Latest Rail News


New loco-hauled services for Cumbrian Coast

Northern Rail has launched nine new daily locomotive-hauled services on the Cumbrian Coast to deliver 80,000 additional seats a year.

The services launched yesterday as part of the timetable change. The new trains have been provided by a partnership deal between the Department for Transport and Northern Rail and will run in addition to the 44 Northern diesel services every day.

Direct Rail Services are supplying two Class 37 locos that will each haul four refurbished Mk 2 carriages. The trains will look completely different to regular Northern stock, featuring both TOC and DfT branding alongside the DRS livery.

Stepping distances between the train and platform edge will be noticeably different at some stations and the carriages feature slam-doors rather than automatic.

The new services will also be too long for some of the platforms they serve and passengers are being advised to pay attention to announcements as to which carriages will be on the platform.

Alex Hynes, Northern Rail’s managing director, said: “The improvements along the Cumbrian Coast do mean changes to a number of services and we appreciate it will take time to get used to them. However the addition of the locomotive trains brings thousands more seats every day, improving journey experiences for our commuting customers and offering more space for visitors to this fantastic region throughout the summer.”

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP added: “A quality rail service is vital to the local economy and tourism industry in Cumbria, which is why we have worked with Northern to bring these much-needed improvements to the region.

“As part of our long-term economic plan, we are transforming rail travel across the north by providing more seats, more services and better journeys for millions of passengers.”

(Image source: DC-1971)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


Mikeb   23/05/2015 at 17:07

Would I be correct in assuming that these trains will run Manchester - Barrow? If not, confirmation would be appreciated.

Nonsuchmike   27/05/2015 at 11:33

Although it is not entirely clear from the text, I infer that the whole of the Cumbrian coast route all around up to Carlisle as well as Barrow will benefit from the increased number and frequency of trains. It is to be hoped that as well as more seats available from Manchester that there will be services from Blackburn, Liverpool, Huddersfield and Leeds as well as maybe Tyneside & Teesside. We wait to see when the eventuality is realised.

Mike Stone   03/06/2015 at 23:03

There are *no* new trains - one existing Maryport-Preston service starts back from Carlisle, otherwise all trains concerned are split/decelerated. The scheme is an expensive nonsense and the hauled stock would be much more sensibly utilised to Newcastle or Leeds. c

Add your comment


Rail industry Focus

View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >