And now for the next 25 years...
For the next franchise we would like:
- better rolling stock. We can't develop the tourist market any further until we get better trains and a better timetable.
- a regular direct service to Manchester. This was discontinued over 50 years ago: the tracks are still there and have recently been upgraded for freight.
- modest improvements to the Leeds-Carlisle service
Beyond that we' ve set up a Futures Group to explore how we can develop the potential of England's most scenic railway. We must move on to safeguard and develop the line for the next 25 years. The franchise change is a major opportunity for the UK and for the successful Train Operating Company to exploit our unique situation - a main line of high quality, stunning scenic value and with unused capacity. The present passenger services are inadequate and compare very poorly with similar lines in other countries.
The Department for Transport ran a stakeholder consultation exercise over the summer and we responded at length, http://www.foscl.org.uk/content/foscl-response-dft-consultation, as did many other user groups and interested parties including county councils. But FoSCL actually beat most other stakeholders to it: we got access to the Rail Minister early on, cheekily asked if we could be consulted on the same basis as the counties, and went on to engage in a dialogue with the civil servants responsible for specifying the next franchise. Quite a coup for a voluntary rail user group and we've taken full advantage of this to press for what we want in the next franchise, due to start in March 2016.
Many people thoroughly enjoyed the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the saving of the Settle-Carlisle Line from closure in April 1989. There have been a number of special events over the summer, from walking and music and beer festivals to a wonderful children's concert highlighting the construction and history of the line, with specially composed songs.
On the day, we had a special loco-hauled train from Leeds to Carlisle and back, http://www.foscl.org.uk/content/25th-anniversary-train, a wonderful opportunity to talk to all those guests from the railway industry and government who can influence the next franchise.
Join us! You'll be helping to support and fund our campaign for this and an improved service between Leeds and Carlisle. Just click here.
FoSCL Railcard: if you're already a member, you can get one. (It used to be called a Gold Card). It's the same as a Dales Railcard, for those who live outside the eligible postcode areas.
To buy one, first log in (tab at top right of this page). You must log in with your membership number as username and postcode as password. For technical reasons, nothing else will work. If you still get an Access Denied message, get in touch via the Contact Us form and we'll sort it for you straight away.
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Please note: we have to order each Railcard individually from Northern Rail so it can take a fortnight or so before you receive it. Existing members please order well in advance! Just click here.
- Guided Walks
The SCRCA Project
A small group of FoSCL volunteers is undertaking a project to identify and record all of the historic structures within the Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA). Further details of this project can be found on the SCRCA Project page. A randomly selected structure from the SCRCA Project database is displayed below. To view a larger version of the image and the relevant 'Structure Summary', click on the image or its caption.