Community Rail Cumbria have launched a permanent outdoor heritage exhibition entitled ‘The Rails Which Circled the World’ that celebrates a time when Workington was a world leader in rail technology.
A large number of heritage boards are displayed in the recesses on the northbound platform and in both waiting rooms, showing the different industries (railway, mining, docks and steelworks) that contributed to the making of these unique rails.
The exhibition highlights the hard shifts in the local mines where both children and adults worked together in extremely challenging conditions; the locations of where ships docked to be loaded for transporting Cumbrian steel rails all over the world; how local women stepped in at the steelworks during the war; and how the innovative Bessemer Convertor helped to light up the night sky for all to see and to enable production to continue 24 hours a day.
Visitors to the railway station can also watch a short film (21 minutes) screened in the waiting rooms on both platforms. The film portrays personal stories of what life was like, including some wonderful West Cumbrian characters who worked with and contributed to Henry Bessemer’s unique process. Full footage of the film can be viewed here.
This is a fantastic opportunity for visitors, school children and locals to drop in and spend a couple of hours learning more about West Cumbria, they can even purchase light refreshments from the station shop that’s run by volunteers from Workington Transport & Heritage Trust.