Garsdale railway station

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National Rail
47561 Garsdale signal box.jpg
LocationGarsdale Head, South Lakeland
Coordinates54°19′17″N 2°19′35″W / 54.3214617°N 2.3263682°W / 54.3214617; -2.3263682Coordinates: 54°19′17″N 2°19′35″W / 54.3214617°N 2.3263682°W / 54.3214617; -2.3263682
Grid referenceSD788918
Owned byNetwork Rail
Managed byNorthern Trains
Other information
Station codeGSD
ClassificationDfT category F2
Original companyMidland Railway
Pre-groupingMidland Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
British Rail (London Midland Region)
Key dates
1 August 1876Opened as Hawes Junction
20 January 1900Renamed Hawes Junction and Garsdale
1 September 1932Renamed Garsdale
4 May 1970Closed
14 July 1986Reopened
2015/16Increase 15,684
2016/17Decrease 12,520
2017/18Increase 15,974
2018/19Decrease 15,572
2019/20Increase 15,800
Garsdale is located in South Lakeland
Location in South Lakeland, Cumbria
Garsdale is located in Cumbria
Location in Cumbria, England
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Garsdale is a railway station on the Settle and Carlisle Line, which runs between Carlisle and Leeds via Settle. The station, situated 51+14 miles (82 km) south-east of Carlisle, serves the village of Garsdale and town of Sedbergh, South Lakeland in Cumbria, and the market town of Hawes, Richmondshire in North Yorkshire. It is owned by Network Rail and managed by Northern Trains.


The station was designed by the Midland Railway company architect John Holloway Sanders, though not in the same style as used elsewhere on the route.[1][2] It opened on 1 August 1876 as Hawes Junction.[3]

Adjoining the station are sixteen Railway Cottages built for its employees by the Midland Railway around 1876, the year the Settle-Carlisle Line opened. A further six cottages were added near to the Moorcock Inn soon afterwards. In the days of steam-hauled London-Scotland expresses, the locality once boasted the highest water troughs in the world (just along the line at Ling Gill). Unusually, the station waiting room was once used for Anglican church services, and the railway turntable had a wall of sleepers built around it to prevent locomotives being spun by strong winds: this happened in 1900 and was the inspiration for the story 'Tenders and Turntables' in the book 'Troublesome Engines' in The Railway Series by Rev W. Awdry.[4]

The Hawes Junction rail crash of 1910 occurred near to the station, which was originally named Hawes Junction, as it was the junction of a branch line to Hawes. This line was closed in March 1959, though it is the long-term aim of the Wensleydale Railway to extend their rails along the former route from Redmire to connect with services here, allowing through journeys to Northallerton on the East Coast Main Line. The signal box (opened just a few months before the Christmas 1910 accident) on the northbound platform is still in use today.


The station master at Garsdale possessed water-gauges, barometers and other meteorological appliances on the western slopes above the station, and collected data a few times each day and transmitted this to the Meteorological Society in London.[5]

  • H. Smith 1876 - 1880[6]
  • George Wooding 1880 - 1881[7]
  • W. Foster 1881 - 1886[7]
  • William Henry Bunce 1886[7] - 1919 (formerly station master at Horton in Ribblesdale)
  • J.F. Ferguson ca. 1938
  • Daniel May ca. 1945
  • Douglas Cobb ca. 1950
  • Cyril Breeze


The station is unstaffed, but waiting rooms are available on each platform. They are linked by a ramped subway and are therefore fully accessible for disabled travellers.[8] Tickets must be bought in advance or on the train as no ticket machines are available (though TOC Northern are intending to install one and PIS screens by 2020 as part of a wider station improvement programme).[9] Train running information can be obtained from timetable posters or by phone from the station signal box. A bus service to and from Hawes connects with selected train departures each day.[10]

Signal box[edit]

The signal box, a 4c type as designed and built by the Midland Railway Company, was installed in June 1910 and is made from timber with a Welsh slate roof. It was given grade II listed status in 2013.[11] The box was significant in the 1910 Hawes Junction crash, which led to the introduction of track circuits to prevent that type of tragedy happening again. Its heritage status was awarded partly due to its involvement in the accident. In June 2020, Network Rail applied to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to carry out repairs on the decaying structure.[12]


Route 7
Bentham Line and
Settle and Carlisle Line
Carlisle Parking Bicycle facilities Handicapped/disabled access
Armathwaite Parking
Lazonby and Kirkoswald
Langwathby Parking
Appleby Parking
Kirkby Stephen Parking
Garsdale Parking
Dent Parking
Ribblehead Parking Bicycle facilities
Horton-in-Ribblesdale Parking Bicycle facilities
Settle Parking Bicycle facilities
Heysham Port ferry/water interchange
Morecambe Parking Bicycle facilities
Bare Lane Parking
Lancaster Parking Bicycle facilities Handicapped/disabled access
Carnforth Parking
Wennington Parking
Bentham Parking Bicycle facilities
Clapham Parking Bicycle facilities
Giggleswick Parking Bicycle facilities
Long Preston Parking Bicycle facilities
Hellifield Parking
Skipton Parking Bicycle facilities Handicapped/disabled access
Keighley Parking Bicycle facilities Heritage railway
Bingley Parking Bicycle facilities
Shipley Parking Bicycle facilities
Leeds Parking Bicycle facilities Handicapped/disabled access

Garsdale has seen a modest improvement in service levels in recent years, with an extra morning and evening service in each direction. This brings the service level up to that seen at various other stations on the route (such as Langwathby), namely eight northbound and seven southbound trains on weekdays and Saturdays, and five each way on Sundays.[13] The station is also served by DalesRail trains between Blackpool North/Preston and Carlisle on Sundays during the summer (one train each way in the summer 2019 timetable).[14]

Statue of Ruswarp[edit]

Statue of Ruswarp at Garsdale Railway Station

The southbound platform features a life-size bronze statue of a Border Collie dog named Ruswarp (pronounced /rʌsəp/). Ruswarp belonged to Graham Nuttall, one of the founding members of the group that saved the Settle-Carlisle Railway from closure. The dog was featured in the campaign, signing the petition to save the line with a paw-print. Nuttall disappeared while walking with Ruswarp in the Welsh Mountains on 20 January 1990. His body was found on 7 April; Ruswarp was still alive after standing guard over his owner's body for 11 weeks and died shortly after attending the funeral.[15] The sculpture by Joel Walker is a memorial to both Graham Nuttall, Ruswarp and the campaign to save the line from closure. It was unveiled on 11 April 2009, 20 years after the line was saved from closure.[16] The station waiting rooms, previously out of use due to leaking roofs, were also refurbished and reopened to the public as part of the ceremony.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Notes by the Way". Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald. British Newspaper Archive. 1 November 1884. Retrieved 12 July 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  2. ^ a b "Garsdale". Settle Carlisle Railway website. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  3. ^ Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  4. ^ The Real Lives of Thomas the Tank Engine Real Stories Database[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ William, Frederick Smeeting (1885). Our Iron Roads: Their History, Construction and Administration. Bemrose & Sons, Derby. p. 304.
  6. ^ "1871-1879 Coaching". Midland Railway Operating, Traffic and Coaching Depts: 744. 1871. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  7. ^ a b c "1881-1898 Coaching". Midland Railway Operating, Traffic and Coaching Depts: 50. 1881. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  8. ^ Garsdale Station Facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 28 November 2016
  9. ^ "Better stations are coming to Northern"Northern news article; Retrieved 23 November 2019
  10. ^ "Little White Bus, Service 855: Garsdale to Hawes"; Retrieved 28 November 2016
  11. ^ Historic England. "Garsdale Signal Box  (Grade II) (1412055)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  12. ^ Minting, Stuart (19 June 2020). "1910 railway disaster signal box linked to be preserved". Darlington & Stockton Times (25–2020). p. 72. ISSN 2516-5348.
  13. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2018, Table 42 (Network Rail)
  14. ^ "DalesRail timetable". Community Rail Lancashire Ltd. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Statue will honour hero dog Ruswarp". Pendle Today. Johnston Press Digital Publishing. 15 April 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
  16. ^ Press Release on the Statue Unveiling and Re-opening of the station buildings Archived 2 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine Network Rail Media Centre; Retrieved 23 March 2009

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Dent   Northern Trains
Settle and Carlisle Line
  Kirkby Stephen
Disused railways
Terminus   Midland Railway
Hawes Branch
  Historical railways  
Dent   Midland Railway
Settle and Carlisle Line
  Kirkby Stephen
Heritage Railways  Proposed Heritage railways
Terminus   Wensleydale Railway   Hawes