The rocks that form the landscape of Settle-Carlisle Railway cover a vast period of
geological time from about 488 million years ago to the present day. They tell a story of the
journey of the region as it has drifted north from close to the south pole to its current
position. This story includes the opening and closing of oceans, the building and erosion of
mountain ranges and the formation and break-up of a vast super-continent. The rocks were
laid down in warm, shallow tropical seas, huge delta systems, arid deserts and beneath
thick ice sheets.
The attached booklet details the main rock types and geological features along the railway’s route
and gives an insight into what it was like when the rocks were deposited. The first few
pages give the geological history of the region and put it into a world wide context, the next
sections cover the geology seen along the railway line from Settle in the south to Carlisle in
the north and on the last pages are explanations of the geological terms and concepts used
in the booklet and a short section on the economic geology of the region.