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Leeds-Settle-Carlisle Railway

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Leeds-Settle-Carlisle Railway

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Leeds-Settle-Carlisle Railway

The rail route that runs from Leeds through Settle to Carlisle is one of the most picturesque that England has to offer. It was no easy task to run a railway through this landscape, mind you. It takes 20 ravine-spanning viaducts and 14 tunnels blasted through the hillside to get you to your destination. Even though this was the last major mainline railway to be built in England, and engineers had all the previous expertise to draw on, this line severely tested their ingenuity. When it opened in 1876, Victorian and Edwardian travellers took it to their hearts, and it is still a journey that tourists make for the love of it.

Spectacular views over the open fells and wooded valleys of the Yorkshire Dales alongside the River Ribble are just one of the draws. The Victorian stations along the line are carefully tended, along with working signal boxes. Occasionally a steam service runs along the tracks. If you should want to get off the train and explore, there is also plenty to see.


Your comments

The Leeds - Settle - Carlisle Railway is, without doubt, the most picturesque railway in the United Kingdom, if not the world. The railway was completed in 1876, built by men who had nothing but muscle power, and the line has survived many closure attempts to grow stronger to this day. When the sun shines on the beautiful towns and cities along the line, as well as the rolling fells in Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales, whilst passing over the impressive viaducts, there is no better sight, no better mode of transport, in our beautiful England.

Martin Cowin

The late Eric Treacy, Lord Bishop of Wakefield, once declared that there are three man-made wonders of (the north of) England: York Minster, Hadrians Wall and the Settle - Carlisle Railway. Usually known simply as the Settle - Calisle Railway (the Leeds bit tends to refer to the passenger train service it carries) is a triumph of Victorian engineering and boldness. It was doomed to closure 25 years ago and public pressure saved it. It is now busier than it has ever been.
Mark Rand

Is there a more evocative sight than a steam engine blasting across the Ribblehead Viaduct?
Dave Hodson

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I nominate the English weather.