On Wednesday 17th February 2016, I visited the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway for a ride on the train and to go to see Postman Pat, and his Cat, Jess. The railway was running on a special Timetable for the day, and the railway isn’t open every day in winter, so please check your timetable before you travel
A video of the day can be found on this page.
The locomotives/DMU’s in operation today is Waggon & Maschinenbrau Diesel Railbus No. M79964 and British Railways (Midland Railway) 4F 0-6-0 43924. Both of these were restored by the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and are a popular sight on the railway.
The railway runs for 5 miles from the town of Keighley to the village of Oxenhope, the station at Keighley is joined by Network Rail services from Skipton/Settle to Leeds and beyond.
The railway became famous for being the location of filming for the popular film ‘The Railway Children‘ and you can break your train journey and take a ‘Railway Children’ Walk from the filming station of Oakworth, situated about halfway along the line.
I started my day at Oxenhope, This is where all trains start their days journeys at. I arrived just in time to see 4F No. 43924 depart on its first train of the day to pick up Postman Pat up from Keighley. Whilst I waited for the Railbus to arrive at Oxenhope, I filled out the membership form and became a member of the railway! I quickly got my ticket and was just in time to see the Railbus arrive at Oxenhope, this is just a single carriage DMU but being early doors, there was plenty of space and you get a different view of the railway to sitting in a carriage behind a Steam Engine. You also get to see the driver hard at work. The Railbus departed Oxenhope on time at 10:40 am.
The first station of our journey is Haworth, this is the station where you can find the engine sheds, the Haworth area was made famous by the three sister authors known as the ‘The Bronte Sisters’. This station is popular as it is well situated and easy accessible, it is also situated close to Upwood Caravan Park.
The next station on the line is Oakworth, this station is famous for ‘The Railway Children’ and the station has been restored to the Edwardian Era and is lit entirely by Gas Lamps and heat is provided by coal burning fires ( around 8 months of the year). This station is a good spot to break your journey or change trains as Damems loop is close by so a change of train is only a few minutes away!
Damems is the next station on the line, and is the shortest standard gauge station in Britain! It is also the only Request Stop on the line, so if you want to get off the train, please inform your train guard prior to departing, and if you want to board the train, then signal for the driver to stop, as you would when wanting to board a bus.
Next stop is Ingrow West, this is home to the Vintage Carriage Trust Museum of Rail Travel, entry to this museum is FREE if you have a GREEN DAY ROVER TICKET ONLY, whereas the museum at Oxenhope is free to everyone! This station is also heated by Coal Fires and has a car park if you wish to start your journey from Ingrow West. This station also has a ticket office allowing you to buy your tickets from this station.
The terminus at Keighley has connections to Settle, Carlisle, Skipton and Leeds via National Rail Services, More information on this station can be found here. It was a quick turn around here, but we was late because the crowd at Oxenhope wanting to meet Postman Pat, so once Pat was on-board the train and the steam train had departed Oxenhope, the Railbus departed Keighley. This journey was a quick journey as I got off the Railbus at Ingrow West and decided to wait for the Steam train to arrive and get on that instead.
The 4F made light work of setting off at Keighley and steamed through Ingrow West, due to the wet weather, Postman Pat stayed at Keighley for the rest of the day, which meant that the rest of the trains that day was very busy with excited children eager to meet their favourite Postman and his sidekick Jess.
The Railbus was already at Damems by the time the 4F arrived, which meant that we could steam through on our way to Oakworth and Haworth.
The 4F struggled for traction when leaving Oakworth, more of which can be seen in the video which will be uploaded soon.
Haworth is our next station, this is where the railway was flooded on the Boxing Day floods, signs of which can be still seen from the train (red tape around sleepers that have been lifted etc)
A quick charge up of the 950XL on the journey from Oxenhope to Damems meant that I could carry on taking footage for the rest of the day!
British Railways (Midland Railway) 4F 0-6-0 43924 was restored at the KWVR when it was taken out of service in 1987, it was put back into service in 2011 and has been a favourite for pulling trains up and down the branch line since
Again, The Railbus was at Damems loop before the 4F which again meant we could try and make up lost time that as lost at the start of the day!
Thankfully, the rain had stopped which meant I could get some pictures without the camera getting soaked.
All in all I completed 3 and 1/2 trips throughout the day, more of which will covered in the video which will be uploaded very soon.
I also got to meet Postman Pat and Jess the Cat! There was a lot of excited children queuing to meet him, all wanting pictures taken with him.
I boarded the last train from Keighley of the day, Where the loco struggled to start from Keighley, but once it got going, it performed flawlessly. I haven’t visited the KWVR for a while, but I certainly will be returning again (in fact – I will be visiting the Steam Gala on next weekend!).
Thanks to the KWVR for a great day out !
- Visit the KWVR Website
For times and fares
- Other posts of the KWVR
Catch up on other posts of the KWVR
A video of the day can be seen below…