I hadn’t been on a long train journey for a while, they are something I enjoy, just sitting back and letting the world wind itself past the window. I know they aren’t to every ones taste but I like them so there. Casting around for ideas I realised that I hadn’t been on the Settle to Carlisle route for quite a long time. It’s one of the great expressions of the Victorian Railways, a “Build It And They Will Come” moment. Born out of the various commercial rivalries of the era, built by the Midland Railway to give them their own route to the border city of Carlisle and onward to Scotland.
It launches out across the Pennines from a railway junction just south of Settle in North Yorkshire before heading up across the Pennines and then down through the valley of the River Eden and into Carlisle. The engineering to bring this line into existence was on an epic scale, with an army of up to 6,000 navies working away to bring the engineers drawings into a reality. It was threatened with closure but a concerted campaign saved it and as well as providing a transport link it also acts as a major tourist attraction.
Anyway this isn’t a detailed history of the route, there are far better qualified people out there who have done that. This is my day out, check your tickets and join me on board.
SETTLE. Pretty as a chocolate box , sort of proves that function needn’t dominate everything, there should always be space for a little bit of style.
SETTLE. I had enough time to take a walk around the town before the next leg of the journey, reacquaint myself and search out a few memories. The town does have a buzz about it, events going on etc. You sometimes have to pinch yourself and remember this is real and not some sort of film set. Everywhere has it’s imperfections and hard realities but some places manage to be just a little less imperfect than others.
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