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Kirkby Stephen East (KSE) formed a key junction with the routes westwards to Appleby/Penrith and to Tebay and eastwards via Stainmore Summit and Barnard Castle to Darlington.

KSE consisted of essentially an island platform having Waiting Rooms, Booking Hall and Office etc with separate Darlington and Penrith / Tebay platforms both with separate overall roofs (166 ft long). The site also boasted an engine shed with turntable and extensive sidings. At one time, a carriage shed also existed alongside the station. This was subsequently removed in the 1930’s and, in the 1950’s, the roof over the Penrith / Tebay platform was also dismantled.

  Kirkby Stephen East in its heyday (Neil Thexton)

The routes to Penrith/Tebay and Darlington were closed for passenger traffic in 1962. Freight trains from Hartley Quarry (just east of KSE) to Appleby continued until 1975 and the army continued to use the section from Appleby to their depot at Warcop until 1989.

Following closure, KSE was purchased in 1969 and converted into a Bobbin Mill. The platforms were in-filled with rubble and concreted over, the open ends of the twin train sheds blocked off and a new roof erected over the Penrith / Tebay platform. Little maintenance was carried out to either the site or building which rapidly fell into a state of disrepair. Some areas of land not required by the Bobbin Mill were sold off to private individuals. In 1992, the Bobbin Mill went into receivership and the building and site fell derelict.

  Kirkby Stephen East Station in 1935 (HC Casserley)

In 1996, the building and site were purchased by Stainmore Properties Ltd (SPL) for use as the eastern terminus of a proposed preserved railway from Appleby East. In summer 2000, Stainmore Railway Company Ltd (SRC) was formed. SRC volunteers and shareholders have carried out substantial repairs to the building to prevent any further deterioration and have begun the task of developing a Heritage Centre and operational railway. The company has signed a long-term lease with SPL and has been awarded a number of grants to progress the project. The Heritage Centre opened to the general public at Easter 2009 and August 2011 saw passenger trains return to the East station after an absence of almost 50 years.

To contact us:

Dr Sue Jones,
Secretary to SRC,
1 West End,
TS21 2BW

KSE Station, South Rd, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria CA17 4LA


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