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.
Our 2021 Christmas Card from a painting by Malcolm Root showing a double headed steam train on the down line at Blea Moor. The cards are available singly or in a pack of four and include envelopes and are safely shrink wrapped to protect them. Visit https://shop.foscl.org.uk/christmas-cards.html to purchase.
Full timetable with more!
We're delighted that this summer sees the full return of the Northern train service timetable, plus the return of the Sunday Dalesrail service from Lancashire, and - an even bigger plus - scheduled Staycation Express trains daily, one to Appleby and one through to Carlisle.
Do you fancy getting out and about around our beautiful county this spring? Yorkshire Cancer Research and Welcome to Yorkshire have teamed up to bring you ‘Tour de Walkshire’.
The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line new Appleby running in board project was completed on 21st April, the signs were created by Ged Pinder in FoSCL's Settle workshop, were painted by Cliff Johnson and were funded by FoSCL along with the posts. Northern Trains funded the digging and concreting of the posts and mounting of the boards. Now all that’s left to do is to place plant tubs directly underneath the centre of the signs to prevent people from walking underneath and bumping their heads.
From 8th March, there is an extra bus service to coincide with the schools going back, 1600 from Skipton to Ribblehead. Not ideal, but better than nothing. FoSCL has a better emergency timetable which would have provided a train instead of a bus, but the rail industry is very inflexible and can't put in any improvements till mid-May, when it is hoped that the full timetable can be restored.
All FoSCL members should, by now, have received their February journal together with the 2021 AGM document. It has come to our notice that several members are still awaiting their journal. We have checked and the database used was correct and journals were posted to all members on that database. The problem seems to be with the postal system. If you have not received your journal, or know of another member/s who has/have not, could you please let us know and a replacement will be posted out ASAP.
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/