In the Group’s early days there was a wide variety of trains and colours to be seen on the Lakes Line. Here, a ‘Pacer’ train in Tyne and Wear passenger Transport Authority liveries is seen at Burneside. In December 2009 a Lakes Line train travels from Burneside to Kendal The 1986 Windermere station building, as refurbished in 2006
In the Group’s early days there was a wide variety of trains and colours to be seen on the Lakes Line. Here, a ‘Pacer’ train in Tyne and Wear passenger Transport Authority liveries is seen at Burneside.
In December 2009 a Lakes Line train travels from Burneside to Kendal
The 1986 Windermere station building, as refurbished in 2006
Here are some notable achievements of the group;
1984 The Group is formed as the Lakes Line Action Group by local residents and business people, concerned that the line no longer provides a suitable gateway to Kendal, Windermere and the Lake District National Park.
1986 The new station building is ceremonially opened on 17th April by local council leaders Jim Noble of South Lakeland District and Pat Holmes of Windermere Parish. The Group had co-ordinated the raising of £15000 locally for the new building.
1987 The Group stages a celebration ‘Lakes Line 140’ together with British Rail, who then ran the service.
1990 Kendal station’s new shelter is officially opened. The Group’s contribution of £1000 had helped ensure the provision of a substantial shelter in local stone rather than the small ’bus stop’ type planned.
1993 The Group’s AGM is the venue for the announcement of the through trains to and from Manchester Airport, a feature of the service which continues to be very popular.
1997 The Group stages ‘Lakes Line 150’, including special ceremonies at Oxenholme and Windermere on 20th April, the 150th anniversary of the first train to Windermere. Together with local businesses and councils, and North Western Trains, we published a pictorial brochure about the line and its area.
2002 The Group’s title changes to ‘Rail User Group’ to reflect changed priorities; the Line is secure, and today’s priority is the views of users.
2005 The Group responds to the government’s Community Rail initiative by setting in motion the formation of a Community Rail Partnership for the Lakes Line. The Group continues to be one of the active organisations within the CRP.
2010 The Group’s latest survey of passengers travelling on the first Wednesday in July shows an increase of 70% on the 2003 figure. The Lakes Line is listed in the top ten improved usage branch lines in the country.
2011 to 2014 The Group continues its regular surveys, and adds a summer Saturday 'Welcome' programme. We greet passengers on the four busiest trains to Windermere, and offer advice about how to travel on from the station, or how to make the best of a day trip. On the trains from Windermere to Oxenholme, we check passengers know where they will have to change trains to reach their final destination.
Throughout the Group’s existence it has provided floral displays at stations, tidied unstaffed stations, helped publicise the Branch and its services and worked with the train operators to improve these services.
2017 The Group is now registered with Northern as Friends of the Lakes Line, so we can become station adopters.
2018 LLRUG members stewarded all the heritage trains run by West Coast Railways during the period Northern had to abandon its services on the Lakes Line, because of the general timetable meltdown.
2020 Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the Group could not carry out its usual summer surveys and welcome programme. We hope to be back doing these in 2021. In the meantime, work on the plants at our stations has continued as regulations permit.
2021 Work is now allowed on our stations, so volunters have been busy at Oxenholme, Kendal and Burneside. The normal pattern of committee meetings has resumed.
Group members are very involved in 'Project 175' which has worked to celebrate the 175th anniversary of railways in South Cumbria. The Furness Railway opened part of its line in 1846, and the Lancaster and Carlisle and Kendal and Windermere companies jointly opened to Oxenholme (L&C) and from there to Kendal (K&W) in September 1846. The K&W line opened through to Windermere in April 1847.