CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

Celebrations Galore

Saturday 8th June saw the first Yorkshire Dales Explorer service operating from Rochdale/Manchester to Ribblehead. The train carried over 150 passengers.

Launch Day arrival at Ribblehead – Brian Haworth

There was a great atmosphere on the train and many of the passengers were planning to go for a walk in this stunning area with some joining one of the guided walks provided by the Lancashire Rail Ramblers. The train sported a headboard and the leading unit 156 424 has been named the ‘Yorkshire Dales Explorer’. Passengers were welcomed aboard the first service and received a ‘goody bag’ courtesy of Northern. The service is the culmination of a lot of planning and will operate every Saturday all year round. During the summer there will be guided walks provided by the Lancashire Rail Ramblers and FoSCL (Friends of the Settle Carlisle). Full details can be found at

The YDE Headboard on 156464 taken at Ribblehead – Mark Rand (FoSCL)

At the same time Ribble Valley Rail marked the 30th anniversary of the return of regular passenger services between Blackburn and Clitheroe with a special anniversary board.

30 year celebration banner – Richard Watts

Richard Watts, Chair Community Rail Lancashire commented: “The Yorkshire Dales Explorer is a great successor to DalesRail and is the culmination of a lot of work and planning behind the scenes. With special thanks to Northern who have named 156424 ‘Yorkshire Dales Explorer’ and to the Ribblehead station volunteers who coped brilliantly with the sudden influx of visitors on Saturday. I look forward to working with Northern, Lancashire County Council, York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority, Northern, DfT, Rail North Partnership, the Lancashire Rail Ramblers, FoSCL and many others in continuing to promote and develop this service”.

The Yorkshire Dales Explorer departure screen at Manchester Victoria – Owain Roberts


YDE Launch Day at Manchester Victoria – Owain Roberts

Northern unit 156464 with it’s new name board – Owain Roberts


YDE Headboard at Blackburn. L-R Owain Roberts, Mike Cliffe, Richard Watts & Graham North.