I travelled on the 0824 departure from Carlisle to Leeds on a Tuesday morning a few weeks ago as part of a return journey from Dumfries to Mansfield. The single 158 unit was about half full on leaving Carlisle and I noticed that a number of passengers like myself had cases with them and were travelling through to Leeds and perhaps then with onward connections. I don’t think anyone got on or off at both Armathwaite or Lazonby and Kirkoswald, but at least a dozen people boarded at Langwathby including some with luggage who were obviously making longer journeys. As expected a considerable number of people boarded at Appleby including a large party of about 20 who were travelling to Keighley. At least another dozen boarded at Kirkby Stephen but I can’t recall that anyone got on or off at Garsdale, Dent, Ribblehead and Horton in Ribblesdale. Quite a few got off at Settle and quite a crowd got on resulting in the train being quite crowded from there to Leeds. I didn’t take such close notice of passenger numbers the week before on my journey up using the 1318 departure from Leeds to Carlisle but once again I did notice that there were many more than me with luggage using the Settle to Carlisle as part of a longer journey. The train was quite busy for the whole journey. What I did notice was even on an old Northern 158 the ride was very smooth with the track seeming in very good condition. It did seem strange to be trundling along at only 60mph. During my week in Dumfries I did a journey from Ayr down to Stranraer and the 156 in comparison seemed to be hurtling down some sections of track and the ride was far from smooth. Perhaps the S&C is not now suitable for high speed running but surely an increase to 70 or 75 mph ought to be achievable which would make the journey appear slightly faster even if it didn’t save too many minutes. From what I observed of the not insignificant numbers using the train for the full journey with luggage I do wonder whether 2 or 3 faster limited stop journeys each day, at suitable times would be well used. Good connections at Carlisle to and from destinations in Scotland would help.