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A selection of photographs depicting permanent way maintenance at Parton in 1979.
All photographs courtesy Keith Fidler.
Parton lies between Whitehaven and Workington on the West Cumberland Coast. The railway is built on a shelf just above sea level and in the shadow of an old colliery tip. The ground has a history of being unstable, particularly after periods of prolonged heavy rainfall. The railway runs by the site of the old Micklam brickworks, Harrington No.10 colliery and Lowca tar plant - all now just a memory.
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This is a locality with great historical significance to railway historians. Just a few yards away was the site of the former Lowca Foundry, established in 1763 by Adam Heslop and partners. For over 160 years, steam locomotives in a variety of gauges were built here and exported all over the world. Some of the products of the foundry survive to this day, perhaps the most famous being Talyllyn and Dolgoch, narrow gauge locomotives built by Fletcher, Jennings & Co. and operating on the Talyllyn Railway in the Snowdonia National Park, Wales.
The history of the works was documented by Ian Kyle in the 1974 published book " Steam from Lowca - A History of the Rise and Fall of Locomotive Building at Lowca Foundry 1840 - 1921"
The Parton Project