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By Train to St Bees

Live travel arrival/departures - St Bees Railway Station

Stop Press - Sunday Trains from 20th May 2018 & 8 more trains each weekday!


The New timetable can be seen here

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.

As from Sunday 20th May 2018 the train timetable for St Bees will get the biggest single improvement for over 50 years.

On Mondays to Saturdays there will be 30 trains a day with 15 in each direction Barrow-Carlisle, with later last trains. For the first time since 1967 there will be scheduled Sunday trains, and this will not just be a token gesture but will be seven trains north, and nine trains south.

In summary the new services are:
Monday to Friday first train north 07.13, first train south 06.26.; last train north 21.26, last train south 20.28. Services are similar on Saturdays but with some minor timing changes. Apart from later last trains there have been several holes plugged in the schedule, and there are more direct trains to/from Lancaster, so less changes at Barrow. Also, there are much better onward connections to the main network because of the improved local service. This is especially the case for Sunday trains where previously passengers had to get to Whitehaven for one of only four trains, now there are 16 in total from the village.

The timetable is available electronically at New summer 2018 timetable

These improvements are due to the recent franchise award to Northern Railway which said these improvements must be implemented as part of the contract. It also reflects the continual growth in rail passenger traffic.

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 Sunday trains to St Bees from 20th May 2018.

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

National rail enquiries and timetable - The Train Line - Virgin Trains

Community rail cumbria website with video of the line


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.

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.

There are Sunday trains from 20th May 2018, the first for over 40 years.

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. 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.

Main Line luxury on several trains each day

The two locomtive 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

See video of "beach dash" from the south - passing through one of the most spectactular locations for a station - Nethertown


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.


Both platforms have new access humps installed. The old waiting shelters have been replaced with attractive new wooden structures. The platforms usable lengths have been extended to cater for the class 37 locos and their four carriages. There are live display screens on both platforms of train times and latest travel information, plus weather forecast and global news.

For more on Cumbrian Coast rail travel see..

The Cumbrian Coast rail site

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

Arup 2010 report on railway capacity

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