CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

DalesRail Season 2020 Suspended

Due to the on-going restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the requests to avoid public transport where possible, Northern has decided that it is no longer possible to operate this year’s Blackpool North to Carlisle summer Sunday DalesRail service. The service has now been suspended  and whilst this is hugely disappointing, Community Rail Lancashire fully supports this decision.

Dales Countryside Museum – Hawes (Richard Watts)

Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “We know how popular the DalesRail service is, and the decision to remove it this year was not an easy one to take. Coronavirus has had a huge impact on so many parts of our lives and we have all had to make changes to help prevent the spread of the virus. Sadly, as we asking people to avoid using public transport where possible – particularly for leisure travel – stopping this year’s DalesRail service was inevitable. The railway is open however and customers who need to travel from the Ribble Valley to stations on the Settle and Carlisle Line can still make their journeys by travelling via Leeds.”

Chris added: “I’d like to thank all our customers in advance for their patience and understanding during these difficult times and I have no doubt that the DalesRail service will be back in 2021 to help people explore the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.”

Richard Watts, Chair of CRL commented; “We fully support Northern’s decision to suspend this year’s Sunday DalesRail service. Planning in the current environment has been very difficult and we recognise that the Government has massive issues to consider as it looks at how it can ease the current lock down and travel restrictions. However, we will continue to plan for the resumption of the service in 2021 and especially at our exciting plans to ‘Extend the reach of DalesRail’ through supported bus links coupled with some changes to the DalesRail fare structure. Continue to look at for updates.”

Richard continued: “In the meantime as we can’t go the lovely Settle Carlisle countryside by train why write into us with your favourite DalesRail stories and anecdotes along with your pictures that we can use on the web site and share on Twitter and Facebook?”

Marjorie Birch, Chair of the Clitheroe Line & East Lancashire Line CRPs and Chair of Ribble Valley Rail added: “The decision to cancel the DalesRail service was not taken lightly. With the coronavirus still prevalent in the country it would be unwise to promote group travel when social distancing measures are in place. It will return for the 2021 season when hopefully passenger confidence in the safety of public transport will have been restored.”


Please send any DalesRail stories or anecdotes through to or and to view a DalesRail taster ahead of the 2021 season click on the image below!