When building a railway in the middle of nowhere, build a tramway system first . . .
To facilitate the contruction of the Settle-Carlisle Railway, an extensive narrow-gauge tramway system was constructed to link Blea Moor with the area now known as Ribblehead. Although the trackwork and buildings have all been removed, the earthworks associated with the trackbed are still clearly visible in the landscape. In the large image below, they appear as darker green lines of smoother grass, curving through the rougher vegetation. The grey-coloured access road also lies on the alignment of a section of the tramway.
The 2½ mile section of tramway between the Hawes-Ingleton Road and Force Gill was constructed in just one month and it was operated by steam locomotives running on the rails. The two steeper sections (from Force Gill, over Blea Moor, then down to Dent Head) were rope- or cable-operated inclined planes. These were powered by a pair of stationary steam engines, one installed at the top of each incline. At the summit on Blea Moor, a short section of relatively level track linked the two inclines, providing a continuous route from Ribblehead to Dent Head. Contemporary sources state that the track-gauge of the inclined plane sections was two-feet and it is highly likely that the loco-hauled sections were the same.
The Crag of Blea Moor Tramway linked the main tramway with quarries on the summit of Blea Moor.