Who We Are & What We Do

Last Updated: Tuesday 16th February 2021.

The Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company (SCRDC) was set up in 1992 as a not-for-profit limited company in response to the call from the Transport Secretary for all political parties to work together following the highly documented reprieve of the Settle-Carlisle rail line in 1989.

In 2020, we were successfully accredited as the Settle-Carlisle Railway Community Rail Partnership (CRP).  The accreditation, certified by the Department for Transport (DfT), is awarded in recognition of the community centred projects and services we provide across the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbria.

“Accreditation is formal recognition by the DfT that a community rail partnership (CRP) operates to a high standard and that its objectives and activities are supported by Government”

We work in partnership with the rail industry, local businesses, community groups and organisations to encourage socio-economic engagement along the world-renowned Leeds-Settle-Carlisle railway.  As station adopter of both Settle and Appleby stations, we also work closely with a group of dedicated volunteers to maintain the upkeep of the station’s gardens.

Throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, we have worked year-round to deliver projects that engage with local communities and rail users.  Recent community projects include:

  • Supporting the COVID-19 Local Response team in Settle by supplying catering consumables.  Goods provided benefited the most vulnerable in our local community.
  • Partnering with local schools to promote Northern’s rainbow train campaign which thanked key workers through colourful artworks created by school children.  Resulting artworks were displayed at Settle station.
  • Providing funding and marketing promotions to Settle Stories, a local arts and heritage charity, to assist in the delivery of Ribblehead 150.  Projects created by artists and storytellers, for adults and children, marked 150 years since the building of the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct.
  • Provision of funding to assist in the installation of artwork for a bus shelter in Kirkby Stephen town centre.
  • Working with our digital audiences, local community groups and schools to produce a digital advent window which ran across our social media platforms on lead up to Christmas 2020.

It is such projects that enable us to fulfil the aims and objectives specified in the DfT’s Community Rail strategy.

We also provide a range of services and products that benefit locals and visitors to the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbria.  We are contracted by Northern, the train operating company (TOC), to provide promotion and marketing of the rail lines timetabled services (including the Leeds-Lancaster/Morecambe railway), management of the Dales Railcard for local residents, organisation of group travel, provision of station staff at Settle and Appleby and operation of the on-board refreshment trolley service.  Our catering portfolio includes running the station café at Skipton and the Ribblehead Visitor Centre & Coffee shop.

In recent years, we have operated special heritage charter trains to provide local residents the opportunity of a day out in York (The Christmas Comet, 2017) and Chester (The 30th Anniversary Express, 2019).  Last summer, we provided on-train catering and marketing services for the ground-breaking ‘Staycation Express’; a timetabled, tourist-centred, first-class Charter Train affording the opportunity to travel in style along one of the UK’s most historic and scenic rail journeys.

We are not alone in our passion for the Settle to Carlisle railway.  Working alongside us is The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL), a membership organisation of individuals and volunteers who campaign for improvements and support projects along the railway, and the Settle-Carlisle Railway Trust, who care for some of the line’s buildings, heritage and historical archives and manage holiday lets at some of the heritage stations.

Together with FoSCL, in particular, we work with Northern and others to enhance current and future timetabled services for the rail line.

Through our Station Improvement Group we work in collaboration with Northern, Network Rail and FoSCL to deliver a variety of station improvements and restoration projects that enhance the user experience and preserve the lines heritage.  In 2020, projects included upgrades to Dent station car park, passenger accessibility improvements at Kirkby Stephen station platforms, and refurbishment of the booking office entrance at Settle station.

We are currently planning a diverse range of activities and projects to support and work with community groups across the region throughout 2021.  The challenge post-COVID will be to encourage people, from both the local community and throughout the country, back to rail.  We, along with our partners, will be focusing our efforts on championing rail travel as a safe method of transport.

We are optimistic about the future and are confident in the opportunities rail travel can continue to provide to locals and visitors alike, especially against a backdrop of increased environmental awareness and the need for carbon reduction.


Contact Us

If you wish to discuss any aspect of our work, would like us to attend a meeting or have a project you would like to discuss then please contact John Moorhouse at chairman@settle-carlisle.co.uk.