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Blea Moor to Garsdale
Blea Moor Tunnel North » Dent Head Viaduct » Arten Gill Viaduct » Dent Station » Garsdale
Traveller's tale . . .
Finally the darkness of Blea Moor Tunnel gives way to glorious sunshine (if you're lucky) and we head towards Dent Head Viaduct and one of the most beautiful parts of the line - Dentdale
60098 at Blea Moor Tunnel North 60024 at Blea Moor Tunnel North 47440 at Blea Moor Tunnel North
Traveller's tale . . .
Over Dent Head Viaduct and the sprawling splendour of Dentdale stretches to the left as far as the eye can see. In glorious sunshine there cannot be a more aesthetic portrait of England's green and pleasant land.
60094 [Tryfan]+60048 [Eastern] at Dent Head Viaduct 37411 at Dent Head Viaduct Class 158 at Dent Head Viaduct
Mouthwaterring trivia . . .
Dent Head Viaduct is one of the most impressive structures on the line. It is some 100 feet high and 1,150 feet above sea level and was built out of blue limestone. Like most viaducts on the line it took five years to build from 1870-1875.
47647 [Thor] at Dent Head Viaduct VIDEO ...
We've added a nice little video. It depicts 60013 on empty gypsum containers and is 5.7MB in size.
Traveller's tale . . .
Soon after Dent Head Viaduct we cross the highest viaduct on the line, Arten Gill, as Wold Fell rises to our right and the River Dee meanders down below to the left.
Mouthwaterring trivia . . .
Arten Gill Viaduct carries the line over Arten Gill Beck and was built between 1871 and 1874 of local stone known as Dent marble. It is 117 feet high, 220 yards long and has eleven arches.
Class 47 at Arten Gill Viaduct
Traveller's tale . . .
Climbing through this marvellous landscape accentuated, if you are fortunate, by a fine English summer's day we arrive at a station with no village - Dent.
Dow Gill Head of Dentdale William Wordsworth 1770 - 1850 Reflection . . .
Was it the railway sceptic, William Wordsworth, better known for his wanderings around the Lake District, who wrote about Dentdale:
"If this is beauty I see before me then let me stay awhile, for if my return is soon I shall be too long away"?
- Actually no, it wasn't him, it was ME!
Not many people know that:
I've always got room for another Oscar Adam Sedgwick was born and went to school in Dent - who is he? He invented geology of course! Fittingly his memorial is a block of granite.
47530 at Dent 31292+31413 [Severn Valley Railway] at Dent
Local tittle-tattle ...
Dentdale is the most secluded of the Yorkshire Dales stretching 14 miles from Whernside to Sedbergh. Dent is known locally as Dent Town and has existed since Norman times. A grammar school was built here during the reign of James I (on the throne at the time of the "Gunpowder Plot") and still exists today.
At one time the inhabitants of Dent were well known for their profuse knitting of gloves and socks with knitting needles moving "faster than the eye can see"!
The road from Dent station to Garsdale is known as the "Coal Road" due to the small opencast coal mines which were once worked nearby.
Mouthwaterring trivia . . .
Overlooking Dentdale, Dent station, situated on the side of Widdale Fell, is the highest "main line" station in England at 1,150 feet above sea level (of which you were no doubt aware). Due to the bleak location the former Station Master's house, now a private residence, was one of the first houses built in Britain to be fitted with double-glazing.
Traveller's tale . . .
After leaving Dent we curve to the right and enter Rise Hill Tunnel at 1,213 yards in length and on exit the River Clough joins us on our left as we pass over the former water troughs, at 1,670 feet they were the highest not just in Britain but in the entire world! By definition this stretch of track is on the level.
There was only one junction on the Settle & Carlisle line and it is here at Garsdale, it is now sadly a former junction, but may become a junction again one day!
156491 at Garsdale 37607 at Garsdale 60058 [John Howard] at Garsdale
66121 at Garsdale 66070 at Garsdale 47439 at Garsdale
Mouthwaterring trivia . . .
The station at Garsdale was originally named "Hawes Junction" but in 1900 it changed its name to "Hawes Junction and Garsdale" to reflect more its actual location. In 1932 it became just "Garsdale". The branch to Hawes sadly closed in 1959 but may re-open again one day if the efforts of the Wensleydale Railway come to fruition.
Local tittle-tattle ...
Passenger services to Hawes, down the branch six miles away, ended in March 1959 (a few months before I was born) and the through route all the way to Northallerton closed. The trackbed is relatively untouched since closure and many of the civil engineering structures are still in situ so you never know, one day a train may travel once more all the way through Wensleydale.
We've added two nice little videos.
The first depicts Freightliner 66545 on northbound coal empties.

The second is EWS 66153 on southbound empty gypsum containers.
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