Keighley and Worth Valley Railway: Wikis


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Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2T 41241 at Haworth station
Commercial operations
Original gauge 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Preserved operations
Length 5 mi (8 km)
Preserved gauge 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Commercial history
Opened 1867
Closed 1962
Preservation history
1968 Reopened by a preservation society
Damems Junction signal box

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is a 5-mile (8 km) long heritage railway line in West Yorkshire, England, that runs from Keighley[1] to Oxenhope.[2] It connects to the national rail network line at Keighley railway station. It is currently the only heritage railway that operates a whole branch line in its original form.



The line was built in 1867 by local mill owners, but operated by the Midland Railway, which owned most of the rail network in the area, and was eventually bought by the Midland in part due to interest from the rival railway company at Keighley, the Great Northern. The Mill owners made a profit, which was abnormal for most lines of that type, as (for strategic reasons) the Midland wanted to prevent the GN from taking over its territory. After falling to the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923 during the Grouping Act, ownership passed to British Railways following nationalisation in 1948. As a part of the rail cutbacks in the 1960s, British Railways closed the line at the end of 1962.

However a preservation society was formed which bought the line from BR and reopened it in 1968 as a heritage railway. The line is now a major tourist attraction operated entirely by volunteers and carries more than 110,000 passengers every year. The KWVR is currently the only preserved railway that operates a complete branch line in its original form. It is celebrated among beer lovers for operating the only buffet car serving real ale.

The line and its bridges and tunnels including a deviation were built as single track but with provision for duplication, should the need arise. The deviation was built as a condition of the buy out of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway by the Midland Railway. The need for the deviation was to avoid a large wooden trestle viaduct that crossed a mill pond, as the locals believed the viaduct was unsafe, and supposedly many alighted at Oakworth and continued on foot to Haworth to avoid crossing the viaduct. The original design for the deviation was to skirt the mill pond then through a cutting to rejoin the original formation. However during construction the material in the cutting proved to be unstable, resulting in the construction of the short Mytholmes Tunnel. The original trestle viaduct can be seen in a picture hanging above the fire in the booking hall of Oakworth station.

On 10 July 2008, the Duke of Kent visited the railway following the 40th anniversary of its reopening.[3][4][5] While at the railway, the Duke travelled on a specially prepared "Royal Train", consisting of tank locomotive 41241, an LMS Class 2MT, pulling a single carriage, The Old Gentleman's Saloon, as featured in The Railway Children, which is a former North Eastern Railway directors Saloon. While visiting, the Duke travelled in the carriage and on the locomotive footplate.

Stations and facilities

  • Keighley
    • Mainline connections to Leeds, Bradford, Skipton, Carlisle, Lancaster, Morecambe and London King's Cross
    • Railway shop and buffet
    • Turntable
    • Picnic area
    • Station restored to BR 1950s condition complete with cast-iron platform canopy on Platform 4, as once existed on all of the platforms
  • Ingrow (West)
    • Access to the Vintage Carriages Trust's Museum of Rail Travel
    • Railway shop
    • Access to the Bahamas Locomotive Society Museum "Ingrow Loco"
    • Car parking
  • Damems
    • The smallest standard-gauge railway station in Britain, complete with waiting room, booking office, signal box and level crossing
    • Lit by gas and heated by coal stoves
    • Featured as "Ormston" in the BBC's Born and Bred
Oakworth station sign and vintage advertising boards in 1981
The platform, Oxenhope railway station, terminus of the KWVR, 2006)
  • Oxenhope
    • Terminus of the branch
    • New Heritage Lottery Fund-supported exhibition shed; contains locomotives and carriages not currently in use and explains their history and that of the line as a whole
    • Carriage & Wagon Maintanance department (Not open to the public)
    • Railway shop and buffet
    • Car parking
    • Bus connections to Hebden Bridge
    • Gas-lit platform, car park and waiting room

Commuter use

As a privately-owned heritage railway, the line does not specifically serve commuters; however, a study by Ove Arup & Partners funded by Metro is looking at the feasibility of a daily commuter service between Oxenhope and Keighley.[6] After the first stage of the study was released, Metro stated concerns about a lack of funding and available rolling stock, meaning that services are unlikely to run in the short to medium term.[7] Often, local residents who live in Oxenhope, Haworth, Oakworth and Ingrow catch the early morning diesel service to Keighley, and, often, from there to places beyond, to work or shop.

Rolling stock



Steam locomotives

Number & Name Description Current Status Livery Photograph
1 No. 957 Class 25 "Ironclad" 0-6-0 Operational but used on summer vintage trains and during special events; boiler ticket expires 2011 L&Y Lined Black 52044 at Haworth 18-08-03.jpg
2 No. 47279 LMS 0-6-0T Class 3F "Jinty" Used regularly; current boiler ticket expires in 2011. BR Unlined Black ~
3 No. 41241 LMS 2-6-2T Class 2MT Operational and used regularly. BR Lined Black 41241 at Haworth July 2007.jpg
4 No. 80002 BR 2-6-4T Class 4MT Operational and used regularly, especially in summer, boiler ticket expires in 2015. 80002 has also appeared in a number of TV commercials. BR Lined Black 80002-BRClass4.JPG
5 No. 90733 BR 2-8-0 Austerity In regular use; boiler ticket expires in 2017. BR Unlined Black WD Austerity 90733 Haworth Loco Yard.jpg
6 No. 1704 "Nunlow" Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T Operational, sees occasional use. Boiler ticket expires 2018 Green ~
Currently elsewhere
7 No. 45212 LMS Black Five 4-6-0 On long term loan to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. BR Lined Black ~
8 No. 68077 Class J94 0-6-0ST Undergoing overhaul at the Spa Valley Railway where the loco's dismantling is nearly done N/A ~
Undergoing Overhaul
9 No. 85 Taff Vale Railway 0-6-2T Used regularly up to June 2009 Steam Gala, boiler ticket expired September 2009. Likely to be turned around quickly and returned to traffic within a year of overhaul due to the fact that it is a popular engine with crew and a good runner. Taff Vale Lined Black with Taff Vale Railway emblem on coal bunker ~
10 No. 75078 BR standard class 4 4-6-0 Boiler ticket expired; boiler away for overhaul and completion is due for 2014. BR Lined Black ~
11 No. 43924 Midland Railway 3835 Class 0-6-0 (LMS Class 4F) Stripped down for restoration. Good progress is being made on the overhaul, which is focusing on the frames presently. Boiler away for overhaul and completion is expected in 2012. BR Black 43924 runs round at Oxenhope 13-June-1982.jpg
12 No. 34092 "City of Wells" SR 4-6-2 West Country Class Undegoing overhaul; the boiler cladding is now all on and the boiler is now being tackled. BR Brunswick Green ~
13 No. 1054 LNWR Webb Coal Tank 0-6-2T Undergoing a second restoration at Ingrow Workshops with work on the frames and boiler going well LNWR Black ~
14 No. 5820 "Big Jim" USATC S160 Class 2-8-0 Under restoration; All main brake and suspension running gear has now been overhauled and refitted. The chassis is now back on the re-tyred wheels. Allowing the pony truck to be removed for overhaul. The truck has been completely disassembled. Cylinders and valves have been rebored. Work has begun refitting the motion. The boiler has been moved under cover, stays are being removed. Some welding work is also required. It is intended to perform all the work at Haworth, as much as possible in house, but using contractors where required. New tender bogies require minor modifications. The new tender tank, fabricated by a contractor has been received and is being painted (June 2009). Completion is due in 2010/11 N/A ~
15 No. 752 L&YR Class 23 0-6-0ST Undergoing restoration, the frames, smokebox and saddle tank are just about finished and the boiler has been steam tested, a few more jobs need to be done like putting the locomotive back together again, completion is some way off, with significant chassis work still required. N/A ~
Stored, Static or on Display
16 No. 78022 BR 2-6-0 Class 2MT Stored, withdrawn for ten year overhaul in 2000 and is currently on display in the museum at Oxenhope. It is expected that the overhaul will begin in 2010. BR Lined Black ~
17 No. 45596 "Bahamas" LMS 4-6-0 Class 5XP Jubilee Awaiting overhaul, funding is being arranged by the Bahamas Trust, and work will begin upon completion of the 'Coal Tank'. (Double chimney locomotive) BR Lined Green 45596 Bahamas Oxenhope 1995.jpg
18 No. 48431 LMS 2-8-0 Class 8F On display in the museum at Oxenhope, awaiting a full 10-yearly overhaul. BR Lined Black ~
19 No. 5775 5700 Class 0-6-0PT On display at Oxenhope. (Not expected to enter the workshops before 2019) BR black ~
20 No. 68 Class 21 "Pug" 0-4-0ST Stored awaiting overhaul which is planned to start once 752 is finished L&YR black ~
21 No. 30072 Class USA 0-6-0T On display in the Oxenhope museum, requires extensive firebox repairs. Not expected to enter the workshops before 2019 KWVR brown ~
22 No. 31 "Hamburg" 0-6-0T Requires a new inner firebox and a general overhaul Black ~
23 No. 118 "Brussels" LMR 0-6-0ST Requires a general overhaul LMR blue ~
24 No. 2258 "Tiny" Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST On display at Ingrow West awaiting a general overhaul, owned by the Bahamas trust N/A ~
25 No. 7069 "Southwick" Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns 0-4-0 crane tank In store at Ingrow West awaiting overhaul N/A ~
26 "Lord Mayor" Manning Wardle 0-4-0ST On display at Ingrow West awaiting overhaul N/A ~

Diesel locomotives & Multiple Units

Number & Name Description Current Status Livery Photograph
1 No. D2511 BR 0-6-0 British Rail Class D2/12 In use as the Works train shunter after a recent engine and cylinder liner repair. N/A ~
2 No. 13336 (ex-08266) BR 0-6-0 Class 08 In use but restricted to Haworth yard duties as the locomotive is currently suffering from worn tyres. Appeared at 2008 diesel gala working shuttles between Keighley and Ingrow. BR Green with BR arrows ~
3 No. 23 "Merlin" Port of Bristol Authority Diesel Mechanical 0-6-0 In use, currently at Oxenhope station as it is the carriage and wagon shunter. N/A ~
4 No. D8031 (ex-20031) BR Bo-Bo Class 20 Returned to traffic in September 2008 after a second main generator repair. Currently available for use. Railfreight Coal Sector 3 Tone Grey ~
5 Nos. 50928+51565 Class 108. In regular use but when the 101 set is in traffic this set will be withdrawn for overhaul. BR Green ~
6 No. 79964 BR Railbus In regular use on morning diesel services. BR Green. ~
Under Repair
7 No. 25059 (ex-D5209) BR Bo-Bo Class 25 Out of traffic for bodywork repairs, mainly to cab floors. Was in traffic for diesel gala, but then withdrawn from traffic again for the second cab to be repaired. Cab interior refurbishment and a full repaint will follow. N/A ~
8 No. D226 "Vulcan" BR 0-6-0 Prototype EE shunter Suffered a main generator failure in June 2006 and has also developed bearing problems. The engine overhaul is complete, the generator and traction motor have been repaired by contractors. The traction motor, engine and generator have been refitted. Work should be completed this summer. More information about the overhaul can be found on the KWVR website Diesel page. N/A ~
9 No. 32 "Huskisson" Mersey Docks and Harbour Board Diesel Mechanical 0-6-0 Currently undergoing a long delayed axlebox overhaul. N/A ~
10 Nos. 51803+51189 BR Class 101 unit. Under restoration. Both vehicles are receiving attention to their interior and bodywork. The unit is expected to start carrying passengers in 2010. BR Green. ~
11 No. 79962 BR Railbus (See 6) Currently stored and sheeted over in Haworth yard, the engines restoration has been finished and once shed space is available the body, wheels and frames will be restored. N/A ~

Locomotive notes

  • 'Black Five' no.45212 is operational but currently based on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, as part of a deal which will see it running there until it has covered 70,000 miles (112,654 km). This could take the entire 10-year duration of the boiler ticket, but at current rate will be in 2010.
  • 'Coal Tank' no.1054 is currently undergoing overhaul at Ingrow. Once its owning group have completed the repairs, attention will be focused on returning "Bahamas" to traffic.
  • Steam Engines in line for a return to steam before the end of the decade are no.34092 "City Of Wells", and no.43924, which was the first engine salvaged from Barry Scrapyard in South Wales to be returned to steam on a heritage line, back in the 1970s.
  • Somerset & Dorset Railway 7F 2-8-0 no.53809, currently based at the Midland Railway - Butterley, is due to visit the K&WVR in Autumn for their second steam gala of the year. This will be the locomotive's second visit, as it spent time on the railway during the 1980s.
  • Class 101 vehicle No 51803 is operational but out of service awaiting a repaint in BR blue livery, 51189's interior and mechanical restoration is nearing completion and it to is awaiting a repaint. The unit will hopefully be ready for service in 2009 allowing the 108 set to be withdrawn for repairs.

Carriages & Wagons

Normal Service Stock

The railway has two fixed rates of assorted British Railways MK1 stock. Further to this, it also owns some special stock, such as Buffet Cars and Kitchen Cars. Often, there is extra stock in the workshop which is interchanged when that stock has been repaired/restored.

Vintage carriages

The railway has a large collection of Vintage Carriages. Some are used to carry passengers on specially selected open days.

Metropolitan 465 'Dreadnought' 9-compartment third built 1919
SR 3554 'Matchboard' Continental Brake third built 1924

Freight Wagons

The Railway owns some Freight wagons, which are often stored in sidings and yards along the line. These are used for works trains by the civil engineering department and for demonstation Freight Trains.

Use in film and television

The line and its stations has been used numerous period film and television productions including films The Railway Children and Yanks and in an episode of the longest running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine in 1979.


  1. ^ 53°52′02″N 1°54′01″W / 53.8671°N 1.9003°W / 53.8671; -1.9003
  2. ^ 53°48′54″N 1°57′06″W / 53.81503°N 1.9517°W / 53.81503; -1.9517
  3. ^ HRH The Duke of Kent visits Haworth Haworth Village Website, News, 10 July 2008, accessed 10 November 2008
  4. ^ Court Circular, past events, Thursday, 10th July 2008, 10 July 2008, accessed 10 November 2008
  5. ^ Full-steam ahead on the royal railway! The Telegraph and Argus, 10 July 2008, accessed 10 November 2008
  6. ^ "Commuter trains earmarked for the Worth Valley?". Rail Magazine. 2009-05-20. 
  7. ^ "Commuter service plan hits buffers". Telegraph & Argus. 2009-06-06. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 

External links


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