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This is another classic location on the Settle and Carlisle line for southbound (or eastbound as there are in the shot) trains, from late morning to early afternoon. Although this location has been used for years, this shot is on private ground not covered by either a footpath or Open Access, so it might be worth asking for access at the farm located just before the under bridge.
For the walkers there is a route over the old North Eastern route from Kirkby Stephen
, over the trackbed with magnificent views from the viaduct over Scandal Beck that passes at the end of the road that gives access to this location.
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 EWS/Freightliner/GBRf. DRS operate the autumnal RHTT trains
over the route.
This is in an open field with a steep walk up from the car which would take around 10 minutes to complete.
From the M6, junction 38:
Head onto the A685 towards Kirkby Stephen. After several miles there is a turning to the left junction before the A683 joins this road on the right. (If you get to Kirkby Stephen station you have come too far, turning around it is the first turning on the right). Follow this road and after it has turned to the right you should go over the line and come to a T-junction. Take the left hand turn at this junction and then take the next left following it through the farm (it is a public road), and under the railway.Click here to set up your location for directions to this location Smardale map co-ordinates
Park on the road; there is plenty of space available under the bridge and along the side of the road for plenty of cars. Try to park as close to the bridge as possible otherwise you might find your car in the shot.
From parking enter the field heading south next to the line and follow the hill up; towards the top you should see where to get a shot from.
There is a train roughly every 2 hours in each direction to Leeds and Carlisle. The nearest station would be Kirby Stephen, and this would be a good 30 to 40 minute walk. There are several buses that serve Kirkby Stephen more information here
. Service 571 operates between Kirkby Stephen and Crosby Garret, which might be a shorter walk to the location.Click here to set up your location for directions to this location
There are no amenities at the location. The nearest shops, public houses and Bed & Breakfasts would be at Kirkby Stephen.
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.
Smardale general view map
Smardale close up map
Windows Local Live Link
- image quality may vary
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Railway Gen Group
The best shot at this location is the southbound one from late morning to early afternoon. Due to the cutting to the south of the line a northbound shot is not possible without much of a hike – the nearest is probably back at Waitby. There is plenty of space for a gallery of photographers without getting in each others way.
General views - All photographs © Richard Tearle unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking north
A southbound train taken on a dullish late April lunchtime with an 85mm lens. If you are thinking of doing the late afternoon, evening shot at Smardale Viaduct, the stone building vertically above the locomotive is about where you would want to be.
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