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Written by Richard Tearle - 23 Oct 2007
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Location notes
Blea Moor, just north of the Ribblehead Viaduct, is one of the 'classic' location on the Settle and Carlisle line and also home to one of the most remote signal boxes in the UK. This location is about 1.5km from the nearest place with Road Access and is a walk across Blea Moor Common.
For more information on the Settle and Carlisle line please see the Settle - Carlisle Partnership website and consider joining Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line.
Railway type and traffic
Most of the local services to Carlisle are operated by 158 multiple units.
There are a number of freight services operated by DB Schenker/Freightliner/GBRf. DRS operate the autumnal RHTT trains over the route.
It really is the middle of nowhere! Weather can change very fast, so come prepared bearing in mind itís at least a 30-40 minute walk back to the car/nearest station.
Road directions
Take B6479 if coming from the south which links to the A65 around Settle. Or take the B6255 off the A65 if coming from the north.

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Blea Moor Tunnel, South Portal map co-ordinates
There is plenty of parking around the Station Inn at Ribblehead (although not in their private car park.) Parking can be problem on sunny days as Ribblehead is used as a base for many walkers.
Once parked, walk along the stone road to the north of the Station Inn. Follow the path up the hill rather than under the viaduct and keep walking past the signal box and house and keep following the path until you come to the bridge over the railway line. This is the southbound shot.

Unfortunately to get to the northbound shot, you have to retrace your steps back to where the wooden walking bridge crosses over the stream. Looking north from here you will see there are two walls that lead to the bridge, you need to be between those walls. You will need to cross the river so if there has been a lot of rain this might not be possible. Once over the river head towards the walls, making sure you are between them. It takes around 10 minutes to do this little lot.
Public transport
There is a train roughly every 2 hours in each direction to Leeds and Carlisle. The nearest station would be Ribblehead, and this would be a good 30 to 40 minute walk. Cumbria Classic Coaches operate the 570 bus on Tuesdays between Hawes and Ribblehead in the summer only.

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Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Blea Moor Tunnel, South Portal

Googly map
Streetmap links
Blea Moor Tunnel, South Portal general view map
Blea Moor Tunnel, South Portal close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Blea Moor Tunnel, South Portal

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Railway Gen Group
Settle Carlisle
Photographic notes
The light for southbound trains is good for afternoon trains, but difficult for northbound trains as it never really gets round far enough to 'get on the nose', other than at the height of summer. The southbound shot is excellent for those that like that 'train coming out of a tunnel' shot.

General views - All photographs © Richard Tearle unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking north

Fig 1 - Looking north

The southbound shot taken on a cloudy day in the late afternoon with an 85mm lens. It is possible to vary the height somewhat by taking up different positions on the bridge. Note the old platelayers hut in the background.

Fig 2 - Looking south

Fig 2 - Looking south

The northbound shot taken on a cloudy day in the late afternoon with a 50mm lens. Again Ingleborough looms large in the background.

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