We're now nearly a year on since the Settle-Carlisle Line reopened after the slow-moving but destructive landslide at Eden Brows.  Network Rail spent tens of millions on this and other sites along the line, to the point where we now have a railway that should be fit to withstand whatever the weather can throw at us (give or take the odd closure due to drifting snow!). 

Passengers came flocking back, aided by the publicity about Flying Scotsman reopening the line.  Our trains are now busier than ever and we need improvements to our trains and services to be able to develop our line and the local economy further. Northern Rail are at long last getting some new rolling stock but the Settle-Carlisle Line is not going to see them. We shall continue to be served by the ageing Class 158 Diesel Multiple Units.  That's not the end of the world though, they'll all be refurbished with added features such as wi-fi and information displays.  BUT, Northern Rail please note, we need more than two carriages on the busier trains.  If we don't get this, there's not much we can do to meet our objective of more regular passengers and tourists along the line.

We've been promised a complete revamp of the timetable, the first in 30 years.  No secrets here, a few more train services were in the Department of Transport's spec for the current franchise which FoSCL influenced.  When do we get this new timetable, maybe this year, maybe next, it all depends on availability of rolling stock...  Keep an eye on news items on this web site and the Twitter feed from @foscl.  

In addition to passenger services, freight is once again doing quite well. There is now a lot of quarry traffic from the Arcow Quarry near Horton-in-Ribblesdale which was the first new connection to the line for many years. There is a daily timber train from Kingmoor just north of Carlisle to Chirk in North Wales, a cement train from Horrocksford near Citheroe three times a week and some gypsum traffic to Kirkby Thore.  All this goes some way to making up for the almost total disappearance of coal traffic due to the phasing out of coal-fired power stations.

Diversions?  We did have a few Royal Mail trains diverted over the line at the end of December 2017, a first and a good sign.  However, we are not getting the Virgin Trains diversions that we used to get when the West Coast Main Line is closed.  This is the subject of an active campaign by FoSCL and Travel Watch North West.  We feel that it is unacceptable for Virgin and Trans Pennine passengers to have to transfer to replacement buses at Preston and Carlisle when they could remain on their trains, diverted over the S&C.

We need extra help with the Ribblehead Heritage and Jericho walks in the spring and summer, see http://www.foscl.org.uk/content/ribblehead-heritage-tours.  If you're interested either email ruthevansltd@hotmail.com or phone Neil Simpson 01524 811492.

Webcams: see in real time what's happening at Ribblehead, Horton-in-Ribblesdale and Kirkby Stephen.  A great view of the famous viaduct and the railway track leading to it, and of three of the Settle-Carlisle stations.  See for yourself here.

And finally, want to know more about the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line and what we do?  You can start with About Us...



Last updated by Richard Morris on 06/04/2018
  • Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line |
  • EWS coal train
  • Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line |
  • On Train Guides at Appleby
  • FoSCL Guided Walk, Garsdale
  • Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line |
  • Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line |
  • Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line |