The Settle–Carlisle Line (S&C) is arguably the most scenic railway route in the United Kingdom.
Originally constructed in the 1870s the 116 km (72-mile) rail line connects Leeds to Carlisle. It is widely held to be one of the best constructed and engineered railway lines in England and is rightly considered to be a masterpiece of Victorian engineering that crosses some of the most challenging terrain and environments in the North of England.
It is famous for its stunning route that cuts through the beautiful scenery of the Yorkshire Dales, over the 24 arches of the breathtaking Ribblehead Viaduct, through the Blea Moor tunnel, before scaling the heights of the Ais Gill in the Mallerstang valley.
A Brief History of the Settle–Carlisle Railway:
The Settle Carlisle was originally built by The Midland Railway Company. Construction work began in 1869 and line opened in 1876 for freight trains and then officially opened for passengers in 1876.
Despite being an iconic British railway of historic significance, the Settle to Carlisle line has had a turbulent history – from being a statement to the determination and excellence of Victorian engineers, to its downward spiral into struggles with economic vialbility, and the closure notices eventually issued in 1984 – things have not been easy for the Settle to Carlisle.
Despite these challenges, the character and resilience of the Settle to Carlisle line won through and it thankfully survived British Rail`s attempts to close it in the 1980s, ensuring the survival of this much loved railway (with a huge debt going to the campaign to save the S&C).
Today the S&C line is still thriving and carries a combination of freight traffic and passanger trains. Special arranged package trips focused around the history of the line have also helped to make the line viable again. Tourists and railway enthusiasts come from all over the world to admire it and travel on the Settle-Carlisle Railway.
Learn more about this classic British railway.