Reference sources - 5: General

Major repositories of original material (primary sources)

The National Archives (formerly The Public Record Office)

This is located in Kew (Richmond, Surrey). Full details are available via:

County Council Archive Centres

Cumbria County Council (CCC) operates four archive centres. These are located in Carlisle, Whitehaven, Kendal and Barrow-in-Furness. Full details are available via:
The catalogue is available online via:

Lancashire County Council (LCC) operates a single archive centre. This is located in Preston. Full details are available via:
The catalogue is available online via:

North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) operates a single archive centre. This is located in Northallerton. Full details are available via:
The catalogue is available online via:

West Yorkshire Archive Service (WYAS) operates five district offices. These are located in Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds and Wakefield. Further information about the locations and collections is available via:
The catalogue is available online via:

The National Railway Museum Library & Archive Centre

This is located in York. It is an outpost of the Science Museum and it includes the Institute of Railway Studies & Transport History. Full details are available via:

The Midland Railway Study Centre

This is located in Derby. Full details are available via:

Societies and other organisations

The following are known to have relevant or potentially relevant material, available either online and offline:

Online resources

  • "The Derby Registers": The National Railway Museum holds a list official photographs taken by Midland Railway, LMS and BR photographers. Approximately 13,000 of these cover the territory of the former Midland Railway and these entries in the register are currently being computerised by members the Midland Railway Society. Progress to date can be checked at:
    The images themselves are not being digitised at this stage. Prints / negatives are in the care of the National Railway Museum, although some of those listed in the 'Derby Registers' have been lost or damaged.
  • "Midland Railway Mile Posts": An essay by John Gough (chairman of the Midland Railway Society, author of "The Midland Railway : a chronology" and many other works). A copy of this occassional paper can be downloaded from:
  • High-resolution map of the Midland Railway's System in 1922: A copy of this, scanned by the Midland Railway Society from the Midland Railway Company's Annual Report and Accounts for 1922, can be downloaded from:
  • Copyright-expired publications: Digitised versions of the following copyright-expired publications are available for download in various formats including pdf and Kindle. (Note: The download options are located in the box entitled "View the book", which is located in the left-hand column of the webpage.)
    • Williams, Frederick Smeeton
      "The Midland railway: its rise and progress. A narrative of modern enterprise"
      Published by Strahan & Co London in 1876
      726 pages (including covers)
      NB: The pdf version is 42Mb, so the download may take a while, even if using a fast broadband connection.
    • Stretton, Clement Edwin
      "The history of the Midland railway"
      Published by Methuen & co, London in 1901
      This has a chapter on the Settle-Carlisle Line which starts on page 209.
    • Thomson, J. Radford
      "Guide to the district of Craven and the Settle and Carlisle Railway, with illustrations"
      Published in London by Simpkin, Marshall, & Co.; and F. Warne & Co.;
      and in Settle by H. Gore (1879)
      The chapter on the Settle-Carlisle line is Ch 10 which starts on page 79.
  • Historic England Archive (aerial photographs): A significant number of the images in this fascinating collection cover parts of the Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area (SCRCA). For further details (including links to some of the most relevant / interesting images), see: Historic England Archive: aerial images relating to the SCRCA.


Hundreds of books and articles about the Settle-Carlisle Railway have been published over the decades. The following have been identified as being particularly useful as they contain significant quantities of original, well-researched material (i.e. text, plans, historic photographs, etc). Many of the books listed below are out of print, although they do occassionally appear on the second-hand market.

  • Baughan, Peter E.: “North of Leeds: the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle line and its branches”, Roundhouse Books (1966) - and the subsequent reprint by David & Charles, published in 1987.
  • Binns, Donald: "Historic Railway Photographs - Vol 1. Around Hellifield. Settle-Junction - Long Preston - Hellifield - Bell Busk." Trackside Publications (1999).
  • Binns, Donald: "Railways in the Northern Dales: The Settle & Carlisle Line", Wyvern Publications (1989).
  • Binns, Donald: "The Scenic Settle & Carlisle Railway: Hellifield - Ribblehead - Ais Gill - Carlisle", Wyvern Publications (1982).
  • Butt, R.V.J: "The Directory of Railway Stations/Details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present", Patrick Stephens Ltd. (1995).
  • Cumbrian Railways Association: "The Midland’s Settle & Carlisle Distance Diagrams" (1992).
  • Gough, John: "The Midland Railway - A Chronology", The Railway and Canal Historical Society, 2nd edition (1989).
  • Hallas, Christine: "The Wensleydale Railway", Leading Edge Press & Publishing (1991).
  • Houghton, Frederick W. and Foster, W. Hubert: "The story of the Settle-Carlisle Line", The Advertiser Press Ltd (first published 1948, second edition 1965).
  • Johnson, David: “Ingleborough Landscape and History”, Carnegie (2008).
  • Johnson, David: “Limestone industries of the Yorkshire Dales”, Tempus Publishing Ltd (2002).
  • Joy, David. & Mitchell, W.R.: "Settle-Carlisle Centenary", Dalesman (1975).
  • Jenkinson, David: “Rails in the Fells”, Peco Publications and Publicity Ltd (1973 revised 1980).
  • Johnson, David: “Ingleborough Landscape and History”, Carnegie (2008)
  • Johnson, David: “Limestone industries of the Yorkshire Dales”, Tempus Publishing Ltd (2002).
  • Joy, David. & Mitchell, W.R.: "Settle-Carlisle Centenary", Dalesman (1975).
  • Mitchell, W.R.: "Dent: The Highest Mainline Station in England", Castleberg (1995).
  • Mitchell, W.R.: "Garsdale. History and traditions of a junction station (on the Settle-Carlisle Railway)", Castleberg (1999).
  • Mitchell, W.R.: "Mile by Mile on the Settle-Carlisle", Castleberg (1999). Illustrated by Peter Fox.
  • Mitchell, W R: “Ribblehead: The story of the great viaduct on the Settle-Carlisle line”, Kingfisher Productions (2015).
  • Mitchell, W.R: “The men who made the Settle-Carlisle”, Castleberg (1993).
  • Mitchell, W.R. & Fox, P: "Garsdale and Aisgill on the Settle-Carlisle Railway", Castleberg (1991).
  • Mitchell, W.R & Fox, Peter: "Hellifield and the Railway" Castleberg (1991).
  • Mitchell, W R & Fox, Peter: Settle and the Railway Castleberg (1991).
  • Mitchell, W.R. & Joy, D.: "Settle to Carlisle. A railway over the Pennines.", Dalesman Books (1989).
  • Mitchell, W R & Joy, David: “Settle-Carlisle Railway - The Midland's Record-breaking route to Scotland” Dalesman (1966 & 1967).
  • Mussett, Nigel J.: "Settle-Carlisle Railway Resources Handbook, illustrated", Kirkdale Publications (2011-2022).
  • Toothill, David & Armstrong, Marion: "The Settle Carlisle Railway - A Guide to Your Journey" Settle & Carlisle Railway Development Company (2009).
  • White, Robert: “The Yorkshire Dales: A landscape through time”, Great Northern Books (2002).


The following printed (copyright-protected) Ordnance Survey Maps include sections of the SCRCA:

  • 1:25,000 scale Outdoor Leisure and Explorer Series:
    • Sheet OL 2: Yorkshire Dales – Southern & Western Areas
    • Sheet OL 5: The English Lakes – North Eastern Area
    • Sheet OL 19: Howgill Fells and Upper Eden Valley
    • Sheet 315: Carlisle
  • 1:50:000 scale Landranger Series:
    • Sheet 85: Carlisle and Solway
    • Sheet 90: Penrith and Keswick
    • Sheet 91: Appleby-In-Westmorland Area
    • Sheet 98: Wensleydale and Upper Wharfedale

Copies of the current editions can be purchased from bookshops and other retailers.

Land Plans

A set of land plans entitled "Midland Railway Settle & Carlisle Line Landplan" , surveyed in 1911-1912 and originally produced at a scale of two chains to one inch by the Midland Railway, Derby. The set consists of 106 sheets (97 sheets covering the main Settle to Carlisle line and an additional 8 sheets covering the Hawes branch plus a title page). For further details, see the" Railway land plans: Introduction and index" page.

    Other plans and technical drawings

    Following a request for information in November, 2018, Network Rail kindly published a selection of plans and technical drawings showing details of Ribblehead Viaduct. These include the following:

    • Ribblehead Viaduct Details of work carried out [1988]
    • Plan view giving details of longitudinal cracks [ND]
    • Ribblehead Viaduct Part elevation [ND]
    • General arrangement and pier repair detail [ND]
    • Ribblhead Viaduct Details of water proofing [ND]
    • Details of actual work carried out to pier No 13 [1988]
    • Ribblehead Viaduct Proposed interlacing of track [ND]
    • Standard detail for proposed repairs to masonery piers [ND]

    Low-resolution versions of each image can be viewed online free of charge and higher resolution versions can be purchased in the form of a digital file or a framed print (in a range of sizes and frames). See:

    Network Rail has since uploaded plans of the viaducts at Dent Head, Arten Gill, Dandry Mire and Crossby Garrett Viaducts. For further details, use the 'Find' feature at:


    Cab-view video footage

    The SCRCA Project Team has been granted permission to review - and to use a reasonable number of stills from - the following commercially available video publications:

    • "A Driver's Eye View of the Settle and Carlisle Railway" (Video 125 Ltd, 1984).
    • "Settle and Carlisle Driver's Eye View / Bird's Eye View" (Video 125 Ltd, 2002).
    • "A Journey on the Settle-Carlisle Railway" (Creative Imagineers Ltd, 2012).

    The SCRCA Project Team has been also been granted permission to review - and to use a reasonable number of stills from - the following video material that is NOT commercially available:

    • Cab-view footage filmed from the rear and front cabs of a specially chartered Pacer on 30th April and 1st May 1992 as part of the preparations for the creation of the Settle-Carlisle Railway Conservation Area.
    • Northern Trains Driver Training Video - Settle-Carlisle-Settle (Northern Trains, 2010).

    The following video publications are also commercially available:

    • "The Long Short Drag" (Locomaster Profiles, 2005).
    • "The Settle-Carlisle Railway from the Air" (Railfilms Ltd, 2007).
    • "Cab Rides around the British Isle: No. 28 - Skipton to Carlisle" (Railway Recollections, 2007).
    • "Tele Rail In The cab: Volume 5 Settle to Carlisle" (Tele Rail / North West Video Productions, 2010).

    Other video sources

    The following form part of the British Film Institute's 'National Archive' collection and are available for online viewing free of charge:

    Series Links

    The list of potentially useful / interesting reference sources is now far too long for a single page, so it has been split into five separate pages - one for each of the following sections:

    1. Building the line
    2. Operating the line
    3. Historic Structures
    4. Conservation & Archaeology
    5. General Reference

    The links above will enable you to jump directly to the relevant section.


    This list of reference sources was compiled by Mark R. Harvey. (© Mark R. Harvey, all rights reserved.)