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28th November 2017

Opening of new Ribblehead Exhibition and Visitor Centre

The recently refurbished visitor centre at Ribblehead Station has now opened and features an exhibition showing the details of how the iconic Settle to Carlisle Railway came to be built and the history of the line from its completion in 1876 up to today. 

A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled the centre to undergo its refurbishment. Funding has also been supplied by Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line, Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust and Network Rail. A crowd of around fifty people witnessed a plaque being unveiled at a ceremony to mark the opening of the centre. This was performed by the managing director of Northern, the train operating company who arrived in style, riding in the driver's cab of the train from Leeds. The Settle and Carlisle Railway Trust who manage the station are rightfully proud of the new visitor centre and exhibition and also the fact that the station is featured in a book by Simon Jenkins ‘Britain's 100 Best Railway Stations'.

The exhibition details the building of the famous and well photographed Ribblehead Viaduct which took four years to build. The workers on the viaduct were known as ‘navvies' and around a thousand of them had camps in the area called Belgravia, Sebastopol and Batty Wife Hole which were equipped with shops, pubs, schools and libraries. It was hard work and accidents were common with many navvies losing their lives during the construction of the viaduct and nearby Blea Moor Tunnel.