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European Railroad Discussion > Ribblehead Viaduct (England)

Date: 09/29/22 12:49
Ribblehead Viaduct (England)
Author: NMlurker

The Ribblehead Viaduct is an epic structure on the famed Carlisle and Settle line in north-central England. This line was nearly closed in the 1980s but now features passenger service provided by Northern, a surprising amount of freight traffic, and occasional heritage steam trains. I made my pilgrimmage down from Carlisle on September 7, 2022.

1. A northbound three-unit Northern DMU crosses the viaduct on its way up to Carlisle at 10:41 AM.

2. One of the reliable freights on the line is the southbound Castle Cement train operated by GB Railfreight (GBRf) seen at 10:47 AM. The locomotive is a Class 66, EMD JT42CWR #66714 "Cromer Lifeboat."

3. Switching to the other side of the viaduct at midday, this train loads on the Carlisle and Settle line for British Gypsum and is currently operated by the German company Deutsche Bahn Schenker (DB). The Class 66 locomotive #66088 still wears its Wisconsin Central colors of the former English, Welsh, and Scottish Railways (EWS) with just a small red and white DB logo on the cab.

Date: 09/29/22 21:34
Re: Ribblehead Viaduct (England)
Author: krm152

Definitely an epic structure.  Thanks for posting your interesting photos.

Date: 10/03/22 20:41
Re: Ribblehead Viaduct (England)
Author: railstiesballast

As I understand it, opening up the UK network allowed operators to try routes that were not so London Centric,
British rail, when viewed from London was all about London, kind of like how Amtrak, when viewed from Philadelphia, is all about the NEC.
In both cases, there is a whole nation full of citizens who want rail service that has nothing to do with the centers of thinking like Philly or London.
I really appreciate your whole series, thanks for sharing.

Date: 10/04/22 06:11
Re: Ribblehead Viaduct (England)
Author: Hexagon789

The Northern DMU in photo 1 is a Class 158 Express Sprinter. British Rail introduced these from 1990 on various Inter-Regional fast services. They have top speed of 90mph (though the Settle-Carlisle is 60mph max) and air-conditioning.

Privatisation did allow a number of experimental services to operate, one of the most bizarre was probably Anglia Crosslink.

It lasted only a few years around 2000, using new-build 100mph Class 170 DMUs on a vaguely two-hourly pattern of six daily trains linking Ipswich with Basingstoke avoiding London. Though the calling pattern was a bit random and pathing issues meant that while all services started/finished at Basingstoke only one went all the way to Ipswich, others terminating at Stratford, Witham, Chelmsford, Witham or Colchester.

Other bizarre workings included Central Trains through Aberystwyth to Grimsby working, and even First North Western's very short-lived Manchester Airport & Rochdale-London Euston services using 322s and 158s, with fares starting at £1.

There's probably some other workings I've forgotten, but those are some of the more peculiar ones I recall.

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