What an exciting day I had with the kids when Flying Scotsman rolled into Carlisle last Sunday.
Carlisle’s Railway Heritage
Carlisle is a historic city, and has been an important settlement from Roman times right through to the modern period. Unfortunately, its historical landmarks are not as well-preserved as those of York or Chester, for example, but signs of the city’s heritage are evident everywhere, not least in the iconic Citadel Railway Station.
Completed in 1848, the Citadel Station was the city’s main station, and was one of three then serving Carlisle, in the heyday of railway travel. The others (at Crown Street and London Road) have long since closed.
At its peak, the station served a total of seven railway companies, and it remains an important interchange to this day, serving the West Coast Mainline as well as branch lines to Newcastle and the North East, Barrow-in-Furness, Southwest Scotland and of course the famous Settle-Carlisle Railway.
Flying Scotsman at Carlisle
Perhaps the best known, and certainly one of the best loved locomotives in the world, Flying Scotsman returned to steam following an extensive restoration in 2016. It has visited Carlisle several times on various steam tours since then. The latest was the Manchester-Carlisle service of 27 November 2021. Only a day after Storm Arwen had battered the North of England, many doubted it would make the journey, but my kids didn’t doubt it for one moment. We managed to capture the magic of its departure on Video (thanks to Benji for the commentary):