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Arlesdale is the valley which the River Arle runs through to the sea. It is also the home of the Arlesdale Railway, running from Arlesburgh at the river's mouth to Arlesdale.


There have been two stations at Arlesdale. The first was located at the northern end of town and was serviced by the Mid Sodor Railway, until the line closed down in 1947. This station was where the main engine and carriage sheds were located. The Arlesdale Railway had planned to use the old station, but its dilapidated state after 20 years of neglect was such that they found it cheaper to build another on a new site. The mine spur was the obvious choice. It passed close to the village and was easily accessible.

The present station, in 1967, had two roads leading to a turntable, and there was only one platform, and a green painted timber shed for the Booking Office and Refreshment Room. This still remains, but another platform was soon added, together with a third road to the turntable, so that engines could run round even if two trains were in occupation.

The mine spur has been slightly diverted, swinging away at the station throat behind the wall on the right of some illustrations. Having crossed the road it regains the old alignment through the fields on its way to the abandoned mine whose spoil heaps are of much interest to the Ballast Consortium.

The railway station is named Arlesdale, but the adjacent hamlet is The Garth, being only one of the several settlements in the Arlesdale district. The Green has become a residential area, but The Garth is still the place where housewives go when there is serious shopping to be done. The Garth has two hotels - 'The Duke', kept by the son of a former Mid Sodor engine driver, and a “mecca” for railway enthusiasts while the Drixon Arms caters for those with other interests.

Outlying farms have intriguing names such as Crinkle Howe, Gummers Ghyll, and Biskey Barrow. These and many others are pleasant objectives for an afternoon’s ramble. Their Farmhouse Teas are famous, and must be tasted to be believed.


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Thomas & Friends