AFTER a great start to the year with a very busy holiday period service, we have been running trains each weekend in January.
Many of these have been hauled by our 1899-vintage locomotive, Taff Vale Railway number 85.
Seeing the Victorian-era locomotive haul its carriages into the gas-lit Oakworth station of an evening was very special. It’s a scene that can’t be recreated anywhere else, particularly with the backdrop of Oakworth, and it’s on your doorstep!
Event season will soon be upon us, so we are preparing to welcome Ice Age’s Sid and Scrat to the railway for the first time on February 21 and 22.
As well as continuing to run steam trains every weekend, we run through the February half term (20 to 24 inclusive), and on March 15 we recommence our popular mid-week heritage diesel service, which runs on Wednesdays.
March 3 to 5 is our 2017 Steam Gala event, when you will be enjoy travelling on rarely used vintage carriages, see demonstration freight trains, and travel on double-headed services.
We are expecting four visiting locomotives during the weekend, including our own Black 5 number 45212, which will be on the railway until Saturday lunchtime before setting off to fulfil mainline railtour duties.
We will also be conducting guided tours of the Haworth Locomotive Works, which will give visitors an insight to a vital piece of our behind-the-scenes work that keeps the wheels turning on increasingly elderly steam locomotives.
The guided tours will allow visitors to see progress on the overhaul of one of the two locomotives that hauled the reopening train back in June 1968, which we hope to have ‘in traffic’ to help recreate that scene at our 50th Anniversary next year.
Our Pullman Afternoon Tea trains start for the season on March 26, when you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea of sandwiches and cakes whilst travelling in our sumptuous Pullman carriages.
These also run on Mothering Sunday and then Easter, Bank Holidays and Sundays throughout the spring and summer.
Times and details are on the website, and some dates are already nearly fully booked.
Into April we are excitedly preparing for the visit of Flying Scotsman, which joins us for a special service from Oxenhope to Carlisle to mark the reopening of the Settle to Carlisle route following a 2016 landslip.
The most famous steam engine will then haul trains between Keighley and Oxenhope between 3 and 9, but many services are already booked.
There is also an opportunity to see the locomotive at Ingrow station on April 1 and 2, and special pre-bookable tickets will allow access to the cab and a 15-minute interpretative talk. Bookings for the Flying Scotsman visit are made via the website.