On 11th August 1968 British Rail ran their last steam hauled train which became affectionately known as the ‘Fifteen Guinea Special’. The train ran from Liverpool via Manchester to Carlisle. To commemorate the 45th anniversary since steam disappeared from everyday use a special ‘Fellsman’ will run on Wednesday 7th August. It is expected that this week's excursion will be hauled by two engines - LMS Royal Scot 46115 ‘Scots Guardsman’ & LMS Jubilee 45699 ‘Galatea’ offering a return journey over the spectacular Settle to
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Quarry traffic by rail from the quarries around Horton-in-Ribblesdale has long been one of FoSCL's wishes. There are far too many heavy lorries transporting limestone from these quarries on the surrounding roads and through Settle. Fortunately things are now starting to move. The Yorkshire Dales National Park share our objectives on this and have sent the following reply to one of our members.
"The NP Management Plan contains the following objective:
BUS CHANGES AFTER LITTLE RED BUS CEASES OPERATIONS
The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line now have a Twitter account, follow us @foscl.
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The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line are repeating their popular walking tours around the railway construction site at Ribblehead every Wednesday from now until September, 11th inclusive plus Saturday 17th August. The walks are free of charge.
The latest programme of guided walks for July to 2013 has been published and leaflets giving full details of all the walks are being distributed to stations, tourist information offices, and other outlets etc.
FoSCL's app and audio guides have inspired Scottish National Heritage to produce their own versions for Scotland's most scenic railway lines. They came to us for advice some 18 months ago and we and the DevCo were delighted to help them. They've already covered several of their long distance routes with more to follow.
Click here to see for yourself!
There's an excellent double-page article on our Manchester campaign in Rail issue 721, out this week. Good - and accurate - quotes from Drew Haley, Marion Armstrong and me. All thanks to our good friend Steve Broadbent.
And as a bonus, an excellent photo of the Howe & Co's siding bracket signal being replaced by a new single semaphore signal. Network Rail are donating the old bracket signal to FoSCL.
We heard at the weekend that Scottish Coal has gone into administration.
No railway line has been written about more than the Settle–Carlisle. The story of its construction by an indomitable army of navvies, and subsequent dramas when trains began to use the track, have become legendary. But just how many of these familiar stories are true?
Several Virgin Voyagers have been seen on the Settle-Carlisle Line over the Easter weekend. Unusually, we haven't been able to get detailed timetabling information from our usual sources so haven't been able to notify people in advance. The Virgin web site doesn't say much either.
We think there may be other diversions during April. This could explain why we've often seen light engines travelling up and down the S&C in recent weeks: Virgin drivers refreshing their route knowledge?
Both FoSCL walks planned for Saturday 23 March have reluctantly been cancelled. At the time of writing snow is falling over much of the region and more is forecast during the next 24 hours.
We are not aware of any disruption to train services but for up to date information please visit Northern's web site at http://www.journeycheck.com/northernrail
Ride2stride is a festival of walks, talks and music along the 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.
The BBC spent a day filming on the Settle-Carlisle line last November. The piece was broadcast on the 5th March.
The film showed One Show’s ‘Street Barber’ Michael Douglas in action. The BBC claims that there is nowhere he won’t cut hair – and this claim was put to the test on the moving train and in sub-zero temperatures on Garsdale station platform.
On 27 March 1963, British Railways Board published the report Reshaping Britain’s Railways. It led to the systematic closure of lines and stations, and transformed our railway network. The report was written by the then British Railways Chairman Dr Richard Beeching and the closures became known as the Beeching Axe.
Strategy for the next Northern England franchise and beyond
We and our partners have greatly increased the number of passengers travelling between Settle and Carlisle. With better rolling stock we could further develop passenger traffic. Modest investment in 3-car long-distance trains would show a substantial return.
Engineering work during February and March will mean rail replacement buses will operate on Sundays between various stations. Following discussions between Northern and Dalesbus the buses operating between Ribblehead and Garsdale will stop in Hawes as detailed below.
The latest programme of guided walks for January to June 2013 has been published and leaflets giving full details of all the walks are being distributed to stations, tourist information offices, and other outlets etc.