The Settle to Carlisle Railway was built by the Midland Railway Company and opened to passenger traffic in1876. History books detail how an army of navvies, armed with nothing more than pick and shovel, constructed a line that climbed through the upper reaches of both the Eden and Ribble valleys in order to surmount the summit, high into the Pennines, at 1169ft above sea level. So severe were some of the geological obstructions facing those Midland pioneers, several engineering marvels had to be created to conquer what can be a most inhospitable terrain, an example of which is the imposing Ribblehead Viaduct, a structure of colossal dimension, which stands amidst the shadows of both Ingleborough and Whernside. With a ruling gradient of 1 in 100, the sight and sound of a steam locomotive struggling with a heavy train through one of the most scenic parts of the country,was a combination which would appeal to many photographers eager to capture such events before they were to pass into the annals of history.The end of steam occurred in August 1968 and like many others, Howard Routledge viewed the running of 1T57 as the finale to his years behind the lens. His interest was rekindled though when preserved locomotives made a welcome return to the line some ten years later. His passion for steam however, was to take a change of direction after a chance encounter with the members of a locomotive support crew who invitedHoward to join a select band of volunteers working with ex LMS Jubilee 5690 Leander on the main line. Howard remained with Leander until it was withdrawn from service. He was then given the opportunity to become part of a small team responsible for the day to day running of locomotives such as Princess Margaret Rose and Duchess of Sutherland. This saw him regularly work on the footplate over theSettle-Carlisle line and in later years he also became responsible for the planning of many steam-hauled charter trains that appeared on the route.This book takes a detailed look at steam operations on the Settle to Carlisle Railway during the 30 year period following Green Arrow’s ground-breaking venture to return steam to the line in 1978. In addition to offering an insight as to how steam workings evolved during that period, the book also contains many behind the scene images that the author was able to capture whilst working with steam on a line that can be fittingly described as being the finest theatre in the country for steam locomotive performance.
Softback, A4, 128 pages, with 218 images (168 in colour).
Published by: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society