From Irton it heads down into the River Esk valley, back up to Fisherground (another request stop), then to Beckfoot wood before reaching its final destination at Dalegarth. Along the way there are views of wildlife, the river, the valleys, and the mountains.River Mite on the turntable at Ravenglass by Nigel Chadwick

There are four steam locomotives in use. Three are named after a local river: the Irt, the Mite, and the Esk. The other is named the Northern Rock. Some of the carriages are covered and some are open.

Ravenglass railway museum by Nigel ChadwickA museum is at the Ravenglass railway station. It tells the history and importance the railroad played in local life using photographs, an AV show, and railway models.

Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
Ravenglass/Dalegarth in western Cumbria
Tel. 0 1229 717 171
Email: steam@ravenglass-railway.co.uk
Open: railway rides year round: check websites as these vary greatly depending on which station you catch the train from, the day and the month of the year.
Ravenglass station: railway museum open: daily, in winter from 9am-4pm; other seasons until 5pm; please call to verify times; car park.
Dalegarth station: shop, eatery, playground, mountain bike hire, and Romans in Eskdale exhibitionSpecial events listed on the website.
Web: Ravenglass Railway

River Irt pulls into Dalegarth station by Nigel ChadwickNote: Please check opening times and dates before visiting in case of changes.

Photos by Barbara Ballard and courtesy of Nigel Chadwick The Geograph Britain and Ireland project

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