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 and diesel charters frequently travel along the line, see www.railtourinfo.co.uk 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.
VOLUNTEER ON-TRAIN-GUIDES WANTED
The Settle-Carlisle Railway is a massively popular tourist attraction, especially in summer months. Overcrowding on some trains during 2021 has led train operator Northern to allocate a good deal of extra seating capacity for the line this summer.
To commemorate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 1952 to 2022, FoSCL have specially commissioned a Platinum Jubilee boxed gift set.
The set consists of 1 placemat, 1 mug, and 1 coaster each depicting the steam locomotive Princess Class number, 6201, "Princess Elizabeth", and each set has a dedication from FoSCL to The Queen.
The sets retail at £20 each including postage and packing and details can be found under "Bespoke Giftware" on the FoSCL webshop page.
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.
Forthcoming events from the FoSCL diary:
- Sat 2 Jul, 2022 : 02 July 22 - Horton to Settle via Crummackdale
- Sat 9 Jul, 2022 : 09 July 22 - Appleby to Langwathby
- Sat 16 Jul, 2022 : 16 July 22 - Dent to Ribblehead memorial walk
- Sat 23 Jul, 2022 : 23 July 22 - Garsdale to Kirkby Stephen
- Sat 30 Jul, 2022 : 30 July 22 - Settle Circular via Catrigg Force
- Sun 31 Jul, 2022 : 31 July 22 - Great Shunner Fell: Hawes to Muker
- Sat 6 Aug, 2022 : 06 August 22 - Wild Boar Fell Circular
- Sat 13 Aug, 2022 : 13 August 22 - Kirkby Stephen Circular
- Sat 20 Aug, 2022 : 20 August 22 - Horton to Settle
- Sat 27 Aug, 2022 : 27 August 22 - Long Preston to Settle
- Sat 3 Sep, 2022 : 03 September 22 - Horton to Ribblehead via Hull Pot
- Sun 4 Sep, 2022 : 04 September 22 - Fremington Edge: Reeth Circular
- Sat 10 Sep, 2022 : 10 September 22 - Gargrave Circular along the Aire
- Sat 17 Sep, 2022 : 17 September 22 - Horton to Settle via A Pennine Journey
- Sat 24 Sep, 2022 : 24 September 22 - Appleby Circular via River Eden
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/