IT’S CHRISTMAS! Or at least it is in around 17 weeks… and that means that it’s only three months until our Santa Special trains start running.

At the request of many of our returning passengers we have opened booking already and, although a cliché, I would recommend you book soon to avoid any disappointment!

Details, dates, fares and availability can all be found on the website.

If Christmas feels a bit distant to worry about yet, we have plenty going on between then and now.

We continue to run daily steam train services until September 11, then weekends and school holidays throughout the autumn.

October 9 to 11 sees the return of our Steam Spectacular event, which provides a great chance to see a wide variety of trains running. The event includes demonstration freight trains – which are so reminiscent of the trains that used to run on the branch line – and the chance to ride in the vintage carriages based on the railway.

The Beer and Music Festival runs from October 22 to 25 with a very wide range of real ales and ciders accompanied by a great variety of music at various venues on the railway.

Our Halloween Special train is on October 31, with family-friendly events and ‘Trick or Treat’ trains during the day, at which brave explorers can follow our Scary Trails solving creepy clues to discover treats galore at the stations.

In the evening the Haworth Haunting train will run, with one journey for children aged 10 and above, then the full-on scary special for the brave 14-plus youngsters. Join us if you dare!

To help fulfil all of these commitments, much work that goes on even further behind the scenes to ensure that the track-work, bridges, signals and infrastructure are well-maintained.

Our Civil Maintenance department, made up entirely of volunteers, works tirelessly throughout the year tidying up pointing and stone-work in the tunnels and on the bridges, ensuring that the track is true and level by re-ballasting and checking the state of the sleepers.

We hand the railway to the Civil Maintenance team from the Monday after we cease seven-days-per-week operation until the following Saturday morning. In those few days they will tackle tasks that can only be attempted when they are able to lift large sections of track, for example to allow more major bridge repair work or to relay older parts of the line.

Many of our volunteers will take a week off work to devote to this vital and very physically demanding week.

With a few fingers crossed and some hard work late into the Friday evening the line is always reopened for traffic on the Saturday morning, at which point they can sign off duty and celebrate their achievements!

If you would like to learn more about the work of the Civil Maintenance team, or are interested in getting involved in any aspect of volunteering on the railway, do please get in touch, or get more details from the website.