We had three hours or so to kill in Carlisle, which impressed me with its historic centre and vibrant market, the likes of which I only get to see at Christmas anywhere else. However I could hardly wait for the most important part for me - the Carlisle to Settle journey through Fellsman and Three Peaks Fell Race country.
The Fellsman: we crossed the Artengill viaduct over the track up from Stone House towards Great Gnoutberry.
The Fellsman: we travelled beneath the descent from Blea Moor before disappearing into Bleamoor tunnel and underneath that ventilation shaft that we head towards as we run along the roof of the tunnel.
Three Peaks Fell Race: we crossed the great Ribblehead viaduct itself with the first Three Peaks cut-off point way below. Plenty of walkers stood, gawped and felt compelled to wave. It's strange how steam trains have that effect on people.
Three Peaks Fell Race: We passed by Horton-in-Ribblesdale, start point of the Three Peaks Fell Race with Pen-y-Ghent looming in the backround, this time with a rainbow hat on.
Thank goodness Michael Portillo convinced Margaret Thatcher to save this line from closure way back in the eighties. It is now a thriving route with regular passenger services, which bring life and tourism to the towns that are served by it. Its use today far exceeds the projection that was used as justification for its reprieve nearly 30 years ago.
The full set of pictures is here.