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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Stamp marks anniversary of saving Settle to Carlisle line

A special stamp is being launched to commemorate the 25th anniversary since the Carlisle to Settle railway line was saved.

Train stamp photo
A Post Office train stamp from 2004

The First Day Cover has been suggested by the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line, and is being produced by Adrian Bradbury of British First Day Covers.

The line was proposed for closure by British Rail in 1983, and a six-year campaign was fought. Transport Minister Michael Portillo announced it would stay open on April 11 1989.

The stamp is one of a series of special events planned to mark the 25 years.

Pete Shaw, vice-president of the Friends of the Carlisle-Settle Line, said: “This attractive and colourful First Day Cover will make an excellent souvenir to mark 25 years of the Settle-Carlisle route being saved from closure.”

A major celebration of the anniversary takes place later this year including special trains, talks, walks, concerts and a music and beer festival from June 27 to 29.

Richard Morris is chairman of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line, which was established in 1983 to oppose threatened closure of the 72-mile line.

He said freight had also returned to the railway, making it a 24/7 operation, with more than 40 freight ‘paths’ day and night. Extra signalling equipment had helped double the line’s capacity and there had been hundreds of millions of pounds invested in new tracks.

The line is now recognised as England’s Most Scenic Railway and one of the world’s great railway journeys. Most of the intermediate stations have re-opened, the Victorian station buildings have been renovated and are now tended by an army of volunteers.

Dyan Crowther, route managing director for Network Rail, said it was “one of the most beautiful rail routes in the UK”, adding “It will continue to be an important part of the railway in the north of England.”

Northern Rail managing director Alex Hynes said the line carried more passengers than ever – 1.3 million a year. “It’s hard to think what could have happened to these communities 25 years ago if the proposed closure had gone ahead,” he said.

The cover will be available from April 11 from the website www.foscl.org.uk or www.bfdc.co.uk.

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