Keighley and Worth Valley Railway resumes service after funding lifelines

A heritage railway service in Yorkshire is back up and running after an emergency appeal exercise and grant funding.

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is celebrating its restart with special summertime journeys called Back in Steam.

The journeys will seat between one to eight people, and on Sundays the service will be using vintage and first class stock, which are rarely used.

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Trains will run every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as Bank Holiday Monday, from August 19 until August 30.

Volunteers (from left to right): Tim Bean ,Clive Siddall and Phil Oliver, platform staff at Oxenhope statio on a test day held on the railway in readiness for welcoming back the public. Picture: Gary Longbottom.

Return journeys will depart from Oxenhope and Keighley, and will include a break half at half way for people to stretch their legs and pose for photographs next to the engine.

The Oxenhope Exhibition Shed has been transformed to a spacious waiting room where people can see more engines up close, visit the pop-up shop, and enjoy refreshments from the café.

Haworth Heritage Tours will take place every Saturday and Sunday, and on Wednesday August 22.

Up to two children aged three and under are free per compartment. All children aged four and over will need to be counted in the number of passengers. A maximum of two dogs per compartment will be welcome to travel for £1 each. Assistance dogs are only permitted on Sundays.

A KWVR volunteer during the test day. Picture: Gary Longbottom.

After lockdown struck earlier this year the railway, whose stations have appeared in a number of period film and television shows, said it was “in crisis” and set up a £200,000 fundraising campaign.

Since then it has got to £250,000 and the organisation last month said it received £50,000 of National Lottery support to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on heritage railways.

For more information about the railway and journey times, visit www.kwvr.co.uk/back-in-steam.

Sam Steventon, 20, one of the youngest volunteers at the Keighley Worth Valley Railway, who has been volunteering since he was 13. He is seen working on a British Rail Standard Class 4 Tank locomotive 80002 in the shed at Oxenhope. Picture: Gary Longbottom.