WHAT A weekend that was!

I know it was a couple of weeks ago now, but no one who saw the very grandest of Le Grand Departs is going to forget it in a hurry.

Over 2.5 million people lined the route as the peloton journeyed all across Yorkshire.

Tens of thousands of people travelled by train to get to Leeds, Harrogate and York and several thousand went by train to Skipton on the Saturday and to Keighley on Sunday.

And that it is where your local railway stepped up to the mark.

Faced with several hundred passengers arriving at a time as they alighted the Northern trains at Keighley, our ticketing and station volunteers and staff did an amazing job of clearing the queues in a matter of minutes drawing many compliments as a result.

We ran our most intensive service ever, with trains running from 6am to 8pm and at the busiest times every 35 minutes from Keighley.

The efforts of the crews operating the trains and never getting more than a minute or two behind the planned departure time despite the crowds boarding and alighting en route, was simply magnificent.

To make this happen took 97 rostered positions and numerous other volunteers filling vital behind-the-scenes roles.

With road closures starting around 6am (meaning that fireman Tom Kay had to employ all his youthful charm and wit to get past the barriers put up a bit earlier than expected on roads around Haworth!), many volunteers had painfully early starts.

You may not realise, however, that every weekend one of our volunteers is at Haworth Yard at the crack of dawn (or even earlier) to light the steam engines, each of which takes several hours of preparation.

I do hope that you will join me in thanking all of the Railway volunteers for all of their hard work.

I would like to say that we can relax now, but as I said recently, it's not that long until Christmas and we are gearing up for seven day per week operation that starts in July as we prepare for the summer holidays. Do please get in touch if you would like to join the volunteer team.