The statue of Ruswarp in memory of Graham Nuttall

The text was written by Richard Morris in 2010 for the original 'History' page.
The photographs have been added subsequently by Mark Harvey.

The Settle-Carlisle Railway Line is one of the "World's Great Train Journeys", yet it came very near to closure in the 1980s. In response to this potential loss, 32,000 people and one dog (a fare paying passenger) objected. The dog was Ruswarp (pronounced 'Russup'), a Border Collie owned by Graham Nuttall, co-founder of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line. After years of campaigning, the line was reprieved in 1989 and, such is its popularity, its capacity has since been doubled. Trains now run 24 hours a day - a remarkable turn of fortune.

Graham Nuttall (aged 41) and Ruswarp (aged 14) were inseparable companions, and on 20th January 1990 they went walking in the hills. They failed to return. Graham's body was found on 7th April.  His faithful dog Ruswarp had stayed at his master's side for 11 winter weeks. The case attracted nationwide attention. The RSPCA honoured Ruswarp and were inundated with offers to care for him.  He lived just long enough to be at his master's funeral.

A bronze statue of Ruswarp was unveiled in 2009 to mark the 20th anniversary of the line's reprieve, its subsequent success and the loyalty of "man's best friend". Ruswarp sits on the southbound platform at Garsdale station, near to the summit of the line, and looks towards the hills and to a bench on the far platform, dedicated to the memory of Graham Nuttall.  Garsdale was their favourite place.

Three photographs showing the
commemorative statue of Ruswarp
and the associated interpretation panel.

(Click on the photographs to display a larger version.)

The statue of Ruswarp and the nameplate on its pedestalRuswarp's statue looking at the commemorative bench and the hills beyond.The interpretation panel

This post has been assigned to the 'History of FoSCL' section.

Last updated by Mark Harvey on 17/03/2014