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EXCLUSIVE: Lakes Line shuttles prove popular with passengers

Almost 17,000 passengers used the West Coast Railways shuttles on the Lakes Line between Oxenholme and Windermere between June 18 and July 1.

The Government-funded trains were formed of two locomotives and three coaches, and ran on WCR’s charter licence (RAIL 856). They were a response to Northern’s decision to cancel all trains on the route and instead run high-quality coaches on a timetable rail replacement bus service.

WCR Managing Director Pat Marshall told RAIL: “We certainly had the full backing of both Network Rail and ORR operating these services.”
Asked if it was something WCR would do again, perhaps on other routes, she said: “Should the situation arise in the future, of course it is something we would look at.”

In the first week, some 7,780 passengers travelled, while in the second week there were 9,208. The busiest day was Friday June 29, when 1,497 passengers travelled.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron raised an Early Day Motion in the Commons on July 2 to highlight the situation of trains on the Lakes Line.

  • For more on the story, read RAIL 857, out now. 
  • For mroe on the Lakes Line shuttles, and why they were needed, read RAIL 856, available digitally on Android/iPad.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 27/07/2018 19:51

    Hopefully Northern should keep on maintaining the Lakes Line service and to receive the Class 769’s which will enter service next year.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 27/07/2018 19:51

    And perhaps Northern should inherit few more Class 769’s to operate on the Lakes Line.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 29/07/2018 03:11

    I think it should of continued. Until Northern can be trusted to bring back services and to bring in the Class 769's that will operate on the Manchester-Windermere service.

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