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 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

Membership update

Membership Renewal Guide:

Hello Friends

Membership subscriptions are due for renewal before 1st March 2024 and can be renewed now. We value your continued support and details of how to renew are outlined below.

The subscriptions for 2024 are as follows:

  • Individual: £20

  • Joint: £25 (two adults at same address)

  • Junior: £1 (Up to 18 years of age)

  • Student: £15 (For ages 18-25)

  • Family: £30 (two adults plus children up to 18 years of age)

Edward Album OBE

We are delighted to report that Edward Album has been awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours list.  He became the Friends' Legal Adviser in 1985 and has served the Settle to Carlisle Line ever since. 

He was instrumental in setting up the Settle to Carlisle Trust which was formed initially to raise funds for the repair of Ribblehead Viaduct, cited by BR as the main reason for closing the Line in 1989. BR costed the repair as £10m : eventually it was repaired at a cost of only £2.5m, raised by the Trust, of which he was the first Chair.

Walkers are Welcome 

Walkers are Welcome is a U.K. wide, community led network of accredited towns whose purpose is to develop and promote walking in areas with something different to offer.  There is a branch in Kirkby Stephen, easily accessible from Kirkby Stephen West station on the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle Line.

See the attached annual report for more information or visit their website

User Group Activities

Train Services

We are continually monitoring Northern Trains's performance in detail:  punctuality, reliability and cancellations.  Every month this information is summarised and distributed to The Friends' board and Northern.  Read more.

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.

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).