AS WE reflect on a very busy 2014, I want to start with a thank you to all my fellow volunteers, because it's been an incredibly challenging year.

I'm very proud to say that we have been presented with a Significant Achievement Award by Keighley Town Council for the fantastic work of over 100 of our volunteers on the Tour de France weekend. This is a reminder of the amazing efforts of so many volunteers to make the weekend, during which we ran our most intensive service ever, such a success.

However, that was only one weekend of the 52 during which we have run steam trains and organised some very popular and successful events, such as the Steam Spectacular weekend, dining trains, the Beer and Music event and more recently the ever-popular Santa Special trains, as well as our inaugural Halloween train.

It's a year in which we have enjoyed two steam engines, Big Jim and Wells, re-entering traffic, and most recently seen another (the Standard 4 number 75078) beginning test runs. There should be at least one further loco in service before the end of year, to give us a very strong operational line-up.

Work continues behind the scenes on the café development at Oxenhope and I'm very pleased to say that, following his retirement, a volunteer has offered to act as our project manager, which means that we can make real progress this year.

We have already begun work on improving our carriage works at Oxenhope, and will shortly be installing a mezzanine floor in the Oxenhope Carriage and Wagon works to give us more storage and better facilities. We are looking at ways to fund the planned extension of the new shed and building to cover the wheel drop at Haworth, which will help us improve significantly our engineering working environment.

There has been a huge effort on maintenance of the railway during 2014, which resulted in us having to 'split' the railway near Oakworth, so we couldn't run trains along the whole of railway for some of September.

Whilst an unfortunate inconvenience for passengers at the time, the work to lift the track and waterproof the deck of one of our many bridges was a vital project that was carefully planned to help us secure the long term operation of the railway.

Whilst we have enjoyed a very busy Santa season and some fantastic events during the year, Robert Glen, our newly appointed volunteer Finance and Enterprise Director, has cautioned that we need to work hard to generate additional income to help realise all of our longer-term aspirations.

We are going to be establishing a skills database of the wider membership to help identify potential new volunteers with skills that we could employ to help run and develop the railway.

If you have time that you could offer as a volunteer, whether you would like to train to help operate the railway or have 'behind-the-scenes' skills, then please do get in touch.