Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line

Leeds-Settle-Carlisle and the national rail network

This is the website of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL), one of several organisations supporting the Settle-Carlisle section of the main line from Leeds to Carlisle.  This is not a heritage railway, but part of the national rail network with its passenger trains operated by Northern Rail.  We do NOT run steam trains, but steam and diesel charters frequently travel along the line, see for details. 

Together with our partner organisations, we support the railway line that runs from Settle Junction in the south to Carlisle in the north, a total of 72 miles (115 km) in length.  The Settle-Carlisle partnership has adopted all ten stations between Settle and Carlisle, tends the station gardens and carries out minor maintenance work.  Three of the stations are leased from Network Rail and have a variety of uses intended to encourage people to visit the area.  For more information on the wide range of activities we undertake to promote and develop the Settle-Carlisle Line, see About Us

Signage at Horton-in-Ribblesdale station with Pen-y-ghent beyond.

News Items

Rail trip with Exclusively Inclusive Group

A group of amazing and vibrant individuals living with autism and learning  differences took a train from Skipton to Kirkby Stephen  Station for a visit to Kirkby Stephen East Heritage Line. We were picked up from the Station in a Classic Coach, visited the Station  Workshop where we saw a wooden snow plough being renovated and had several trips on a diesel hauled train.  We were truly spoilt by the volunteers at the station. The trip supported in collaboration with  Friends of Settle-Carlisle Line, Kirkby Stephen East Station volunteers and Northern Rail.

Cubs visit Settle Station

On Tuesday 9th July we welcomed Settle Cubs to Settle Station for their second of four visits as they worked towards their new badge Platform for Change .

The Cubs were shown the Station Garden by Karl Graves, Station Adopter.  Karl talked about gardening at the station, seasonal planting , how to use gardening  tools and finally made garden labels for the herbs they planted. They also assisted in varnishing a train planter donated by a local Settle resident.

Despite the miserable weather they had a great time.

Settle Primary School visit the Line

Settle Primary School visited Settle  Station and Ribblehead Viaduct on 8th July as part of their end of term activities.

34 children plus teachers and parent helpers visited Settle Signal Box ringing bells and pulling levers, listened to a rail safety talk given by the Fire Public Safety Officer and Community  Police and heard On Train Guide John Anderton talk about Settle Station History.  The children even  created their own heraldic coat of arms.

Armathwaite Signal Box celebration

Free event Armathwaite station 

July 16th 10am to 4pm.

The team at the famous Armathwaite signal box invite you to a day of celebration for it’s 125th anniversary. 

This box is a striking feature to see as you take the spectacular train journey along the LSC line due to its original colours of chrome yellow and sienna brown. Make a visit.  It now holds an eclectic mix of interesting railway artefacts, photos and memorabilia. The friends of the Leeds settle Carlisle line are proud that it remains part of the line's rich heritage.

Talks throughout the day

Platforms for Change

On Tuesday  2nd July Friends  of Settle-Carlisle  Line volunteers welcomed Settle Cubs to the first of four visits as apart of achieving their Platform  for Change Badge and local knowledge/gardening  badge.

Platforms for Change was created recently by the Scouts  Association and Community  Rail Network to raise awareness  and promote local engagement with  Scouting groups and local rail stations. 

Retired Volunteers' Lunch

Celebrating our Former Committee Members


On Thursday 13 June we celebrated a few hundred years’ of volunteering for the Friends. This event had been on the drawing board for several years, and finally we were able to invite 10 former Committee members for a lunch at Herriots Hotel, Skipton.


Former Committee members who attended included Edward Album, Mark Rand, Pat Rand, Margaret Hargreaves, Paul Kampen, Paul Levet, Colin Luckett, Rod Metcalfe, Martin Pearson and Rachel Pearson.


User Group Activities

Train Services

We are continually monitoring Northern Trains's performance in detail:  punctuality, reliability and cancellations.  Every month this information is summarised and distributed to The Friends' board and Northern.  Read more.

The Hellifield Clitheroe line: We have a long-running campaign to reinstate regular passenger services to Manchester along the existing railway line between Hellifield and Clitheroe.  The infrastructure is there, it just requires the will to run passenger trains along it! Read more.

Improvements to the passenger service: the new timetable in May 2018 was the biggest change in 25 years.  There are a few more services and on balance we think it's a step forward.  It could still be improved and we have an ongoing campaign to achieve this. Read more.

Integrated Transport in the Settle-Carlisle corridor: we are strongly supportive of rural bus services which connect with the railway line. There is hardly any funding from either Cumbria County Council or North Yorkshire County Council.  FoSCL has contributed but we can't do it all ourselves.  An excellent and comprehensive paper on integrated transport has been written by John Carey, FoSCL Committee Member.  Read more.

Diary Dates

The Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA)

A small group of volunteers is creating an illustrated guide to the Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA). To find-out more - or to 'virtually explore' this unique and fascinating area - visit

A montage of seven photographs taken within the Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA).