Sunday, 7 October 2012

retrospective holiday diary day 5: trains

Monday 24 September, and the long-threatened rain finally arrived. So this was the ideal day for the planned Carlisle-Settle rail trip.

Built 1870-75, with its 14 tunnels and 17 viaducts, the line is a triumph of Victorian engineering. This is still a commercial passenger rail line, with diesel engines, but a lot of people also take the trip for the tourist appeal.

On the way out on this 72 mile, 100 minute journey, there was someone walking through the train selling official guide books. We bought one,  and counted our way through each tunnel (easy to spot) and viaduct (sometimes quite hard to spot). A gentleman who got on at Kirkby Stephen (on his way to Skipton) who knew the route well also pointed out some interesting features to us.
The views of “England's most scenic railway” were spectacular, even through the rain and low clouds.

It’s not really possible to photograph much from a moving train through rain spattered windows,
especially not the viaduct you are on …
 … so here’s a picture of the Ribblehead viaduct, from the tourist guide
 We lunched in Settle, then hopped back on the train for the return trip.

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