Leeds-Settle-Carlisle and the national rail network
This is the website of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL), one of several organisations supporting the Settle-Carlisle section of the main line from Leeds to Carlisle. This is not a heritage railway, but part of the national rail network with its passenger trains operated by Northern Rail. We do NOT run steam trains, but steam charters frequently travel along the line, see www.uksteam.info for details.
Together with our partner organisations, we support the railway line that runs from Settle Junction in the south to Carlisle in the north, a total of 72 miles (115 km) in length. The Settle-Carlisle partnership has adopted all ten stations between Settle and Carlisle, tends the station gardens and carries out minor maintenance work. Three of the stations are leased from Network Rail and have a variety of uses intended to encourage people to visit the area. For more information on the wide range of activities we undertake to promote and develop the Settle-Carlisle Line, see About Us.
The RMT has announced that Northern Rail conductors will strike on every Saturday in January. This is likely to mean no Saturday trains at all on the Settle-Carlisle Line and very few replacement buses.
According to the Northern Rail web site, https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/strike , Northern has called on RMT to suspend its damaging strike action and accept an independent ACAS inquiry.
The latest figures from the ORR (Office for Road and Rail) for station footfall, that's the number of people getting on and off trains at a particular station, show that the Settle-Carlisle Line passenger numbers have recovered very well after the line was closed at the northern end for over a year by the Eden Brows landslide. The chart shows a time series from 2005-06 to 2017-18 for Armathwaite which as the nearest station to the landslide was particularly badly affected.
All change! We've been swapped. Leeds trains now depart from Platform 5 at Carlisle and Newcastle trains from Platform 6. Why? According to Virgin station staff it's because passengers from Newcastle had a habit of piling off the train and getting perilously close to the WCML tracks at Platform 4. So, are Yorkshire folk better behaved than Geordies? More likely that with the advent of a half-hourly Carlisle-Newcastle service (yes, half-hourly, what would we give for a regular two-hourly service?!), they'll regularly have two trains at the same platfor
The Jellicoe Express which ran between Euston and Thurso is being commemorated with a plaque. Hawick on the old Waverley Line was a station where the Express called in one direction for coal and water and now is the only location that no longer has trains. The Express was the longest rail journey in Britain which ran during both world wars transporting mail and navy personnel.
Today the site of the station is occupied by the Treviotdale Leisure Centre.
Northern has written to the RMT inviting it to recommence ACAS talks.
Northern spokesperson said: “Northern has invited RMT to talks at ACAS in order to resolve its dispute. We are pleased that RMT has agreed to recommence talks at ACAS with no pre-conditions and we look forward to resolving this long-running dispute. Those talks can build on recent public statements made by Transport for the North and Department for Transport on the customer service and other benefits that will come about with a second person retained on Northern services in the future.
Campaigns and Promotions
The Hellifield Clitheroe line: We have a long-running campaign to reinstate regular passenger services to Manchester along the existing railway line between Hellifield and Clitheroe. The infrastructure is there, it just requires the will to run passenger trains along it! Read more.
Improvements to the passenger service: the new timetable in May 2018 was the biggest change in 25 years. There are a few more services and on balance we think it's a step forward. It could still be improved and we have an ongoing campaign to achieve this. Read more.
Forthcoming events from the FoSCL diary:
- Sun 13 Jan, 2019 : Gargrave to Hellifield: Full Day walk - New date (Not in leaflet) - Walk rescheduled from 12th Jan due to RMT action.
- Sun 20 Jan, 2019 : Long Preston to Settle: Explorer walk - New date (Not in leaflet) - Walk rescheduled from 19th Jan due to RMT action.
- Sat 26 Jan, 2019 : Kirkby Stephen circular via High Dolphinsty: Full Day walk
- Sat 2 Feb, 2019 : Appleby circular via Flakebridge Woods: Full Day walk
- Sat 2 Feb, 2019 : Archives Open Days
- Sat 2 Feb, 2019 : Kirkby Stephen circular via Stainmore Viaducts: Full Day walk
- Sat 9 Feb, 2019 : Settle circular via Jubilee Cave: Full Day walk.
- Sat 16 Feb, 2019 : Garsdale to Hardraw: Full Day walk
- Sat 16 Feb, 2019 : Helwith Bridge circular: Explorer walk
- Sat 23 Feb, 2019 : Settle circular: Explorer walk
The Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA)
A small group of volunteers is creating an illustrated guide to the key railway-related structures and sites within the Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA). To find-out more - or to 'virtually explore' this unique and fascinating area - visit https://scrca.foscl.org.uk/