The Cumbrian Boat Train
Amongst the motive power and rolling stock at Warcop are two Southern Region Motor Luggage Vans (MLVs) and two 4-CEPs. The MLVs were used in the early days at Warcop (2003 - 2005) on brake van rides from Warcop to the headshunt at Flitholme. When the line heading towards Appleby was back in use from 2006 the MLVs were used on battery power with one of the 4-CEPs on passenger trains from Warcop to the Sandford road bridge, a distance of about one and three quarter miles, sharing duties with DEMU 205009. Due to the deteriorating condition of the batteries this ceased in either 2010 or 2011, the only use on passenger work since then having been a trip to Flitholme for the Branch Line Society and a similar trip for trust members after the 2014 AGM.

In 2017 and 2018 new batteries were procured for the MLVs and it was hoped that they could be returned to passenger use, but electrical problems prevented this from happening. In February 2019 two successful trial runs were made over the extended running line to Southfields (almost two and a quarter miles): these were recorded on video:
Following this a further trial was done to see if the batteries were powerful enough to cope with six return trips on an hourly basis (the regular timetable at Warcop). The test was passed with flying colours and so it was decided to use the MLVs/4-CEP combination in service on Sunday 12th May 2019. 

Following the success of this first running day we ran the train on the third Sunday of each month up to October 2019.

For 2022 the plan is to operate the train on the following days:

Sunday 17th April
Sunday 15th May
Sunday 19th June
Sunday 17th July
Sunday 21st August
Sunday 19th September
Sunday 17th October 

As the MLV/CEP/BEP combination was used on the boat trains to Folkestone we have (very unofficially) named our combination of MLVs 68003 and 68005 and 4-CEP 2315 as The Cumbrian Boat Train, although it has nothing to do with the prodigous amounts of rain which sometimes fall on these parts!

last updated on 2nd April 2022 by Caroline Mitchell