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Dalesrail part cancelled

On Sunday 12th August the DalesRail will be part cancelled!

Passengers from Blackpool to travel on a York service to Blackburn, a bus will take them to Hellifield where a train will be waiting for them, this having run ecs from Skipton.

For the return train, the 17.25 Carlisle to Leeds will be re-timed to leave at 17.48, the path of the DalesRail.

On arrival at Hellifield buses will be waiting to convey passengers in to Lancashire.

FoSCL Christmas Lunch

The 2018 FoSCL Christmas Lunch will take place at the Golden Lion, Settle on Saturday 1st December.  Guest speaker is Edward Album on the subject of the attempt between May 1988 and April 1989 to privatise the line.  

For full details, menu and booking form click on the Events tab on the home page.

Early morning trains now stop at Dent

FoSCL campaigned for the early morning southbound train to stop at the smaller stations along the line when through trains in each direction were introduced in the last franchise.  Eventually Garsdale, Langwathby and Lazonby were added, leaving just Dent without a service until after 10 am!

FoSCL met Northern Rail's timetabling manager and pointed out that there were 4 minutes slack at Ribblehead and that a stop at Dent would only add 1 1/2 minutes.  Nothing happened for a while.  Finally, 5 years later, this train and the northbound one will stop at Dent.

Dent Station up for sale

Dent Station building, right next to the platform of England's highest mainline station, is up for sale.  Present owner Robin Hughes writes:

"After 11 years of thoroughly enjoyable ownership, I am downsizing at Dent by retaining the Snow Huts and selling the Station which comes on to the Market on 1st June.

Dent Station is a fabulous property and restoring it and owning it as a holiday let over many years has been a great pleasure.We've had many lovely guests over the 11 years.

FoSCL Guided Walks Relaunch

Due to the RMT strike the Guided Walks scheduled for Saturday May 26th to relaunch the FOSCL Guided Walks have been cancelled.

The programme will now relaunch on SUNDAY MAY 27th

The  FREE 10 mile Explorer walk starts at Horton Station at 1016 upon the arrival of the 0859 train from Leeds. It will be a Moderate walk through Arcow, Oxenber Wood and Feizor before traversing Giggleswick Scar and descending into Settle for the 1644 train to Leeds. Fine views all the way with moderate climbs and descents and several stiles.


Following the confirmation of the new train timetable and the appointment of new Co-ordinators the popular FoSCL GUIDED WALKS will resume from SATURDAY MAY 26th.

FREE Walks with experienced knowledgeable friendly guides will be offered every Saturday and some Sundays to give the opportunity to explore places around the line on foot. Some walks will use bus links to explore places further afield like Hawes and Swaledale.

Timetable changes on the S&C

From 20th May there will be a much changed timetable on the Settle-Carlisle Line, for the first time in nearly 30 years!  There will be one more train in each direction on weekdays and two more on Sundays.  FoSCL influenced these improvements by lobbying the Department for Transport in advance of the current Northern Rail franchise. 

For details see 

Ride 2 stride 2018

Now a regular annual event, ride2stride is a festival of walks, talks and music along the fabulous Settle-Carlisle railway line.

It's a week long celebration of the wonderful landscape and culture of the western Dales and Eden Valley.

The festival is made up of lots of events and activities and things will be happening along the length of the line. Walks will be led from stations by experienced walk leaders. Speakers will share their local knowledge and love of the area, and the pubs will be buzzing with music and song.

Death of Sir William McAlpine, FoSCL President

We were saddened to hear of the death of Sir William, FoSCL's President for many years.  He regularly visited the Settle-Carlisle, not just as FoSCL President but also as Chairman of the Railway Heritage Trust.  It was he who saved the Flying Scotsman.

His local newspaper, the Henley Standard, wrote: 

"Sir William McAlpine, who lived at the Fawley Hill estate with his widow Lady Judith McAlpine, passed away yesterday (Sunday, March 4) following a period of illness.

Weather records broken at Ribblehead

Records being broken at Ribblehead station where the FoSCL / MyLocalWeather weather station recorded a gust of 61mph at 2205 last evening, 1st March.   The wind direction was 90 degrees - due east.

Also on 1st March was the lowest windchill at -17C

See for the latest data.

The present weather station was set up in January 2009.  It's been recording data ever since then. 

Settle-Carlisle Line was closed by snow, now open again


Thursday 1st March 2018.

The quite dreadful weather conditions ruling over the past few days have finally resulted in services on the Settle- Carlisle Line being suspended until further notice.

With a strong wind now resulting in drifting in the cuttings, the extreme cold creating ( presumably) large icicles in the tunnels and the difficulty experienced by key staff in reaching their place of work, there was no option but to close the railway meantime.

WCML diversions update

The Transport Secretary delegated the task of replying to Travel Watch North West to one of his Rail ministers.  The response was unsatisfactory, showing little understanding of the needs of WCML passengers and repeating what we'd heard ages ago from Virgin Trains.  

New Connections for the S&C?

Steve Broadbent, highly experienced transport writer, has written a superb article in RAIL magazine's issue no 846 on the S&C organisations' aspirations for the future of the Settle-Carlisle Line's services.  In it he concentrates on through services from Leeds to Glasgow via Settle and Carlisle, and direct services to Manchester via Hellifield and Clitheroe.  Our thanks are due to Rail magazine, for this.

FoSCL & TWNW lobby for diversions over the S&C

In conjunction with Travel Watch North West, FoSCL has been running a campaign for Virgin Trains to divert trains along the Settle-Carlisle Line from Carlisle to Preston via Hellifield and Clitheroe, when the West Coast Main Line suffers scheduled or unscheduled closures.  High level meetings have been held with Virgin Trains and politicians, but to date there has been little progress.  This is a great pity, as Virgin used regularly to divert over the S&C when scheduled engineering work closed the WCML between Preston and Carlisle.  Trans Pennine Express have always been