Train services return to the Lake District thanks to Tim Farron and West Coast Railways

Tim Farron West Coast Railways
Credit: Tim Farron via Facebook

Today, West Coast Railways, along with Tim Farron, have run the first trains along the Lakes Line in two weeks.

As you may be aware, Northern, the operator of the Lakes Line, cancelled all trains recently in an attempt to fix the disruption and cancellations around their network.

In today’s test runs, West Coast Railways took a Class 37, a Class 57 and a rake of Mk2 carriages and ran them between Oxenholme Lake District and Windermere.

They even ended up having passengers on one of the trains, which is great to see!

West Coast Railways are now in a position to run trains tomorrow if the Department for Transport gives the green light for them to do such thing.

Here is the latest update from Tim Farron via his Facebook Page showing passengers on the train:

Whats next?

As soon as we hear any more news, we will update you.


  1. Can this alteration to West Coast Railways not be made into a permanent contract. ??????? Over to you Mr Grayling.

    • You will in a couple of years’ time when Northern’s local fleet is fully accessible. I like the classic Mk I stock as much as anyone, but it is no good for wheelchair users. Don’t forget in Mk I days they were made to travel in the brake – completely unacceptable in the modern era.

  2. What a fantastic idea. A permanent home to display some classic trains. What a draw that type of attraction would be. We certainly don’t want Northern back.

  3. These incredibly noisy, dirty heritage diesels may be ok for the odd enthusiast day out on the Main Line, but they are TOTALLY unsuitable for a line like this that runs so close to people’s homes.

    This problem needs solving, but this is not an acceptable solution.

    Tim Farron may think this is a vote winner, but it certainly is not with the railway’s neighbours, and we are good constituents too.

  4. Don’t forget also the heritage traction proposed is not suitable for the modern era either. A similar situation exists on the Cumbrian Coast Line, where DRS 37s and Mk II rakes are used permanently to cover for a shortage of Northern units. 37s are getting on for 60 years old and require almost as much warming up as the steam locos they replaced. On a normal morning Barrow residents are treated to their ancient twelve-cylinder engines firing up and running to warm up from around 0330. After a bank holiday weekend it’s around 0030, so essentially running all night prior to the day in service.

    It’s great news a service of sorts is being set up, but really this is not a long-term solution.

  5. Northern are a disgrace by cancelling train services throughout June and into July. I think that West Coast Railways should take over the Windermere “Lakes Line” as their own brand new heritage service. Whilst Northern have cut back services in the North of England.

    Also TransPennine Express could of retained the Windermere “Lakes Line” service to/from Manchester Piccadilly, Preston and Oxenholme Lake District.


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