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Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

INFORMATION FOR THE VISITOR

RCD’s Overview

This is one of the UK’s premier heritage lines. Along with just 12 railways, it gets our very top rating.

This famous heritage railway runs along the entire length of the former branch line from the town of Keighley to the villages of Haworth and Oxenhope in stunning Brontë Country. Being one of the earliest standard gauge railway preservations, it has collected a wide range of steam locomotives ranging from top line express locomotives, to smaller tank engines, as well as heritage diesel locomotives and diesel multiple units. It runs throughout the year on various days, ranging from daily in August, to weekends in the winter months. Close to Ingrow Station there are two museums branded as ‘Railstory’ which are run by separate but closely linked organisations, the Carriage Works (owned by Vintage Carriages Trust) and the Engine Shed (owned by the Bahamas Locomotive Society). The attractive town of Haworth is a tourist destination in its own right, known for its association with the Brontë sisters. The railway connects with the national rail station at Keighley giving easy access by rail to much of Yorkshire and beyond. The line is well-known for the considerable number of films and television productions that have been filmed on it, none more famous than the 1970 version of The Railway Children.

 

Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Keighley to Oxenhope (West Yorkshire)

Principal Visitor Centre:

Keighley (BD21 4HP) and Haworth (BD22 8NJ) stations

Period of Operation*

- January to February, and November (Weekends)

- March to May, September, October (Also selected Wednesdays)

- June to mid- July (Near daily, except Mondays and Tuesdays)

- August (Daily)

- Late November and December (Special event trains)

 [* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days] 

 

Key Facts (what you’ll see)

Services usually steam or diesel?

On any given day, usually a mix of steam and diesel

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Full range of steam and diesel locos (large, mid and small-sized), Heritage DMUs and Pacer units.

Length of Line:

5 miles

Time taken for a round trip:

1 hour 15 minutes

Number of trains per day:

Up to 9 in each direction

Number of Stations:

6 stations

Prices:

Adult Rover: £20. Concessions: £17. Child Rover: £10. Small Family: £25 (cheaper tickets available online 3 days in advance)

Time to allow for Visit:

Half day

Museum:              

Yes. ‘Railstory’ at Ingrow Station.

Shop/Cafe:

Yes/Yes

Picnic/Play areas:

Yes

Preservation Established:

1962

Car Park Facilities:

Free Parking at Ingrow and Oxenhope. Limited free parking at Keighley. Paid parking at Haworth

 

Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- Yes, to be advertised shortly                                                                             

Event Trains:

- Elf Explorer: Late November and December

- Mulled Wine Specials: 9 and 16 December

- Mince Pie Specials: Post Xmas to early January 

Principal Galas:

- Spring Steam Gala: March

- Diesel Gala: June 

Experiences:

- Footplate Experience

- Workshop and Shed Tours

 

Contacts

Email:                                                                 admin@kwvr.co.uk

Telephone:                                                          01535 645214

Website:                                                              www.kwvr.co.uk

Social Media:                                                     www.facebook.com/WorthValleyRailway

                                                                            Also on Twitter/ Instagram/ YouTube/ TikTok


INFORMATION FOR THE ENTHUSIAST

Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

A railway was opened from Leeds to Keighley in 1847, later extending to Skipton. The sizeable town of Haworth was by-passed by the railway, which ran 4 miles to its north. In 1861 a civil engineer visited Haworth, and noting it did not have a railway, instigated the building of a line along the Worth Valley from Keighley to Oxenhope. As well as serving three towns on the way, the line would also serve 15 mills. Support for the line was forthcoming, and it was opened to Oxenhope in 1867. The line was opened as a single track but with a track bed wide enough to upgrade to double track if necessary. The line was successful and by 1900 a passing loop at Oakworth and re-signalling allowed greater numbers of trains. Usage however declined in the 1950s, and in 1961 the line was closed to passengers and in 1962 to freight. A railway society was formed in 1962 with the intent of operating a public service over its length. The line was bought by the society in 1968 which started running trains later in that year. However running public services proved impractical, although many local people do use the line otherwise than for tourism. The railway runs today as one of the country’s most popular heritage railways.

 

Steam Operational Locomotives:

(1) Taff Vale Railway O2 class 0-6-2T - No. 85

(2) USATC S160 Class 2-8-0 - No. 5820 ‘Big Jim’            

(3) LMS Class 2MT 2-6-2T - No. 41241

(4) L&YR Class 25 ‘Ironclad’ 0-6-0 - No. 52044             

(5)  BR Standard Class 2MT - No. 78022        

(6) BR Standard Class 4MT - No. 75078

(7) LMS Black Five 4-6-0 - No. 45212 (often away working mainline rail tours)

(8) LNWR Webb Coal Tank 0-6-2T - No. 1054 (owned by Bahamas Locomotive Society)

(9) LMS 4-6-0 Class 5XP Jubilee - No. 45596 ‘Bahamas’ (owned by Bahamas Locomotive Society)

 

Diesel Operational Locomotives/DMU:

(1) BR Class 20 - No. 20031 (ex-D8031)

(2) BR Class 37 - No. 37075              

(3) Heritage DMU Class 101 - Nos. 51803+51189       

(4) Heritage DMU Waggon und Maschinenbau Railbus - No. 79964       

(5) Pacer DMU Class 144 unit - Nos. 55811+51834 (144011)   

 

Steam Locomotives Under Overhaul:

(1) GWR Pannier Tank - No. 5775

(2) BR 2-8-0 Austerity - No. 90733  

 

Diesel Locomotives/DMU Under Overhaul:

(1) BR Class 25 - No. 25059 (ex-D5209)         

(2) Diesel Mechanical 0-6-0 - No. 23 ‘Merlin’

(3) Heritage DMU Class 108 - Nos. 50928+51565       

 

Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:

- LMS Class 3F 47279

- LMS Class 84 48431

- BR Standard 4 80002

- Midland Railway 4F 43924

- L&Y 'Pug' 51218

- LMR Austerity 118 'Brussels'

 

INFORMATION ON THE SUPPORT GROUP

Name of Support Group:

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £30. Senior: £25 Junior £15. Family: £60

 

Benefits of membership:                                  

-          Three free Day Rover tickets per year

-          Half-price travel on standard operating days

-          Discounts on tickets for selected special events

-          The opportunity to volunteer on the railway

-          Apply for a lineside photographic permit

-          Quarterly Magazine, ‘Push and Pull’

 

How to Join:                                       Go to www.kwvr.co.uk/support/membership

 

What They Say About Volunteering:

Over 50 years ago the railway was saved from obscurity by a relatively small group of very dedicated railway supporters. An extremely large and varied volunteer family has grown to operate and manage this leading preserved Railway from these small beginnings. We are very proud of every single person who volunteers their time to keep this railway where it is today. Whether it is driving a train or selling a visitor a ticket, our Railway simply would not exist without them.

 

How to Volunteer:                                               Go to www.kwvr.co.uk/support/volunteer

 

How to Donate:                                                    Go to www.kwvr.co.uk/support/donate

 

WHY JOIN:   The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society was created in 1962 to preserve and take over the branch line previously closed by British Railways. The Society celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2022 and has grown to 3600 members. Without society’s members’ continued support and hard work, there wouldn’t be a railway for everyone to enjoy!        

 

INFORMATION ON OTHER SOCIETIES WITH RELATED INTEREST

Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this

website:

 

Traditional Railway Societies:

- Midland Railway Society

- Bradford Railway Circle

- Huddersfield Railway Circle

 

Locomotive/ Engineering Societies:

- Bahamas Locomotive Society

- Vintage Carriages Trust


Model Railway Clubs:

- Keighley Model Railway Club

- Aire Valley Railway Modellers Club

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