Barrow-in-Furness railway station

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Barrow-in-Furness National Rail
Barrow-in-Furness Station, Cumbria.jpg
The station viewed from Abbey Road
Local authorityBarrow-in-Furness
Coordinates54°07′08″N 3°13′34″W / 54.119°N 3.226°W / 54.119; -3.226Coordinates: 54°07′08″N 3°13′34″W / 54.119°N 3.226°W / 54.119; -3.226
Grid referenceSD199699
Station codeBIF
Managed byNorthern
Number of platforms3
DfT categoryD
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 0.631 million
2014/15Increase 0.650 million
2015/16Decrease 0.631 million
2016/17Increase 0.653 million
2017/18Decrease 0.652 million
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Barrow-in-Furness from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Barrow-in-Furness railway station is the largest railway station serving Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, England. It is the western terminus of the Furness Line to Lancaster and the southern terminus of the Cumbrian Coast Line to Carlisle, both of which connect to the West Coast Mainline. It is operated by Northern.


Barrow Central from the south about 1910

The present station was formerly known as Barrow Central and at one time it was a terminus for British Rail long-distance or InterCity services. From October 1947 until May 1983 these included sleeper services to and from London Euston. A sleeper service in the London direction only was briefly reintroduced between May 1987 and May 1990.

The original Barrow station of 1846 had been a wooden building at Rabbit Hill, near the site of the present St. George's Square. It was eventually replaced in 1863 by a new brick building close by, which had been designed by the Lancaster architect Edward Paley, and which latterly came to be known as Cambridge Hall. On 1 June 1882, the town's principal station was transferred to its present site below Abbey Road, following the construction of a new loop line. It had to be almost entirely rebuilt in the late 1950s,[1] after World War II, having largely been destroyed by enemy bombing on 7 May 1941. From 1907–1941, the Furness Railway steam locomotive "Coppernob" was preserved in a special glass case outside the station. It was subsequently transferred away for additional security and is now in the National Railway Museum at York.

In the Railway Series books by the Rev. W Awdry, Barrow Central is the mainland terminus for the Fat Controller's or North Western Railway and is connected to the fictional Island of Sodor by a bridge to Vickerstown or as it is known in the books Vicarstown.


The World War I memorial found inside the station also shows damage from World War II bombing

To the north, services are provided Monday-Saturday by Northern, with services approximately hourly during the day to Whitehaven and Carlisle. One train per day operates to Sellafield specifically for transportation of workers at Sellafield nuclear plant (BNFL). Evening trains run only as far Millom. There are 19 services northbound per weekday with fifteen going to Carlisle, three going to Millom and one to Sellafield. Barrow also receives 20 services from the Northern part of the line, with fifteen trains from Carlisle, three trains from Millom, one train from Maryport and one train from Sellafield. Some of these services continue along the Furness Line to Lancaster and Preston.[2]

To the south, there are stopping services to Lancaster (some go as far as Preston) and a few semi-fast services to Manchester Airport. These operate on a broadly hourly frequency, with a few peak extras throughout the week (including Sundays).[3]

An improved Northern service was introduced at the May 2018 timetable change, including evening & Sunday services over the line to Whitehaven & Carlisle. More trains to/from Preston & Manchester Airport are due to follow when rolling stock becomes available.[4][5]


Platform 1, which contains the entrance to the station, is used primarily for Northern Rail through trains (from Lancaster/Preston to Carlisle) heading north, or services heading to/arriving from Preston & Manchester Airport. The platform contains a waiting area, the ticket office and information office and toilets, along with the cafe (run by Cafexpress), all of which have been recently renovated. In early 2012, the platform was also presented by pieces of artwork of the local area by the Mayor of Barrow and the Barrow and Furness MP.

Platform 2 is mainly used for Northern services heading south to Lancaster or Preston, or local trains arriving from Millom/Sellafield.

Platform 3 is a bay platform that can only be used for north-bound trains to Millom and Carlisle. It is used several times each day.

In between Platforms 2 and 3 is an indoor waiting area, with live departures, a vending machine and speakers. Further up and down the platform are written timetables, then the rest of the buildings contain offices for staff and British Transport Police.

There is a Northern train crew depot at the station and there are a number of sidings to the north used for servicing & stabling empty DMUs and the aforementioned loco-hauled coaching sets operated by D.R.S.

Recent renovations[edit]

The station has recently been renovated, with replacement of most of the old seating and waiting areas, and replacement of the ageing automatic doors within the station. Electronic information signs have been installed, along with improved CCTV after several incidents on the station. Ramps have been provided for access, and this is continuing with provision of better access to Platforms 2 and 3, which previously would have been accessible only via the very end of the platform. The station restaurant is also being upgraded.



  1. ^ Railway Magazine March 1959 pp. 149-157 Dr M J Andrews: The Railways of Barrow
  2. ^ GB eNRT May 2018 Edition, Table 100 (Network Rail)
  3. ^ GB eNRT May 2018 Edition, Table 82 (Network Rail)
  4. ^ Northern Franchise Improvements - DfT Retrieved 25 April 2016
  5. ^ CRUG - August News Copeland Rail Users Group; Retrieved 4 August 2017

External links[edit]

Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
Barrow-in-Furness - Manchester Airport
Furness Line
Cumbrian Coast Line
  Future Services  
Terminus   Northern Connect
Barrow-In-Furness - Manchester Airport
  Historical railways  
Island Road
Line and station closed
  Furness Railway   Roose
Line and station open