CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

The Lines

The Bentham Line (Leeds to Lancaster and Morecambe)




The Bentham Line (Leeds to Lancaster & Morecambe & Heysham Port) often referred to as the ‘Little North Western’ is a gem of a line but it is often eclipsed by its more well known neighbour the Settle Carlisle line. Crossing three rivers the Lune, Wenning and Ribble, the line is very picturesque with excellent views to the Dales, Ingleborough and towards the Forest of Bowland AONB.

At Morecambe stroll along the promenade, with its stunning views across the Morecambe Bay towards the Lake District fells, call in at the Visitor Information Centre located in the former Promenade Railway Station and take in the recently restored Midland Hotel. From Morecambe the line passes through Bare Lane on its way to the historic town of Lancaster. From Lancaster the line reaches Carnforth made famous by the film ‘Brief Encounter’. Spend some time here looking around the excellently restored visitor centre and enjoy refreshments in the café. Carnforth is also the junction for trains to the Furness area and Barrow in Furness.

From Carnforth the line crosses the River Lune before reaching Wennington. From there it is a short distance to the delightful market town of Bentham close to the banks of the Wenning. Bentham is a good centre to explore the area and is only three miles from Ingleton and its famous caves and waterfalls and is very close to the three peaks.

Both Clapham and Giggleswick are on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and are a good starting point for walks. The Community Rail Partnership has produced a guide setting out a selection of walks and this can be downloaded.

From Settle Junction, The Bentham Line shares the route with Settle-Carlisle services, for the journey onto Skipton, Keighley and Leeds.

The Bentham Line Community Rail Partnership (the Leeds-Morecambe CRP) has been awarded accreditation by the Department for Transport.

Accreditation is formal recognition by the Department for Transport that the partnership operates to a high standard and that its objectives and activities are supported by the Government. Further, the Government considers the partnership a good representative of the Bentham Line’s communities.


The Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership (LMCRP) has a management group that meets quarterly. The group consists of officers and representatives from North Yorkshire County Council, Lancashire County Council, Lancaster City Council, Craven District Council, Northern Railways, Network Rail, the Community Rail Network and the British Transport Police. The group also has a representative from each of the following; Lancaster & Skipton Rail Users Group, Aire Valley Rail Users Group, Lancaster, Morecambe & District Rail User Group and the Friends of Bentham Station. LMCRP is a company limited by guarantee and has a board of directors.


The Bentham Line Community Rail Partnership can be contacted by post at its offices:

Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership Co. Ltd.
Bentham Station Buildings
Station Road

By telephoning 015242 98940 or by emailing

The Chairman, Gerald Townson, can be reached by email: or telephone 015242 98940.

The Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership Co. Ltd., registered in England No. 05769394, is a company limited by guarantee with its registered office as above.

The Bentham Line CRP is a member of Co-operatives UK and the Dementia Action Alliance.


The Bentham Line has a separate stand alone website on The Bentham Line a Facebook page on this link The Bentham Line and also a Twitter feed @TheBenthamLine.


The Department for Transport’s accreditation process requires that every community rail partnership (CRP) that has been accredited maintains documents including a Route Prospectus, Terms of Reference, and an annual Action Plan, that is reviewed and amended as appropriate. Each CRP is also asked to produce an Annual Report of its activities. To view the documents for the Leeds-Morecambe CRP (The Bentham Line) click the link. 


Latest News

WoLCRP Quarterly Meeting July 2024

A successful, well attended quarterly meeting of the West of Lancashire Community Rail Partnership. Posted 23.07.24

Find out more

Yorkshire Dales Explorer 27 July 2024

Two guided walks led by the Lancashire Rail Ramblers this week. Posted 22.07.24

Find out more

Biodiversity Along the Bentham Line

Year in Industry student project comes to a successful conclusion on the Bentham Line. Posted 22.07.24

Find out more