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Sunday, 13 April 2014

A Weekend to Remember

11th April was the precise 25th Anniversary of the announcement that the Settle-Carlisle Railway would not close.  To mark the event an amazing train of nine carriages hauled by three locomotives went from Leeds to Carlisle and back carrying 600 or so people - about 200 of them were involved in either saving the line or ensuring its subsequent success.   Guest of honour was Michael Portillo - Transport Minister at the time of the line's reprieve.   This was the amazing scene at Settle Station when the train stopped here.   Flags were flying and the church bells were ringing.
click to enlarge
Just three days before this amazing sight a social media appeal was put out to parents and children in Settle to turn up at the station at 11am and for children to bring with them red clothing to wave at the train - in Railway Children style.   This was the staggering result.   Even the sun shone.

I was the commentator on the train and had no idea how great or small the response would be so I told our 600 passengers to look out and wave to the children at Settle, more in hope than expectation of attendance. The Settle schools were on holiday so organised attendance was not possible.

Settle and its children rose to the occasion in style.   The children,who could be forgiven for taking their railway line for granted, will now be in no doubt that it was once at risk of almost certain closure.

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