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By Train to St Bees

Live travel arrival/departures - St Bees Railway Station

Class 37 service trains crossing daily at St Bees

St Bees is a mandatory stop on the Cumbrian Coast Line, and since 1849 has been a popular means of travelling to the village. We are served by about 22 passenger trains a day between Preston/Lancaster/Barrow in the south, and Carlisle in the north; giving virtually an hourly service in each direction. The first train arrives at 6.35 and the last departs at 19.34.

There are no advance tickets or bookable seats on the Cumbrian Coast. However there is rarely a full train.

Local trains on the Cumbrian Coast line are run by Northern and times and fares are available on 08547 48 49 50 (national phone line) or see National rail timetable online.

A number of trains on the southern route extend direct through to Preston or Lancaster. There are no Sunday trains to St Bees at the moment, but this may change in summer 2018. In the meantime Whitehaven, just a short taxi ride away, has a Sunday service from Carlisle.

The above times may be subject to change, so for full and up to date information on train times, fares, etc, see...

National rail timetable - The train Line - Virgin trains - UK Public transport

Trans Pennine Express runs trains to Barrow and Carlisle from Manchester and airport and connect with Northern Trains to St Bees.

Help with booking train travel

A rail network map can be seen here:


The normal advance booking horizon is normally 12 weeks. This link will give access to booking horizons:


Example fares for 2108 here Example fares and rover tickets

2018 March news update.

Over the Easter weekend 31 March-2 April west coast lines have buses between Carlisle and Glasgow/Edinburgh and on 1 April also between Carlisle and Lancaster. There are no trains at London Euston on 1 April.

The planned improved timetable for December 2017 has now been put back at least to mid 2018 because of delays in electrification in the Bolton area and elsewhere and subsequent transfer of trains. This would include Sunday services between Whitehaven and Barrow, some earlier and later trains and generally fill almost all the gaps in the current timetable.

The previous date for the withdrawal of loco hauled trains and Pacer units of December 2019 still stands, when we should be served by a fleet of four car refurbished class 156 diesel multiple units.

.. news from Copeland Rail Users Group (CRUG)

Main Line luxury on several trains each day now

The two class 37 trainsets are now running on the Coastal line. Travel in MKIII coaching stock luxury and large guards vans for cycles.

Above - the Cumbrian Coast Railway south of St Bees; surely one of the most scenic coastal stretches of railway in England. This is not an excursion train; mainline coaches are used as part of the day to day rolling stock to meet demand


Rail routes map



1. All Carlisle-St Bees trains are direct.

2. Penrith requires road transport to St. Bees

3. Change at Barrow, Preston or Lancaster for St. Bees from the south.

4. Manchester Airport trains go direct to Barrow or Carlisle via Lancaster. Change at any of these for St Bees. Journey times are about the same by north or south route.

For clarity Settle-Carlisle line not shown

See our rail routes page for overview of changing and through trains

Map Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right

From the North (Glasgow Edinburgh, Newcastle)
West Coast Mainline train to Carlisle, then Cumbrian coast line to St Bees. A few Carlisle trains terminate at Whitehaven, so look at the timetable. Most are direct to St Bees.

From the South
From the South you can travel via Barrow-in-Furness, with some through trains starting from Preston or Lancaster. Otherwise change at Lancaster or Preston for Barrow. There are direct trains from Manchester Airport to Carlisle and Barrow. The fastest West Coast Main Line time (125 mph Pendolino service) is now down to just over 3 hours London-Carlisle. Times from the south vary only by minutes between the Barrow and Carlisle routes.

The most picturesque route is via Barrow, the Lake District Peninsulas and the Western Lakes coastal strip; the journey itself in an experience. The railway crosses the estuaries of southern Lakeland, and there are marvellous views of the Lakeland fells. Near St. Bees the scenery changes and the track is almost running along the beach for the last few miles. There are amazing seascapes from the carriage window as St Bees is approached. See video

There are no trains to St. Bees on Sundays. Trains terminate at Barrow and Whitehaven; Whitehaven is just a 5 mile taxi ride away.

Airport Access
St Bees is about the furthest you can get in England from a civil airport, so train travel from Manchester Airport is an attractive way to travel here after an international flight. On weekdays, the first train departs at 04.00 arr St Bees 08.01, and after 6.00, it is limited only by the local hourly service north and south from Barrow and Carlisle. Trains run direct from Manchester airport to Barrow or Carlisle, run by Trans pennine Express. Average journey time 3.5-4 hours. Manchester airport station in within the airport and is easily accessible by travelator from arrivals at both terminals.

Rail travel from Newcastle airport is via the Newcastle Metro (station at the airport) then Via Newcastle Central station along the Tyne Valley Line to Carlisle, and then to St Bees.

Travel from Glasgow airport requires bus to Glasgow Central station, then south to Carlisle and St Bees.

St Bees Railway Station

(Station Code SBS on national rail online enquiries)

The station is in the centre of the village and just 15 minutes walk from the beach, there are two platforms. It is a manned level crossing with an original mechanical signalbox dating from 1891. This is now a grade 2 listed building, one of the few "Arts and Crafts" signalboxes in UK.

There has been a station since 1849, and many of the Victorian buildings survive. (see History). One is a restaurant.


Recently one platform has had a new access hump installed and the platform extended, and the old waiting shelters have been replaced with attractive new wooden structures. The platforms uable lengths have been extended to cater for the class 37 locos and their four carriages.

More on Cumbrian Coast rail travel

The Cumbrian Coast rail site

Copeland Rail Users Group (CRUG) - useful updates on coast line news.


Now Open! ... the West Cumberland Railway Museum

24 Main Street, St Bees.

This is a private museum, open one week every month.

General enquiries and group bookings outside of normal opening times to; petergrooke@btinternet.com

Click here for the Museum's Facebook page



Railway Crossing with St Bees School in background