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.
Visitors to the Dales may have wondered at the plaques dedicated to the memory of railway navvies in the parish churches of Holy Ascension in Settle and St Leonards in Chapel-le-Dale. They mark the men that died in accidents during the building of the railway between Settle and Dent in 1869 and 1876. These deaths raise intriguing questions about the men who made the ultimate sacrifice during the building of the railway. The number of deaths is an appalling statistic, and every one of them was someone’s son and possibly a husband and father.
PLANS by the Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line (FoSCL)to become a member of Government backed Community Rail have been given the support of Craven District Council.
Members of the council’s Policy Committee were told membership of the Community Rail Partnership could provide access to additional funding and support, as well as formal recognition as a consultative body for the planning and delivery of rail services.
Community Rail is a government-supported programme which enables community involvement in the planning and delivery of rail services in a local area.
A reduced train timetable for essential journeys during lockdown will be introduced on many @northernassist routes from Monday 18th January, see https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/travel/timetables. On weekdays the Settle-Carlisle service will be reduced from 8 trains each way to 4. We're supportive of this, you can't justify any more than 4 trains each way when there are so few people travelling at the moment..
There has been a joint submission from the chairmen of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line, the Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company and the Settle & Carlisle Railway Trust to the Government's "Union Connectivity Review".. Below is the text of the summary..
('the map is based on UK ATOC rail map showing relevant lines).
We've received a message from Giggleswick Railway Circle, together with a great photo of a Class 37 on the Bentham Line:
Who would have thought it? Last year at this time we were looking forward with 20-20 vision to an exciting new year. Hopefully that is all behind us now with vaccines on the way.
May I wish you a very much brighter 2021.
The Railway Circle will be back as soon as it is safe for us all to do so, and I'm looking forward to seeing you then.
An updated timetable came into force from 14th December 2020. We're now back to our normal pre-COVID service. Let's just hope that in the New Year we'll be able to promote rail travel again.
For full details see the attached timetable.
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.
There are no dates in the diary at the moment. Here's a photo to fill the space.
An 'Up' infrastructure train top-and-tailed by a pair of Freightliner class 66 locos approaching Appleby station. Image courtesy of Carsten S. Lundsten.
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/