FRIENDS of the Settle-Carlisle Line say the recently reopened railway is now so popular, some travellers are having to stand.

Writing in the quarterly Settle-Carlisle Railway Journal, chairman Douglas Hodgins says passenger numbers "jumped dramatically" in April, "unfortunately leading to overcrowding on a number of trains".

A landslip severed the historic line at Eden Brows, Armathwaite, after the storms of winter 2015/16, when an estimated 500,000 tonnes of earth slipped down the embankment towards the River Eden.

Network Rail launched a round-the-clock engineering project and, 13 months later, the railway fully reopened on March 31. The Flying Scotsman hauled a special train, attracting what Mr Hodgins called an "avalanche of publicity".

Mark Rand, media officer for the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line support group (FoSCL), told the Gazette: "It's plain as a pikestaff that more and more people are using the Settle-Carlisle trains and there's obviously a seasonal effect, but our strong sense is people are returning to the railway.

"We've not seen it often, but from time to time people have had to stand all the way form Settle-Carlisle."

FoSCL posts volunteer guides on the trains, said Mr Rand, and two-car trains are typical on the scenic route. The group is "in dialogue" with train operator Northern about its wish for longer trains, but the company has "finite resources", he added.

"The solution seems obvious," said Mr Rand, "but Northern can only manage the train set they've got."

A spokesperson for Northern, train operator on the Settle-Carlisle line, told the Gazette: "The Settle to Carlisle line is very popular, but the number of services Northern runs on that route does meet current levels of demand.”

Meanwhile, Northern has confirmed that so-called "train wraps" on carriage windows are to be removed "progressively" in the next few weeks.

The adverts - similar to those seen on the back of buses - had obstructed the railway's famous views for rail passengers, said Mr Rand, of FoSCL. "On a train, particularly on a scenic route like the Settle-Carlisle line, it's most unwelcome and we've been in dialogue for months with Northern on this. I'm happy to be able to report they are being removed."

He said scenery was especially obscured in rain, when droplets filled the gaps between the dots that made up the pictures, including one of a bearded diver, with slogans such as "We are Northern, we are fearless".