Sunday 22 May saw a group of Northern stakeholders descend on Settle for a very informative day out. Stakeholder days are organised by Northern as a way of saying thank you to various groups and individuals who make a real difference to the railway and the communities they live in. FoSCL volunteers led a number of activities including a town trail round Settle, an opportunity to visit the Museum of North Craven Life and a tour of the Settle water tower which is currently being converted into a house by ex FoSCL chairman Mark Rand and his wife Pa
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Kirkby Stephen, half way between Settle and Carlisle, is a wonderful place to visit! Two new developments have transformed the station and the area.
First, Rachel Griffiths, tenant jointly with husband Andrew of Kirkby Stephen West station, has opened a tearoom at the station:
Here she's seen with a selection of the delicious cakes that we can recommend from personal experience!
Carlisle Station improvements to the waiting area in front of Platforms 5 & 6 are now finished, though still surrounded by barriers. Today, Tuesday 22nd March, I managed to poke my camera through the gaps between the barriers and take the shots below. At long last, we have a fitting gateway to England's most scenic railway. Thank you Network Rail (with a contribution from FoSCL!).
Eagle eyed visitors to the FoSCL web site will have noticed a number of new photos on the home page including an atmospheric 'appearance' of a Virgin Voyager at Garsdale. These images have been taken by Carsten Lundsten, one of FoSCL's many overseas members, who lives in Denmark. Carsten has so far made 3 trips to the Settle to Carlisle Line and many more of his photos can be seen on his own web site (http://www.lundsten.dk/).
We are very grateful to Carsten for allowing us to use his photographs on the web site.
We understand that there will be an early morning through train from Carlisle to Leeds and from Leeds to Carlisle weekdays from the start of the new timetable on 23rd May. This has been on FoSCL's wish list for some years. See below for detailed timetable.
Many of the stations which had been closed by BR in the 1970s were reopened to passengers on 14th July 1986.
The improvements to the area in front of platforms 5 & 6 are taking shape. The "gateway" to the Settle-Carlisle Line and the Hadrian's Wall Line has been erected, see the photo below taken on Monday, 31st January. There has been some criticism of the colour scheme for the banner, but that was most definitely not of our choosing; it was the decision of the Conservation Officer, Carlisle Station being a listed building. It does actually look better than it appears in the photo.
Work has started on creating the second and final section of an all weather footpath for pedestrians and cyclists, linking Kirkby Stephen town centre with the station on the popular Settle-Carlisle railway.
The work, funded by Cumbria County Council, started last year when phase 1 involved creating a footpath along the busy A685 over the former Stainmore Railway to Victoria Park. The current project involves creating a path from the station approach road through fields to Halfpenny House where it joins the lane from Wharton Hall.
The next programme of FoSCL guided walks (January to June 2011) has been finalised and printed. Copies of the leaflet are being distributed to stations, tourist information offices, libraries and other outlets that publicise FoSCL activities. In addition the full programme is available as a searchable list on the web site where it is also possible to download and print a copy.
For enquiries about any guided walks please email firstname.lastname@example.org
On 9th December John Johnson, FoSCL committee member, married Tracey Rawson. For the full story see the Settle-Carlisle website news item. FoSCL has commissioned a commemorative plaque which will be installed in Armathwaite signal box, now lovingly maintained by the newly-weds after FoSCL volunteers restored it in the early 1990s.
See a photo of the plaque below; also three very fine pictures of the happy couple by Mark Rand.
FoSCL Members' Area including interactive Forum is now up and running. You can also look at Committee Meeting Minutes (if you really want to know in detail what your committee has been discussing!), Annual Accounts and the Constitution.
Network Rail is building a nationwide Railway Communications System, see www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/6386.aspx for full details.
They will be holding a 'drop-in' session on Thursday 2nd December between 3pm and 7pm at the Station Inn, Ribblehead. Members of the NwR project team will be there to answer questions about their plan for the Settle-Carlisle Line in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The next AGM of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line will take place in the Victoria Hall, Settle on Saturday 16th April 2011. The keen-eyed among our members may have noticed that the date was wrongly given in the November magazine as Easter Saturday! This was one of those rare occasions where an error slipped past Secretary, Magazine Editor and the proof readers. Sorry for misleading you, but we're all human!
Same place as last time, namely Kirkby Stephen West station. This time a Focus DIY artic was comprehensively scalped. The bridge seems to have emerged unscathed.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Griffiths, ImageRail.
Carlisle Station Manager Stuart Davison and three of his colleagues are planning to spend the night of 30th October in the Undercroft beneath Carlisle Station in order to raise money for charity. To sponsor them, or just to learn more about the spooky goings-on in the station, see The Undercroft web site.
The Department for Transport is seeking responses currently to its consultation document called Reforming Rail Franchising. See the DfT web site for details and to download a copy of the document.
FoSCL is producing an official response which will be ready by 30th September. The submission of the final version to the DfT will by 15th October to meet their deadline.
An Argos van hit the bridge at Kirkby Stephen West station on 26th August. Below is an eye witness account from David Singleton, FoSCL's Guided Walks Coordinator.
We have received an update from Network Rail on planned infrastructure work at two stations on the S&C..
There has been a record turnout so far this year for the archaeology summer tour programme of the Ribblehead Viaduct and Blea Moor Tunnel area, run by the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line. Everyone is welcome on these free walks, and they provide a fascinating insight into how the engineers and navvies won their hard-fought battle against the elements to build the rail line at this bleak and dramatic location.