Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line

Leeds-Settle-Carlisle and the national rail network

View here for the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line response to Northern Trains proposals to close Settle and Appleby ticket offices.

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 and diesel charters frequently travel along the line, see 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

Signage at Horton-in-Ribblesdale station with Pen-y-ghent beyond.

News Items

Settle Station Open Day

We are back!  For the first time since 2019!  (Thank you, COVID)
With all your familiar attractions:  Stocking fillers, Christmas cards and gifts, Calendars, Books and much, much more!
Plus Mince pies and sherry or soft drinks, hot drinks too.  All with musical interludes.

If you have been before, you will know what a lovely day this is;  if you are new to our Open Day, we guarantee that you will have an enjoyable time.

Outing to Kirkby Stephen East

A group of people living with Dementia, their carers and volunteers plus On Train Guides from FoSCL took the train to Kirkby Stephen West station on the Settle-Carlisle Line recently and were picked up by classic coach to visit Kirby Stephen East and its heritage line. They were taken on a trip to Merrygill and Podgill viaduct, had a train trip on the line and were given lunch and refreshments at the station - all free!

A big thank you to all volunteers at Kirkby Strphen East Heritage Line.

Dementia Awareness Week

It's Dementia  Awareness week and Settle-Carlisle  Line  along with other local organisations has signed up to become accessible  to people  living with Dementia and supportive of people living with hidden and visible disabilities travelling along the line. To find out more ar Dementia in North Yorkshire  ring 03300578592 Dementia  Forward 

Shop Volunteers Wanted

We are looking for volunteers to work in the shop on Settle station operated by the Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line (FoSCL).
Work as part of a small team working in the shop and selling refreshments,books, railway memorabilia and other items to visitors using the shop. This is a rewarding opportunity to support your local community and work with like-minded volunteers.
No retail experience is necessary and training will be given on how to use the till, credit card machine and stock management.
If you'd like to know more please contact – Ann:

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.

Diversions from the West Coast Main Line: the WCML is all too often blocked between Preston and Carlisle, usually due to a fault with the overhead wires.  Passengers are forced to queue for rail replacement buses, sometimes in the rain.  At Carlisle they clog up the parking area at the front of the station.  For several years now we have been campaigning for Virgin (now Avanti) and Trans-Pennine Express trains to be diverted via Clitheroe and Hellifield and along the Settle-Carlisle Line to Carlisle.  For planned engineering work Virgin used to do this, either using Voyagers, or Pendolinos hauled by their Class 57 Thunderbirds - which of course were sold off.  We have been faced with one excuse after another: basically it's too difficult or too expensive.  We shall continue the campaign...

Integrated Transport in the Settle-Carlisle corridor: we are strongly supportive of rural bus services which connect with the railway line. There is hardly any funding from either Cumbria County Council or North Yorkshire County Council.  FoSCL has contributed but we can't do it all ourselves.  An excellent and comprehensive paper on integrated transport has been written by John Carey, FoSCL Committee Member.  Read more.

Diary Dates

Forthcoming events from the FoSCL diary:

The Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA)

A small group of volunteers is creating an illustrated guide to the Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA). To find-out more - or to 'virtually explore' this unique and fascinating area - visit

    A montage of seven photographs taken within the Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA).