Name and dates
Canal Yard (1854-1969)
Opened on the Carlisle and Port Carlisle Railway and Dock.
Opened on the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway.
Originally the canal basin in Carlisle, this became the main goods yard of the North British Railway in Carlisle and an interchange point with the North Eastern Railway.
Smith and Anderson describe the yard wonderfully
The sidings were of various lengths and had strange names like 'Young Kytle' and 'Back and Front Modder'. Unexpected connections added to the general confusion.
The origins of this yard date from the Carlisle Canal
which opened in 1823 from a basin at Cald Coats in Carlisle to Fisher's Cross, promptly renamed Port Carlisle. The canal avoided the need to dredge the River Eden and several miles of the Solway Firth. The canal was across the River Eden to the west of Carlisle itself.
The first railway to Carlisle, the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway
, opened an extension to the canal basin in 1837. Initially this assisted the canal but by the late 1840s (as trunk lines opened) the canal was in financial trouble.
The canal closed 1853, allowing the Carlisle and Port Carlisle Railway
to be opened along a similar and often overlapping route in 1854. Trains ran to Canal [Carlisle]
station, in the south of the former basin site.
The yard was constructed between the later Canal Junction
to the north and Canal [Carlisle]
station to the south where the new and old lines met. Initially the canal's warehouses were reused.
The general layout of the yard was a line up the centre, loops to the west, with Canal Goods [Carlisle]
to the east. There were reversing spurs on either side of the Silloth
route and on the east side of the Waverley Route.
The harbour at Port Carlisle
suffered from silting and the line was extended to Silloth
in 1856. In 1859 the North British Railway
received its Act for the Border Union Railway (North British Railway)
using the Silloth
line to approach Carlisle, minimising the use of the Caledonian Railway
over which running powers were exercised. Its 1860 link from Port Carlisle Branch Junction
to Canal Junction
was used to approach Carlisle Citadel
Canal Goods [Carlisle]
was accessed from the north, serving cattle stages, bonded warehousing and a coal depot.
The southern part of the Waverley Route opened in 1861 to Scotch Dyke
and throughout in 1862. Canal Yard was now very much a cross Border exchange point with the North Eastern Railway
and goods yard in Carlisle for the North British Railway
. Canal [Carlisle]
closed in 1864 with all passenger trains transferred to Carlisle Citadel
The North British were not just looking for an approach to Carlisle but were also interested in the Silloth line as an outlet to the Irish Sea. The company were to operate vessels, including the first PS Waverley [I]
(launched 1864, the name not insignificant and built for the Dublin run), second PS Waverley [II]
(launched 1865 to replace the rather poor first) and PS Carham
(launched 1864, the name being Richard Hodgson
's home and built for the Dumfries
run), from the port. Canal yard allowed traffic to be routed from the Waverley Route
onto the Silloth
line as there was no north to west curve.
Nearby Carlisle Canal Shed
provided motive power for the NB lines.
Carr's Biscuit Factory
was to the east, served by sidings. (Carr's also had a flour mill at Silloth
Carlisle Canal Shed
closed in 1963. The Silloth branch closed to passengers in 1964, cut back to goods to Burgh-by-Sands
with final closure in 1966.
The Waverley Route
shut in 1969 and lines radiating out of Canal Junction
and Canal Yard closed.
TagsSidings yard canal basin
External linksNLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914 NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67 NLS Map NLS Map NLS Map NLS Map