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The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

Saturday 11th May 2019

© Photos & Text Tom Chaffin

The 2019 AGAM was held at the Mill Hay Brew House at Haworth on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.  As well as the AGM itself, members were able to enjoy a trip on the railway as well as guided tour around Haworh engine sheds.  

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is a five mile railway which runs from the National Rail Station of Keighley, down the Worth Valley to Oxenhope. The railway was opened by the Midland Railway in 1867.  Passenger services were ceased by British Railways on 30th December 1961, with freight services finishing on the 18th June 1962.  On 23 June 1962 the new formed Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society chartered a special passenger train which ran from Bradford to Oxenhope and return.

The line reopened as a preserved line in 1968 with the first train running on 29th June 1968.  The line is one of only three preserved branch lines in the country preserved for its entire original length.  

Today some 500 volunteers and 10 paid staff operate the line which carries around 100,000 passengers a year.   The line was made famous by the 1970s film “The Railway Children”, based on the book by E Nesbit, which was partly filmed at Oakworth station on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway - one of the reasons why the this particular line was chosen for the filming is because it contains a tunnel, which features in the book.  At the time of filming the line was the only preserved line which had a tunnel.

Click images for an enlargement

When we first arrived at Keighley English Electric prototype 0-6-0 shunter, D226 “Vulcan” was undertaking shunting  around the station area.

D226 was one of two prototype shunters built by English Electric in 1957, one with electric transmission, D226, the other with hydraulic transmission, D227.

D226 was the more successful of the two and after a three year testing period with British Railways, the locomotive was retained by English Electric for shunting.

The engine was loaned to the Keighley & Worth Valley railway in 1966 and has been on the railway ever since

D226 is fitted with an English Electric 6RK engine of 500hp at 750rpm.

The locomotive weighs 48 tonnes and is designed for a top speed of 35mph, though like most preserved lines the maximum speed on the K&WVR is 25mph.

With this top speed, the locomotive can operate works trains at a speed that does not interfere with passenger train operation.  The locomotive can also work passenger trains when required, if the booked engine fails.  These characteristics make this locomotive ideal for the railway.

D226 is seen here shunting just outside Keighley station

The 10.15 from Oxenhope to Keighley was operated by Midland Railway 4F 43924, seen here on the approach to Keighley.

Note the telegraph poles beside the railway - a once common site along most railway lines, now rarely seen.

D226 continues its shunting duties whilst the 4F 43924 passes as it approaches Keighley.

Unfortunately the photographer was intending to get an arrival shot of the incoming train from Oxenhope at this location, just outside Keighley station - but D226 went passed just at the wrong moment!

4F 43294 backs of its train at Keighley after arrival, ready to run round.

Keighley station is a joint National Rail / Keighley and Worth Valley Railway station, with a joint footbridge linking all the platforms, and has been restored into British Railways 1950s condition.

4F 43294 on the run-round at Keighley , passing Platform 3.

This 4F dates from 1920 and is the only of the four preserved examples built for the Midland Railway- the other three being built for the LMS after grouping in 1923.

4F 43294 approaching the points outside Keighley station so in can back-down on the 11.00 to Oxenhope.

This particular engine is noteworthy as being the first steam engine to be rescued from Woodham’s scrap yard in Barry in South Wales.  Over 200 locomotives followed - but 43924 led the way.

The Locomotive and Carriage Institution’s Centenary Headboard was fitted to the front of 43294 prior to departure with the 11.00 to Oxenhope.

Unfortunately the headboard is only just visible  in this photo behind the vacuum pipe, the curve of the platform preventing a clearer view.

The Centenary headboard commemorates 100 years of the Locomotive & Carriage Institution 1911- 2011 and has now been on a wide variety of Locomotives including London Underground Locomotive 12 Sarah Siddons and on the previous day, Ravenglass and Eskdale 15 inch gauge locomotive 9 River Mitre.

The line has a passing place between stations at Damens where there is Midland Railway signalbox.

The driver of the 11.00 Oxenhope to Keighley is seen here been given the token for the Damen to Keighley single track section by the signaler.

This train was operated by a Metro Cammell Class 101 DMU, with DMBS  M51189 leading.

The L&CI ‘party’ alighted at Haworth for the AGM in the Mill Hey brew house across the road from the station.

  Haworth station is gas-lit and decorated in 1950s style.

Meanwhile 43294 hauled the 11.00 Keighley to Oxenhope, seen here departing Haworth.   

The 2019 AGM was held in the upstairs function room of the Mill Hay Brew House in Haworth.

Members get ready for the start - with one member checking his watch in anticipation!   

After the AGM we were given a guided tour of the adjacent locomotive works.

Lancaster & Yorkshire Railway 0-6-0 No 752 is seen here under heavy restoration.  This locomotive was built by Beyer Peacock in 1881 as a tender engine.  

It was rebuilt at Horwich in 1896 as a saddle tank and was withdrawn by the LMS in 1937.  Fortunately the engine was sold for industrial use and worked at the Blainscough Colliery in Coppull in Lancashire.  The locomotive was later moved to Pasonage Colliery in Leigh, Lancashire before falling into disuse before being sold for preservation in 1967.  

It was  purchased by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Saddle Tank Fund and returned to steam on the Keighley and Worth Valley in 1972.

The locomotive took part in the 150th celebrations of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway at Rainhill in 1980.

75078 is an example of a British Railways Standard Class 4-6-0 4MT tender engines designed by R.A Riddles and built at Swindon Works.

This particular example is one of the last 15 built which had larger tenders with a higher water capacity for working on the Southern Region.  This was due to the Southern Region not having water troughs, unlike the other regions.

75078 was built in 1956 and first allocated from new to Exmouth Junction shed before being transferred to Basingstoke whilst still in its first year of use.  It was modified at Eastleigh with a double blast pipe and chimney to improve steaming economy.

The engine was withdrawn in 1966, when only ten years old and sold for scrap to Woodham Brothers in Barry in South Wales.

Fortunately the engine was purchased by the Standard Four Locomotive Society in 1972 and moved to the Keighley and Worth Valley for restoration.

This engine is ideal for the railway with its capable haulage capacity and is popular with footplate crews.

This ugly locomotive is a 5820, an example of a USATC S160 Class 2-8-0, built in America during the Second World War.

These engines were design to be built quickly and to require minimum maintenance whilst having a short life-span.

This particular locomotive was built in Lima on Ohio in 1945 for the US Army and shipped to Poland  where it was numbered TR203-474.

The engine was withdrawn for preservation in the Polish Railway Museum in Warsaw.  Later it was purchased for use on the Keighley and Worth Valley where in arrived in 1977.

A steam locomotive boiler.

Unfortunately it was not recorded during the shed visit which engine this is from.

In the mid 1980s five class 08 shunters were modified as Class 08/9s at Landore Works.  The alterations included the cutting down of the cab height so as to reduce the overall locomotive height to 11 feet 9 inches for working the Burry Port & Gwendraeth Valley line which was built on a formal canal and had a number of low bridges.  Prior to modification it was number 08 592.

This locomotive was withdrawn from DB Cargo at Doncaster Carr in 2014 and was purchased by the Keighly and Worth Valley in 2015.

British Railways Standard 2MT 2-6-0 78022 was  built in Darlington in 1954 and was first allocated to Sheffield Millhouses Depot.  When the closed in 1962, 78022 was reallocated to no less than a six depots over the next five years - Doncaster, Stratford, March, Barrow, Aintree and Lostock Hall (Preston) before final withdrawal in 1967.

Fortunately the engine was sold for scrap to Woodham Brothers in Barry from where it was purchased by the Standard 4 Locomotive Society in 1975.

These locomotives were a direct descendent of the LMS-designed Ivatt Class 2MTs.

25059 was originally built in BR Derby on 1963 and allocated the original number D5209.

It is fitted with a Sulzer 6LDA28B diesel engine of 1250hp.

This enigne worked to the very end of Class 25 operation on British Rail, being withdrawn from Buxton  Depot on 22nd March 1987.  However two days later it was reinstated in order to haul a Class 37 and Class 47 to Crewe, where it was withdrawn for a second and final time.

The engine was purchased by a private group of individuals and it first worked in preservation on the K&WV Rly in October 1987.  The engine has subsequently been donated to the railway.

English Electric Class 20, 20 031  was completed in English Electric Works in Darlington in 1959 and was originally numbered D8031.

The engine was first allocated Kittybrewster Depot in Scotland and it was fitted with a tablet-catcher.

It was later moved to England and was withdrawn from Toton Depot in September 1989 only to be re-instated in November 1989 before being withdrawn again in 1990.

The engine was purchased by a private consortium of K&WV Rly members for use on the railway, but before delivery was stripped of asbestos by MC Metals in Glasgow.

It is fitted with a 1000hp English Electric 8SVT 8-cylinder engine.

41241 is a LMS Ivatt Class 2MT tank, designed by HG Ivatt in 1946. This engine was built just after nationalisation in 1948 and was first allocated to Bath Green Park where it worked on the Somerset and Dorset.

The engine was later reallocated to Bristol (Barrow Road), Bath (Green Park again), Wellington, Leamington, Bangor, Croes Newydd and Llandudno Junction before finally being allocated to Skipton.

The engine was purchased by the pioneering members of the KWV Rly directly from British Railways, shortly before Skipton shed closed.  The engine passed ownership of the railway in 1970s.

When the engine arrived on the railway painted maroon and worked the reopening special in June 1968.

Whilst it was later painted in BR Black, it is now back in K&WV Rly maroon.

The KVW Rly has two Waggon & Maschinenbau Diesel Railbuses, E799962 & E79964, this being E79964.

These were from a batch of five ordered by British Railways, four of which have survived in preservation.  

They were built ion 1958 in Donauworth in West Germany and were originally fitted with a Bussing 6 cylinder engine of 150 hp, though M79964 was later fitted with a four cylinder AEC engine of the same power rating.

Outside of the shed, in the process of being restored was Derby Lightweight Class 108 Driving Motor Composite Lavatory M51565.

When first built, this vehicle was paired with Driver Motor Brake Second M50928.  Over-time the unit was split and both vehicles were paired with other ‘partners’.  However they have now been reunited in preservation on the K&WV Rly.

The pair were purchased from British Rail by Bradford Metropolitan Council in 1992.

M51565 retains original incandescent light fittings in domes shades, unlike it’s former partner which was refurbished with fluorescent lights.

45596 “Bahamas” is LMS 5XP Jubilee 4-6-0.

As we have found on previous L&CI trips, the LMS was incapable of building many of its locomotives at their own works and so 45596 was built by the North British Locomotive Company in Scotland.

These locomotives were designed by William Stanier and were designed to haul fast secondary passenger trains, though initially they had a reputation of being poor steamers.  After various modifications they became good performers and lasted almost to the end of steam on BR.

This engine entered service in 1935, originally numbered as 5596.  It was finally withdrawn in 19966, allocated to Stockport Edgeley shed.  

The engine was brought in 1967 by the Stockport (Bahamas) Locomotive Society.  

The engine was moved to the K&WV Rly in 1990.

Number 85 is a Taff Vale Railway O2 Class 0-6-2T.

It was built in 1899 by Neilson Reid for the Taff Vale Railway which ran from the docks at Cardiff to the coal mining areas around Merthyr Tydfil as well as the Rhonda and Cynon Valleys.

With grouping in 1923, the engine went into GWR ownership, but with their policy of standardisation the locomotive was withdrawn in 1927.

Fortunately it was brought in 1927 by the  Lambton and Hetton & Joicey Colliery Co in County Durham.  With coal industry nationalisation in 1947, it became NCB no 52, based at the Philadelphia Depot in Co Durham.  Withdrawn in 1968, it arrived on the K&WV Rly in 1970. It was modified for colliery use to loading gauge restrictions but in the 1990s was restored to original Taff Vale Railway condition.

37 075 was built by English Electric Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns in 1962 and originally allocated number D6575,  It was initially allocated to Thornaby shed.

It was withdrawn by EWS in 1999 and was purchased by The Class 37 Loco Association.  Following periods on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway and the Churnet Valley Railway before moving to the K&WV Rly in 2012.

This engine was a member of a class of some 309 engines, all built by English Electric and fitted with a 1,750hp 12 cylinder engine.

This is No 23 “Merlin”, built by Hudswell Clarke in 1951 for the Port of Bristol Authority.

The engine was used for shunting in the Bristol Docks but in 1971 was old R.O. Hodgson Ltd. Of English China Clay Group and was used as a shunting locomotive at their warehouse in Carnforth.

In 1984 the engine failed with mechanic problems and was replaced by a Class 03.  The K&WV Rly initially wished to purchase just the engine, but when then offered the whole locomotive for a nominal sum.  The engine was delivered to the K&WV Rly in 1985.

The wheelbarrows of coal won’t be much use in this diesel locomotive!

After the tour around Haworth sheds, we continued our journey on the L&WV Rly to the end of the line at Oxenhope.

4F 43924 again hauled our train and is seen here approaching Oxenhope with the 14.15 from Keighley to Oxenhope.

Haworth was home to to the famous Brontë sisters.

The railway was originally built with enough land to be double track and many bridges and structures were built with sufficient room for another track to be added, however the second track was only installed  between Keighley and the junction with the GN line north of Ingrow.

Upon arrival at Oxenhope, 43924 was released from its train ready to run-round.

It is seen here moving into the headshunt at the end of the platform.

Under British Railways the station became un-staffed in 1955 and closed, along with the rest of the railway in 1961 by which time just one coal siding remaining from what had been quite a large good yard.

43924 runs round its train via the loop.

The head shunt has been extended under K&WV Rly ownership so as to be able to accommodate two engines.

Note the immaculate lineside each side of the headshunt.

Before the train back there was a short amount of time available to explore what is called the “Green Shed” outside of the station were some engines not currently in use can be viewed as static exhibits.

In disguise, an engine of the fictional Great Northern and Southern Railway, which was originally Great Western Pannier Tank 5775.  This 06-0 engine was built in 1929 in Swindon and was sold by British Railways to London Transport in 1963, becoming L89.

The engine was preserved in 1970 by the K&WV Rly.

The engine featured in the famous 1970 film “The Railway Children”, which was extensively filmed on the railway and it is currently in the livery and company name used for the film.

80002 is British Railways Standard 4MT tank 2-6-4.

Whilst there are number of these versatile 4MT locomotives persevered around the country, 80002 is noteworthy for two reasons: a) it is the only preserved 4MT not built at Brighton - this locomotive was built in Derby and b) it was the only member of the calls not rescued from Woodham’s scrap yard in Barry in South Wales.

80002 was built in 1952 and spent all its working career with British Railways based at Scottish sheds.   It was withdrawn from service in March 1967 but was retained for carriage warming duties at Cowlairs until 1969.

It was returned to working order on the K&WV Rly in 1972, but was taken out of service in 2013 when its boiler certificate expired.

47279 is a LMS Jinty 0-6-0.

Like many LMS engines, it was not built by the railway - in this case the engine was constructed by the Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows in 1924 and was originally numbered 7119.

It spent its early years shunting the vast marshalling yards at Toton in Nottinghamshire before being transferred to Nottingham Depot in 1934 when it was renumbered 7279 by the LMS. Following nationalisation of the railways and the forming of BR in 1948 the engine was renumbered 47279.

The engine was withdrawn in 1967 and sold to Woodham’s scrap yard in Barry in South Wales.

It was rescued in 1979 by the 3F trust and was brought to the K&WV Rly for restoration.  Unfortunately during its time in the scrap yard it had been robbed of many parts include its chimney.  Fortunately a suitable chimney turned up stored (for eventual use as a flowerpot) in an outside lavatory.

Its boiler certificate expired in 2011 and it has been stored at Oxenhope since then.

The L&CI party then returned to Keighley on the 15.00 from Oxenhope.

Upon arrival at Keighley the majority of members then headed home, but a few stayed on the railway to travel on the 15.45 back to Oxenhope, seen here departing from Keighley with 43924.

 Fortunately there were no pioneering diesel shunters in front of the camera this time!

A ‘going away’ shot of 43924.  With the telegraph poles by the railway, this photo could almost have been taken sixty years earlier.

The leading Mk1 coach is interesting as, despite internal appearances, this coach was originally built as W1013, which was a Restaurant Second Open which had lose chairs for 48 dinners and would have been paired next to a kitchen car.

Withdrawn in 1985, unfortunately it was heavily vandalised, so as the original lose chairs were unavailable, it has been fitted with more conventional ‘fixed’ chairs from a Mk1 Tourist Second Open and can now seat 62.

For those travelling towards Leeds or Bradford, travel was on a Spanish CAF built Class 333.

These distinctive units were built between 1999 and 2000 and are very similar, externally, to the Class 332 Heathrow Express Units.

Originally the 333s were built as 3 car units, but due to increased passenger numbers, they were lengthened to 4 cars between 2002 and 2003.

They are noted for spirited  performance and whilst fitted with 3 + 2 seats, their interior appears somewhat more ‘classy’ and roomy than many other UK high-capacity electric units.  Currently being  refurbished, they should hopefully continue in service for a while yet, unlike their Heathow cousins.

On arrival back at Kings Cross, we found that the Great Western had taken over the East Coast Mainline!

This was actually a shortened GWR HST hired to Hull Trains on a temporary measure due to poor availability of their Class 180 DMUs.

Power Car 43027 leads.  Note the coach in GWR green behind the power car.

If you have enjoyed this article, you may also be interested in:

An narrative account of the visit to the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway by Stuart Smith