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West Coast Main Line diversions

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?


Ride2stride festival: 30 April – 6 May

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.

S&C on BBC One Show

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.

Beeching 50 years on

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.

FoSCL strategy launched

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.


NEW! Settle to Carlisle Way

Rucksack Readers have recently published a brand new book detailing a walk that follows the entire S&C from Settle to Carlisle.


It's written by Vivienne Crow, a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for the outdoors.  Based in north Cumbria, she has written or co-authored more than a dozen guidebooks.  Readers of the Cumberland News will be familiar with her weekly articles on walks in the Lake District and further afield. 


New Sunday train service

We’re delighted that, from December,
there will be an extra Sunday service
in each direction between Leeds and
Carlisle. We’ve long hoped for this as
Sunday trains can be quite busy throughout
the year. The start from Sheffield in the
morning and termination at Nottingham
in the evening is an unexpected bonus
and a small step towards our aspiration
for a through service from Nottingham to


FoSCL meets the Rail Minister

Richard Morris, FoSCL Chairman, and Douglas Hodgins, Chairman of the Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company, were privileged to spend half an hour with Theresa Villiers, Minister of State for Transport, together with John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle.  It's thanks to him and his PA Hannah that we got in to see the Minister at all.


Fellsman steam train programme

The popularity of the “Fellsman” trains running every Wednesday through the summer from Lancaster, Preston, Blackburn, Clitheroe & Long Preston continue unabated for its fourth season with the first eight trains all fully booked and over 440 passengers on each, the remaining two trains on 22nd and 29th August only having a handful of standard class seats remaining with Premier and First Class selling out weeks ago.

S&C to the rescue

Torrential downpours across northern England on Thursday 27th June caused landslides between Lancaster and Carlisle, closing the West Coast Main Line.  The East Coast Main Line was also closed near Berwick.  The only north-south through route remaining open was the Settle-Carlisle Line.