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The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL) have teamed up with Ribble Valley Rail to campaign for a passenger train service between Manchester and Carlisle - via the world famous Settle-Carlisle line.
Presently, Settle-Carlisle services all run to and from Leeds. Yet there is a first class, underutilised and recently upgraded, railway line onto the S&C from Manchester. Trains from Manchester on that line presently terminate at Clitheroe, just 12 miles short of a junction with the S&C at Hellifield.
FoSCL Chairman Richard Morris said, "The success of the Sundays-only DalesRail summer-time trains from Lancashire tells us the demand is there. The Manchester conurbation and Lancashire are huge untapped sources of visitors to the S&C and to Carlisle itself. Conversely, people in the Yorkshire Dales and the Eden Valley presently have no rail service to Manchester - and to Manchester Airport."
"The current S&C timetable dates back to the 1980s when the S&C was under threat of closure. It is now time for the rail industry to wake up to the reality that the S&C is here to stay and to exploit its massive potential."
Project Co-ordinator Paul Levet said, "This is a yawning gap in the rail system. Filling it would be relatively easy. The track is there and so is the need."
"You can help us firm up the case by completing a simple questionnaire on our website at www.foscl.org.uk"
This is the first major campaign undertaken by FoSCL since the hugely successful campaign to save the line from closure in the 1980s. The Settle-Carlisle rail journey is rated among the World's most scenic. The line now carries more passengers and freight than ever before