The Times has published a letter from Bryan Gray, Chairman of the Settle and Carlisle Railway Trust, praising the work of FoSCL and other volunteers in caring for England's most scenic railway.
"Sir, I agree with Christian Wolmar (“Green light for reopening derelict rail lines”, letter, Nov 30, and news, Nov 29) that the government’s rail strategy fails to recognise the efforts of voluntary groups. The best returns will come from supporting existing railways and those who support them.
The line from Leeds to Carlisle via Settle, for example, provides a third route to Scotland. It is also a diversionary route when there are problems with the east and west-coast routes. It is one of the world’s greatest journeys yet the two old coach trains chug along at no more than 60mph every couple of hours.
We have a unique partnership between the train operator and more than 3,000 Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line as well as several hundred volunteers who lease and maintain remote stations, provide on-train guides and help in many other ways.
Building on these foundations by improving services and working with enthusiastic unpaid volunteers will achieve the best payback.
Chairman, Settle and Carlisle Railway Trust"