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The North Briton

Saturday 9 February 2019

A special trip on the Settle & Carlisle line.

Come along and enjoy the experience of No. 60163 Tornado climbing to Blea Moor and Ais Gill summits once again! Eminent railway engineers of the age proclaimed that it would be impossible to build a main line railway through this hostile terrain. Some of the tunnels and viaducts took a full five years to build and many of the railway ‘navvies’ lost their lives in this inhospitable place. Building the Settle & Carlisle almost broke the Midland Railway but determination was rewarded with a magnificent double-track main line railway sweeping through the hills.

A Class 67 diesel locomotive will take the train from Leicester to Doncaster where Tornado will take over for the journey via Leeds and the picturesque Aire Valley through Keighley. The terrain becomes increasingly wild and rugged as we approach Settle Junction, start of the fearsome ‘Long Drag’ through Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Ribblehead Viaduct and Blea Moor. One fine sight follows another as we continue to Ais Gill then descend through the Eden Valley and into the Border City of Carlisle. Here we take a break of over two hours; the station is right in the heart of the compact city, close to the cathedral and the attractive pedestrianised shopping quarter. Still with Tornado in charge we now head east, crossing England at its narrowest point, glimpsing Hexham Abbey then descending through the valley of the Upper Tyne.

At Tyne Yard, just south of Newcastle close by the Angel of the North, we bid farewell to Tornado and the Class 67 takes over again for our journey via Durham and York to Doncaster and as outwards to Leicester

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

Leicester07.00 22.15
East Midlands Parkway07.2021.55