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Pictures of Settle Carlisle Railway

in the town of Settle, in the county of North Yorkshire

About Settle Carlisle Railway

This spectacular train journey could easily be the most scenic train trip in the whole of the UK. The route is part of National Rail Network, with scheduled services running daily between Leeds, Settle and Carlisle, taking the traveller on an extraordinary voyage through a constantly changing panorama of breathtaking scenery.

The 72 mile line, opened in 1876, passes through pastoral lowland valleys and The Yorkshire Dales National Park before ascending to the drama of the High Pennines. Leaving the Pennines, the train makes its way towards the lush Eden Valley, and on through a series of small towns and villages until it reaches the Border City of Carlisle.

It is an awesome journey, memorable for the picturesque small village stations it passes, and for impressive architecture. Not least the incredible structure of the 440 yards long Ribblehead Viaduct, which has a span of 24 arches, each reaching to a height of 100 ft. During the time this historic viaduct was constructed over 100 men lost their lives. Once over the viaduct the train enters a tunnel beneath Blea Moor, this is the longest of the tunnels on the line. In all, on this amazing journey, the train descends through 14 tunnels and travels over 17 major viaducts spanning ravines, making the train the perfect place from which to admire views of a rich variance of stunning English countryside.

Ais Gill Summit at 1169 feet above sea level is the highest point of the line, and here, when all you can see is a landscape covered in mist, it gives you an evocative glimpse of what the journey would have been like in the early romantic days of the steam engine. On a fine day, Ais Gill Summit is a fantastic vantage point.

From time to time the line is used by various steam train operators so there is still the opportunity to make the trip in 19th century style.

This is a journey that was relished by Victorian and Edwardian tourists, and we are fortunate indeed that despite attempts at closure, the line remains open for us to enjoy today. Long may this be so.

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