Green Express Railtours rate this railway line from Carnforth to Maryport as the most scenic railway line in England.
For most of the journey the rural railway line clings to the coast.
Maryport & Carlisle Railway:
Many passengers ask why charter trains do not continue to Carlisle and offer an alternative route home via the West Coast,
Tyne Valley, Settle & Carlisle or East Coast routes? Or, indead, a road coach, having seen the beatiful coastal route
along the Cumbrian Coast a journey through the mountains of the Lake District, through Keswick, to pick up the train at Penrith
on the West Coast Main Line?
Unfortunately, the route north from Maryport to Carlisle, was built to a restricted loading guage in Victorian Times
by the old Maryport & Carlisle railway. Currantly the only charter trains allowed over this section of route are Pullman
Cars, a very small fleet, numbering not enough vehhicles to form a full sized train, most are owned by West Coast Railways
of Carnforth. Thus do to this restiction only 1 special trains has operated over the route in the 13 years.
Green Express Railtours, have been campaigning for a number of years to resolve the engineering issue to ease the loading
guage restriction, thus opening up the whole of the Cumbrian Coast line to day or weekend breaks by charter train.
Sadly, the local authorities, and politicians have yet to grasp the huge potential of this rual route, developing 'green
tourism' so hard to achieve in the Lake District where following the savage cutbacks of the railway network in the 1960's,
rationalisation in the 1970's and 80's now hampers travel to the area by train.
If the loading guage issues are resolved, there would be charter trains running every weeek of the year, round the coast.
Providing Scenic circuits of the contrasting scenery the North has to offer, incorporating routes over the West Coast, East
Coast, Tyne Valley and Settle & Carlisle Lines.
Ravenglass: For 130 years steam trains have travelled through Eskdale's unrivaled scenery towards Dalegarth and the foot
of Scafell - England's highest mountain.
In 2007, the Raveglass & Eskdale Railway are continuing that tradition - every month of the year
- for pure pleasure
- for that special family time
- for walkers to ramble
- for country lovers to delight in
Start at Ravenglass with home-baking at Jan's Cafe, 'The Ratty Arms' for liquid refreshment, plus the main ticket office
and great little shop. The Ravenglass Railway or 'La-al Ratty' as it's affectionately known have kindly offered a generous
discount for Green Express Railtour passengers booking on their service in advance.
A journey on the line (7 miles each way) takes 40 minutes in each direction. The train is formed of fresh air open top,
open sided, or cosy-covered ones heated in winter.
The line runs to Dalegarth and the new visitor centre: home to Fellbites Cafe - Cumbrian flavours with flair, the Scafell
Gift Shop - for anything from a leather handbag to fine-bone china.
Visit their website www.ravenglass-railway.co.uk and travel their little trains into the hills, a special discount is offered to Green Express Railtours passengers (if
you book in advance)
Elegant rooms, historic furnishings, superb works of art, yet still a lived in home. The audio tour, narrated by the Pennington
family (whose ancestors have been at Muncaster for 8 centuries) enlivens the castle, bringing the past to the present.)
Muncaster Castle have kindly offered to run a special shuttle bus for Green Express Railtours passengers, (especially
the elderly) This will travel at regular intervals the mile from Ravenglass central village car park to Muncaster. Running from
the time the train arrives until 4.15pm. The car park is near the station, behind the 'Ratty Arms' Pub
Special reduced rate has also been kindly offered to Green Express Passengers on Muncaster Castle, Gardens and Own Centre
admission, (also a special rate for just admission to the gardens and the Owl Centre.)
The 1 hour ticket!
With 5 hours offered by Network Rail at Ravenglass for this tour a 'timed ticket' which gives accrss to the gardens and
owl centre for 1 hour for the energetic!
Plants from all over the world, especially flowering shrubs from the Sino-Himalayan region, nestle in the wild splendour
of over 70 acres of Gardens wih the dramatic backdrop of the glorious Lakeland Fells. Many rare and unusual trees and plants
flourish here. Whatever the time of year, there's always something in flower. Spectacular rhododendron, camellia and azalea
collections set against the dramatic backdrop of the Lake District Fells. Ruskin called it the 'Gateway
World Owl Centre:
Based at Muncaster, The Owl Centre (HQ of the World Owl Trust) cares for one of the finest and largest owl collections
in the world with over 45 species from tiny Pygmy Owl to the huge European Eagle Owl. www.owls.org