A steam train crossing one of the Settle-Carlisle railway’s many viaducts makes for a classic image. You can often see the hillsides around Ribblehead viaduct, Mallerstang and other vantage points in the Eden Valley dotted by train enthusiasts and keen photographers, just waiting to catch that magic moment. It seems that everybody loves a steam train – whatever their age.
There is not, however, a regular steam-hauled service along the line. There is a daily diesel sprinter service.
The Settle-Carlisle line is part of the main UK rail network with train services running in each direction, several times a day. You can view the latest timetables for these services here.
Of course, steam excursions do feature on the line, especially during the summer months. They are run by various specialist operators and originate in other parts of the country. Unfortunately, these excursions do not pick up passengers at the stations on the Settle-Carlisle section of the line.
If you wish to book a steam excursion, you need to contact the operator direct.
For an overall picture of steam locomotive excursions throughout the UK, take a look at www.railadvent.co.uk, where you will find a mine of detailed information. By searching the site for a specific word, say Settle or Carlisle, you can quickly highlight whatever you’re interested in. There are links to the tour operators’ own websites where you can see more information or even book tickets. It’s also a really useful resource if you want train times, so you can be sure to be in the right place at the right time to snap that classic photograph!
If you are visiting the area to watch a steam train, please remember not to trespass on the railway line or other restricted areas. Please stay safe and enjoy your visit to watch the excursion loco’s.
Contact details for steam train excursions:
Stateman Rail – www.statesmanrail.com
Telephone: 0345 310 2458
West Coast Railways – www.westcoastrailways.co.uk
Telephone: 0844 850 4685 www.edu.uk-foundation.com
Saphos Trains – www.saphostrains.com
Telephone: 0800 038 5320