We're a Rail User Group and a Support Group. Two major areas of activity:
The next Northern rail franchise. For three years we've been working on this, first of all by talking to politicians and the Department for Transport, then by meeting the bidders for the next franchise which will commence in March 2016. Click here to see the aspirations that we put to them. The DfT published the Invitation to Tender to the bidders on 27th February. If you fancy reading hundreds of pages of detail, click here. It includes a guarantee that the existing Leeds-Carlisle service will continue for the length of the next franchise, plus two extra Sunday services from 2017 and an extra late afternoon departure from Leeds from 2019. Not earth-shattering? We think that at a time when the Government would like to reduce its subsidy for Northern rail services, that's more than we could reasonably have expected. And FoSCL was taking the lead here - no-one else has the Settle-Carlisle Line as their first priority.
As a Support Group, we put an awful lot of effort and of our own money into the preservation and maintenance of the Settle-Carlisle Line's unique heritage. We do around 40,000 hours per annum of voluntary work. At the national average wage this is worth around £500,000 per year to the Train Operating Company. Over the past seven years, we have also invested in excess of £300,000 of our own money into the buildings, station furniture and gardens of the Settle-Carlisle Line. This has gone into projects such as the refurbishment of Appleby, Garsdale and Settle stations, and equally important into restoration and maintenance of Ribblehead Stationmaster's House and the stations leased by the Settle & Carlisle Railway Trust, that's Kirkby Stephen, Ribblehead and Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Our investment has enabled an increasingly profitable holiday let business to be established, an excellent use of FoSCL's money.
Recently installed, see in real time what's happening at Ribblehead and Kirkby Stephen. A great view of the famous viaduct and the railway track leading to it, and Kirkby Stephen station. See for yourself here.
Join us! You'll be helping to support and fund our ongoing work to promote and develop the Settle-Carlisle Line, and to preserve our heritage. Just click here.
FoSCL Railcard: if you're already a member, you can get one. It's the same as a Dales Railcard, for those who live outside the eligible postcode areas. There's usually a really cheap special travel offer in the winter months, and other benefits were recently announced for this summer.
To buy one, first log in (tab at top right of this page). You should log in with your membership number as username and postcode as password. At the top of the Members' Welcome screen you'll see a tab for Buy Dales Railcard.
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!
- 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.