Winter Weekends at the Worth Valley Railway   Leave a comment

As a result of a friend’s posting on facebook, I decided to  visit the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway on Saturday 8 January to experience one of their Winter Weekend days. He works there as a volunteer, and was hoping that the snow and ice would not prevent him from getting there.  I had presumed that the railway would not be running at this time of year, so it was lucky that I saw his status.  In fact, this railway runs at weekends throughout the year and all week at busier times.  Full details of  timetables can be found at

Taking on Water

Poster showing stations on the Worth Valley, and connections to the national rail network.  Users of public transport should note that there is a bus link between Oxenhope Station and Hebden Bridge station.  Trains serve Hebden Bridge from Manchester Victoria; Blackpool North; Preston and York.

I spent most of the day riding up and down the line, and so most of my pictures were taken at the 2 termini of the railway (Keighley and Oxenhope) – the next few are taken when I arrived back at Oxenhope (where I had parked the car)

Note the snow on the ground.  I was surprised how little there was – there had been more in Bradford, and I snaked the way up my cul-de-sac.

And back at Keighley 😆

The steam hauled services usually carry a licensed buffet car, with real ales. It’s a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon 🙂 The next few pictures were taken on a trip from Keighley to Oxenhope.

Oh dear – there’s an ‘O’ missing on this picture. This station is Oakworth – and featured in the 1974 film “The Railway Children” under its own name. For many years, this station did not have an electricity supply, and was lit solely by gaslights. It also had a mechanical till. These facts don’t seem to be mentioned on their website, so maybe they now have electricity at the station. I did notice when departing Oxenhope station at the end of my day that they still used gas lights on the station and the car park there.

I finished my pint as we approached Oxenhope, and got off to watch the engine run round (and have a brief chat with my friend, who was busy most of the times that I bumped into him)

Since the day was drawing to a close, and I wanted to be on the last train of the day (since it was a different train than had been running in my visit so far, I like a bit of variety when possible 😉 ) I took the next train to Haworth to have a look around the gift shop there and take some different photographs.

The train I had arrived on departs Haworth en route to Keighley

Which left me on a very quiet, and very cold station

And here comes my train

It was getting quire dark now, but I could not use flash since it is very distracting for the train driver – and is prohibited on most railway stations for that reason.  The railway was much quieter by now, and the operations people had obviously anticipated this by scheduling the single car Diesel Railbus for the service.

Time now to put the camera away, and enjoy the last run of the day to Keighley and then back to Oxenhope.  And to wait in the passing loop at Damems for the last steam-hauled run from Keighley to make it’s way towards Oxenhope – it’s quite a site to see an engine in full steam hauling its train up the incline here.  Especially when that engine is Number 47279 – an 0-6-0 Class 3F tank engine, which is one of the smaller engines in the fleet.  It didn’t seem to be having any problems with its 4 car train though.

The use of the diesel allowed the crew of the steam engine to begin the process of putting the engine to bed a little earlier, which I am sure they were glad of on this cold, dark evening.


This was one of many trips that I have made on this line, and as ever I enjoyed it very much. Although it is probably also the quietest that I have ever seen the railway – which is not so surprising on the first weekend after the New Year celebrations.  The next day would probably have been busier – the railway is trialling a 2-train service through the Winter Weekends this year – but my friend wasn’t working then.


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