Penrith and the Railways
Achieving the impossible
Four routes coming into Penrith were built in the 19th century but the most dramatic was the building of the line between Lancaster and Carlisle in the 1830s and 40s. It was a major engineering feat: the Lakeland mountains being seen as an impossible haul for steam engines that could only be expected to manage a gradient of 1 in 100 or 1 in 125. There is nothing an engineer likes better than a challenge however, especially with a bit of competition thrown in: ‘The Race to the North’ as dubbed by British newspapers was between the East and West Coasts, to see who could get a continuous rail journey from London to Glasgow and Edinburgh first.
Shap Summit - a challenge for drivers and firemen
The race is won
The Golden Age of Steam is over
by Cecilia McCabe, Friends of the Ullswater Way Charity No. 1185056