A MAN who played a prominent role in saving the Settle to Carlisle Line and was instrumental in promoting the future of railways within Cumbria has died suddenly at his Grange-over-Sands home.

Peter W Robinson spent much of his working life with Cumbria County Council, latterly in the planning department. After taking early retirement he became a leading campaigner for the future of railways in Cumbria.

Whilst living in Carlisle in 1965, Mr Robinson was a founder member of the Border Railway Society. In 1976 he was the instigator of the Cumbrian Railways Association, being elected chairman at the inaugural meeting in March that year.

He was later to be voted president of the association and has also acted recently as its archivist and photographic collections manager. Mr Robinson had a keen interest in the railways of Cumbria both in the past and for the future. He was an authority on the Maryport and Carlisle Railway as well as the county’s railways generally.

His interests extended to industrial history in the county, being a founder member of the Cumbria Industrial History Society, a trustee of the Northern Viaducts Trust and an active member of the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society and the LMS Society.

Mr Robinson was keen to promote the future of railways within and through the county. During the 1980s, while working for Cumbria County Council, he played a prominent role in the campaign for the retention of the Settle and Carlisle line. More recently he was a protagonist in West Coast Rail 250, the campaigning group promoting the development of the main line passing through the county.

In recent years Mr Robinson was chairman of Furness Line Community Rail Partnership and was a leading campaigner for the line with strong concerns at the impact of both the electrification of the railways northwest from Manchester and of the upcoming Northern and Transpennine rail re-franchising proposals.

Mr Robinson was a keen photographer and built up a massive collection of railway photographs, with a large proportion taken of the county’s railways both in the days of steam right up to the modern day. He had been a member of the prestigious Railway Photographic Society in steam days and subsequently joined the Railway Camera Club where he was noted for the high standard of his work.

He will be sadly missed by his friends in the railway community, both within the CRA, the wider railway history fraternities and among the campaigners for better rail services across the country.

He is survived by his wife Margaret, daughters Louise and Amanda and their families. The funeral will be at the Function Suite, Cartmel Race Course, on Monday (Aug 18) at 11am. The family has requested no flowers, flowers and the British Heart Foundation and Leukaemia and Lymphoma has been nominated for donations.