Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line

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 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

New Appleby waiting shelter completed

By richard.morris / Thu, 04/07/2019 - 12:08

Our fantastic new heritage style waiting shelter at Appleby is now open for use. Cleverly designed, matches the station buildings. Project management was by FoSCL, it was part funded by The Railway Heritage Trust, Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Co and Northern Rail. Great workmanship by Hopleys builders of Settle, who also built a similar shelter for us at Settle.  

Now passengers will be able to shelter from the rain and cold at times when the ticket office is not open.  Actually it still needs some seats inside, but they won't be long in coming!

Giggleswick Railway Circle

By richard.morris / Thu, 20/06/2019 - 20:07

The organiser says: just a quick note to say thank you to those who came to the shows at Settle Victoria Hall this season, I appreciate your support. I hope you have found the evenings as interesting and entertaining as I have. The 'bring your own' evening last Wednesday I found very enjoyable and I plan to add it again to next year's programme. Thanks to everyone who brought such a varied and creative range of subject matter!

More carriages needed!

By richard.morris / Mon, 03/06/2019 - 18:35

Now and again the Settle-Carlisle trains are overcrowded.  Not unusual on the Northern Rail network and there are various reasons quoted, primarily shortage of rolling stock.  This is partly due to completion of the electrification of the Manchester-Bolton-Preston line being delayed for around two years, with a corresponding delay in the availability of the diesel units which were expected to be freed up by this. 

Watering of Steam Trains

By richard.morris / Sat, 01/06/2019 - 10:20

Appleby has a superbly restored water tower and crane which is regularly used to replenish southbound steam trains.  Northbound, there is more of a problem: Hellifield, where there is a water supply both sides, is a long way from Carlisle and there is a need for watering at Appleby northbound.  So what to do?  Often, a water tanker arrives by road and parks at the north end of the car park.  A long hose can reach to the tender of the locomotive, the train stops for up to half an hour, passengers stretch their legs and buy souvenirs in the FoSCL shop.  Everybody is happy except the tanker dr

Social Media

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.

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

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