On 15th December 1846 the inaugural train from Lancaster arrived in Carlisle. Two days later, timetabled passenger services started. These events marked a milestone in the construction of what we now know as the London to Glasgow “West Coast Main Line”. At Carlisle and Penrith, it was now possible to travel to and from the South by rail.

This sixty- nine mile railway from Lancaster to Carlisle, across Shap summit, and the associated stations and viaducts, had taken an incredibly short 30 months to complete.

Last December this milestone was celebrated with the unveiling of plaques and pictorial displays (provided by the Cumbrian Railways Association (CRA)), at Penrith and Carlisle stations.

Instrumental in getting the line built in the 1840’s was the then owner of Dalemain Mansion, Edward Hasell, who was the first Chairman of the Lancaster & Carlisle Railway company riding on the very first trains!

To recognise this association, the CRA and Dalemain Mansion have joined together to mount a photographic exhibition which celebrates the opening of the line and the involvement of Edward Hasell. The exhibition also shows images of the line and stations (from the CRA library) over the years up to the current day. Robert Hasell-McCosh, the current owner of the Dalemain Estate, commented “Dalemain has a long-standing connection with the railways in Cumbria and it means a great deal to our family to partner with the CRA to provide this exhibition. The CRA do outstanding work to promote the history of railways in the county.”

The display is free to visitors to Dalemain Mansion and can be seen as part of the guided tours, which run Sunday to Friday. It will be available until the 31st of August.

CRA Chairman Philip Tuer says: “The CRA is delighted to be able to work together with Dalemain Mansion to help publicise, to an even wider audience, the family link with the building of this important railway and showcase the line’s history over the years”