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This article is about Mid Sodor Railway/Arlesdale Railway station. You may be looking for Maithwaite on the North Western Railway.

Marthwaite is a station and village in the Arle Valley served by the Arlesdale Railway. It was formerly served by the Mid Sodor Railway.

Etymology

Authorities are divided as to the derivation of this place name, all agree that "thwaite", a word of Scandinavian origin, means "a clearing in woodland”, but the first syllable, "Mar", presents difficulties. It has been variously interpreted as referring to Martens which may have lived in these woods, or to Marts or Fairs which may have been held here, in this the mid-point ofthe valley; but in spite of extensive research over many years no historical basis for either of these interpretations has been found. Some authors have concluded that the name, like many others in the Island, is of Gaelic/Scandinavian origin, that "Mar" is a contraction of the Manx word "mooar" (large), and that Marthwaite means "the large clearing in the woods". This fits the topography very well, as this side of the valley is still thickly wooded, apart from the clearing in which the village stands and the broad meadows running down to the river, woodlands extend to Arlesdale Green and beyond.

History

The Railway Series

The village of Marthwaite is a pleasant one inhabited by friendly, hardworking people. Its situation is good, being sheltered on the north by tree-clad hills, and with a southerly aspect across the river. It is well served by public transport, both road and rail, and has deservedly become a popular holiday centre.

The railway station was opened by the Mid Sodor Railway in 1880. The platform and station buildings are on the south side of the line. Today, under Arlesdale Railway management, these buildings remain in service much as they used to be, but in 1972 another platform was built on the north side of the loop. For some considerable time Marthwaite, being the mid-point, was the Arlesdale Railway's only passing place. They extended the loop to increase its capacity and avoid congestion, but did not entirely succeed; for sometimes at the height of the season five trains could be seen at Marthwaite waiting to pass each other. Drastic action was needed, and two further loops were laid in. The first was at Ffarquhar Road, and the second in the woods near Arlesdale Green. The provision of these loops has not only improved time keeping and traffic flow, but has greatly increased line capacity as well.

The Mid Sodor had a spur to a goods loop in the station Yard. From this loop a line swung away northward to a granite quarry. This quarry is a mile and a half from the village, and approached through a belt of trees. The Arlesdale Railway serves this quarry too, and their line to it is laid on the Mid Sodor's old track-bed. The Arlesdale Railway have, however, increased the siding capacity of the Yard to accommodate their bogie hopper wagons which are a great improvement on the small open type of wagon used by the Mid Sodor.

The granite quarry was at a low ebb in 1966, and the Takeover by the Ballast Consortium was hailed with relief by the people of Marthwaite and elsewhere in the valley.

Trivia

  • The station was named after Murthwaite on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway which the Arlesdale Railway is based off, although the station's equivalent is Irton Road Station, which is also from the same railway.

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