Saturday 11 June 2011

Unsettling Sunday Saunter to Settle [1]

  Congratulations, Sir Brian Souter!  
  and, back to our blog

But it should be simple, surely?

An acquaintance who profoundly mistrusts on-line information sources (he's been reading too many fbb blogs!) has asked about trains on the Settle and Carlisle line on a Sunday.  His ferroequinophobia is particularly bad on Sundays, with good reason.

Before replying in detail, fbb revises his knowledge of "Dalesrail".
For at least 30 years trains have run, on a Summer Sunday, from Lancashire via Clitheroe and on to Carlisle. The helpful Dalesrail leaflet has a map:-
You can view the whole leaflet by clicking here

The trains link in with organised walks and bus or coach connections to places "off-piste".
The 2011 leaflet shows two trains, here the southbound trips:-
The "T" note confirms that a refreshment trolley is provided and the "A" train runs from 24th April to 23rd October whereas the "B" trip has a shorter timespan, running from 22nd May to 11th September.  The trains are popular, especially in the peak of the summer and are usually formed of four cars.
And for dyed-in-the-wool gricers**, they are the only scheduled journeys between Clitheroe and Hellifield.

One of the units is being (has been?) "wrapped" in sticky-backed plastic to promote the line elsewhere on Northern Trains extensive network.
click for a better view  

With some good-value fares offers, it all looks hunky-dory for fbb's chum's Saunter to Settle and beyond.
Equipped with enough  knowledge to offer his chum confident and informed advice, and to drool jealously over the possibility of a sunshine-blessed run across the famous Ribblehead Viaduct ...
seen here with A1 pacific "Tornado" storming across

... fbb sets about more detailed planning.  How about combining the trip with a journey from Manchester to Clitheroe, also a very pleasant ride?

Sounds a great idea, but this is where the problems begin. The Sunday saunter to Settle (etc.) starts looking very UNsettling indeed.

Watch out for the next thrilling installment, due very soon ...

** "gricers" : railway hobbyists whose delight is travelling over unusual bits of track, on special railtours, on diversions for engineering work or on occasional and often obscure scheduled trains.  Not to be confused with "grocers" who, in their green variety, are often pathologically unable to use an apostrophe correctly. FRESH CARROT'S, indeed!

Talking of Garsdale (on the Settle & Carlisle Line). It was famous for its turntable with a stockade of railway sleepers; to prevent high winds from turning a turning loco a turn too far.
And an equally rare pic of a loco being turned thereupon.
Little remains today of this unique piece of Britain's Railway history.

Next blog : due Sunday June 11th  

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