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Arlesdale Green is a station on the Arlesdale Railway, serving the hamlet of The Green. It was formerly part of the closed Mid Sodor Railway.

History

The Railway Series

On leaving Marthwaite the line traverses the belt of woodland for nearly two miles and it was here that, in 1967, the Fat Clergyman got drenched. The Small Controller now takes great care to have all overhanging branches regularly cut back. This is specially important at the passing loop laid in the woods at the approach to Arlesdale Green, which was installed prior to 1976. The loop had to be sited here because there was no room for it at the actual station. The line there is on a narrow site and curves sharply to thread its way between two awkward outcrops.

The Green is one of several settlements in the Arlesdale District, and is the main residential area. The Mid Sodor Railway had no station here at first; Arlesdale, they felt, was near enough and only after repeated urging did they grudgingly lay a patch of gravel on the line-side for a “platform”, and dump on it a nondescript wooden shed to provide an unstaffed Halt. It was so uninviting that few people used it. The "platform" became weed-grown and the hut decrepit.

The story goes that one day a local farmer having attended a sale bought a second hand hen-house. The vendor promised to send it to him by rail on a certain date. The farmer sent a boy to collect it. Whem he arrived at the station, the boy loaded up the only hut he could see. Nobody noticed the mistake till the real henhouse arrived a couple of days late. Stories similar to this have been told in connection with other railways' station buildings but, when on a visit to Sodor around 1987, the Thin Clergyman met "the boy's" own son, then in his seventies, who was able to confirm that the incident had actually happened.

With laughter echoing up and down the valley, the Mid Sodor hastily took steps to restore their image. They built a low platform with a gravelled surface similar to their station platforms elsewhere. They provided a station nameboard, too, and a neat corrugated iron shelter. By the time the Arlesdale Railway took over, however, there was nothing left but the weed-grown platform. The shelter had disappeared, having either disintegrated or become part of a potting shed in somebody's garden. The Railway Company contented themselves at first with re-edging the platform, laying down fresh gravel, and erecting a rustic fence.

Now, however, the station has been given a "face-lift". Mr Fergus Duncan has built himself a house nearby, and improvements to the station reflect its new importance. The platform has been edged with stone slabs, and its gravelled surface replaced by one of asphalt; further, a building of granite off-cuts, similar to that of Ffarquhar Road, now provides shelter for intending passengers. Rambler roses and other climbing plants adorn the fencing, and the station is considered the most attractive on the line.

It was at Arlesdale Green that Willie’s wool sacks came adrift, spread themselves over the track, and gave Rex an embarassing accident.

Trivia

Gallery

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