Early Morning Through Trains - timetable announced

We understand that there will be an early morning through train from Carlisle to Leeds and from Leeds to Carlisle weekdays from the start of the new timetable on 23rd May. This has been on FoSCL's wish list for some years.  See below for detailed timetable.
At present there is an early morning train from Leeds to Ribblehead and back, and from Carlisle to Kirkby Stephen and back. The first through trains are 0849 from Leeds arr Carlisle 1134, and 0853 from Carlisle arr Leeds 1136 – not much use if you have a 9 am business meeting or want a day out in York, say!
So the prospect of early morning trains in both directions for the first time since 1994 is good news and FoSCL welcomes this. There are, however, constraints which will mean that neither train will be able to stop at all of the smaller stations. First, for several weeks of the year, Network Rail have engineering possession of Petteril Bridge Junction at the Carlisle end until 6 am. This means that the first train cannot depart before 0558 in order to arrive at Petteril Bridge Junction at 0600½! At the southern end it has to use the same path as the existing early morning train, so with a maximum line speed of 60 mph this timing forces some of the halts to be missed out. It is not yet confirmed which these will be, but those on the way into Leeds and Carlisle served by the present early morning trains will be safeguarded.
Similar pathing constraints mean that the northbound train is scheduled to arrive in Carlisle a few minutes later than at present. Recognising the inconvenience that this will cause to commuters working in Carlisle and Dalston, FoSCL made a strong plea to Northern for the arrival time to be brought forward. Northern are sympathetic but have no room for manoeuvre, at least as far as the May timetable is concerned. Working with Northern, FoSCL are now pursuing two avenues:

  1. An increase in the maximum line speed to 75mph. After expenditure of over £60million in renewing the track, this ought to be feasible. Our contacts in Network Rail tell us that this is being actively considered and may well be implemented as soon as the few remaining Temporary Speed Restrictions southbound have been removed.
  2. Relaxation of engineering possessions earlier than 0600. Again, there is thought to be some flexibility here.

Either of these measures would allow both northbound and southbound trains to stop at every station, and ought to bring forward the arrival time at Carlisle. There is thus the prospect of improvements being included in the December timetable.
So in summary, we wholeheartedly welcome the introduction of early morning through trains and are hopeful that the shortcomings outlined above can be put right in December.
Timetabling information as supplied by Northern Rail:



CARLISLE Dep. 05.58hrs

Armathwaite       06.12

Langwathby        06.23

Appleby              06.38

Kirkby Stephen   06.51

Ribblehead          07.16

Horton                07.22

Settle                 07.30

various stations to Leeds arriving

Leeds                 08.37.


For the present this train will NOT stop at Lazonby, Garsdale & Dent.




Leeds dep.      05.55hrs

Shipley            06.08

Bingley            06.15

Keighley          06.22

Skipton            06.42

Hellifield           06.53

Settle               07.00

Kirkby Stephen 07.43

Appleby            07.55

Langwathby       08.09

Lazonby            08.15

Armathwaite      08.22

Carlisle             08.41


For the present this train will NOT stop at Horton, Ribblehead, Dent & Garsdale.


Last updated by Richard Morris on 10/01/2014