Glasgow to Penrith by train

How to travel from Glasgow to the northern part of the Lake District by train

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Routes

From Glasgow Central to Penrith North Lakes

Travel Information

The train service between Glasgow and Penrith is split between trains operated by Avanti West Coast and trains operated by Trans Pennine Express.

Each of these operators doesn't provide an hourly service, so the pattern of departures can be fairly random.
It can vary from two departures per hour, to gaps of more than 90 minutes between trains.
Though TPE (Trans Pennine Express) typically provides the most frequent train service from Glasgow to Penrith.

However, the Avanti West Coast services have the faster journey times; they're typically 15 mins quicker than the TPE (TransPennine Express) services.

Final Destination: London Euston or Birmingham New Street (Avanti West Coast); Manchester Airport (TransPennine Express)

All trains also call at: Carlisle

Usual timetable:
Mon-Fri = 17 x trains per day
Saturday = 15 x trains
Sunday = 11 x trains

Tickets

Choosing a departure

As there are two operators which provide the trains on the Edinburgh to Penrith route, the recommendation is to use the National Rail booking service when looking up this journey.
By doing so you'll have an overview of the ticket times and prices of all departures, no matter which company is operating each departure, and you will also avoid any booking fees.
One company doesn't always offer the cheapest fares on this route, so it's worth making an easy comparison across all departures.

Booking Advance Tickets

If you want to travel at the cheapest possible price, look for the 'Advance tickets', though the three key things worth knowing about booking and using 'Advance' tickets are:
(1) Your ticket(s) will only be valid on the departure you selected when making a booking
(2) A fee will be payable if you want to transfer your ticket(s) to a different departure ahead of your travel date - and you will only be able to choose alternative departures operated by the same company that's providing the service you were originally booked on to.
(3) This type of ticket can't be refunded if you subsequently change your travel plans, or miss the train in circumstances not to do with a connecting train.
(4) If the train you are booked on is delayed, you cannot then just hop on an alternative train operated by a different company.

Reservations

When you book an Advance ticket for a Glasgow to Penrith train journey, you will be automatically assigned a seat(s), but if you book the other types of ticket ahead, you can request a complimentary reservation - more info on this
Tickets can now be booked online up to a couple of hours prior to departure

However, if you buy Off Peak or Anytime tickets just prior to boarding at the station, a seat reservation WON'T be automatically included with your booking.

That's because reservations at stations need to be booked by the end of the previous day for morning departures and around two hours ahead for afternoon/evening departures - so also keep that in mind if you will be using a rail pass, including a Britrail or Eurail pass.

Travelling on Monday - Friday

Tickets are usually available 12 weeks ahead of the travel date.
However, when you look up a journey you may see dates further ahead on the calendar, but you'll be informed that tickets aren't yet available for those dates.

Travelling on Saturday-Sunday

Tickets are usually available 12 weeks ahead of the travel date, but maintenance work on the route is periodically undertaken at weekends and if it is scheduled on your travel date, it can affect when tickets will be released for sale.

If you're looking up a journey less than 12 weeks ahead and tickets aren't available, it can be a good indication that works will be impacting on your travel date.
It can be worth checking this on the National Rail website

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
National Rail *

National Rail Guide

In Great Britain each Train Operating Company provides its own booking service for journeys by its trains, but many of their websites also sell tickets for nationwide journeys, regardless of which company operates the trains on the routes you wish to travel by.

The National Rail website is plugged into all of the train operator's booking services, so when more than one of these companies offers tickets for a route, it in effect offers a price comparison service.
It isn't a ticket agent, so you will be connected to the website of your choice in order to make a booking.

RailEurope *
TPE *

TPE Guide

TPE offers three unconventional means of booking and using tickets for travel by the trains it operates:

  • Advance tickets can be booked online up to 15 mins before departure
  • Seats are assigned on TPE trains when booking up to an hour prior to departure
  • There is no charge for transferring Advance tickets to an alternative departure, on the route originally booked.
Avanti West Coast *

Avanti West Coast Guide

Avanti West Coast only operates long-distance trains so it offers discounted Advance tickets on all of its routes.
It's booking engine doubles up as a 'Best Fare Finder' service, with the aim being to ensure that the cheapest tickets are offered for journeys by its trains, particularly when making return trips.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesMountain views

Good to Know

Connect at Penrith - North Lakes station for buses on to Cockermouth, Keswick and to villages on the shore of Ullswater including Glenridding and Pooley Bridge.

The journey begins with a flourish with a crossing of The River Clyde The journey begins with a flourish with a crossing of The River Clyde
Heading south from Motherwell Heading south from Motherwell
Approaching the Scottish Uplands south of Carstairs Approaching the Scottish Uplands south of Carstairs
Passing through the Scottish Uplands north of Lockerbie Passing through the Scottish Uplands north of Lockerbie
Between Lockerbie and Carlisle Between Lockerbie and Carlisle
Travelling towards Penrith from Carlisle Travelling towards Penrith from Carlisle

For the majority of this journey the train will travel through a majestic landscape.

Once the train has passed Motherwell it leaves the urban areas behind and enters a pastoral landscape, which is a prelude of the delights to come.

South of Carstairs the railway follows a route through the beautiful Southern Uplands.

Before the train has passed through Lockerbie station, the views as the railway climbs and then descends over Beattock summit, are particularly special.

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