Having finished work at 2.30 yesterday, I decided since it was such a nice evening to give Abi her evening walk along the old section of the Waverley Route between Lyneside Station and the erstwhile level crossing at Fauldmoor.
Whilst the route in itself closed in January 1969, the section between Brunthill and Longtown stayed open another 18 months or thereabout for goods traffic until the goods yard at Longtown itself closed. Thereafter the line was very quickly lifted to accommodate the northern end of the M6 and its connection with the newly dialled A74 at Harker.
Many believe that the route itself was sacrificed to save the expense of a bridge over it at this location. Some grainy photos suggest that the hardcore was just bulldozed over the rails themselves with no attempt to remove them being made!
Anyway, back to Lyneside itself, there was a station and level crossing here and although the station closed in the 1930s, goods facilities remained and the stock for the Carlisle to Parkhouse/Harker workmens trains was latterly stabled there during the day then collected in late afternoon for the return journey to Carlisle. These trains served the cluster of RAF depots to the north of Carlisle from the late 1930s until the service was withdrawn as the Waverley closed.
The station building at Lyneside survives as a dwelling and the ground floor of the former signal box stands across from it, fulfilling a new role as a store or perhaps a summer house. The route to Fauldmoor runs north from here along a lengthy straight section, traditionally the fastest section of the route and along this section, Canal depot’s A3s, such as Coronach and Flamingo regularly topped 75 mph here.
Our pace was much more sedate. The route traverses the flood plain of the River Lyne (more on this shortly) and just north of the station is Lyne Viaduct or at least the abutments and piers as although the bridge was dismantled in 1970-71, a wooden structure was later installed as this stretch became part of a national cycle route.
Since closure, this part of the route has been sold and the new owner has removed large parts of the formation, particularly on the up (southbound) line and this is very apparent in parts where the other half of the formation stands a good four feet above the path.
Along the route though, many relics remain including ballast bins and signal runner posts, visible in winter but hidden under dense vegetation at this time of year. One feature on the down (Northbound) line that I noticed was that in some parts there was no sloping embankment at the side. Instead the formation was retained behind a wall constructed from redundant sleepers. It was an unusual arrangement that I’ve not noticed elsewhere and as the river is very close by I suspect it may have been a form of defence against undercutting when the river is (not uncommonly here) in flood.
Eventually we reached Fauldmoor and it was time to turn back but passing the scrapyard that stands in the formation today. It’s largely hidden by vegetation today but some interesting things have been seen there such as grounded rail van bodies and on one occasion what looked like a wing and wheel-well section from a DeHavilland Vampire jet!
Nothing so notable this evening, but I did remember to snap the remnants of the old buffer stop and loading bank at Lyneside on the way back.
Whilst it’s sad that trains no longer run here and never will again, I’m grateful it’s given us a really nice walking cycling route.
A bit of imagination brings the old days back in the mind though when things are quiet here.