AS THE SUMMER season draws to a close our maintenance volunteers take over the line.

After months of planning, as soon as the last train on Sunday ran, our ‘Permanent Way’ and signalling engineering team moved in, getting to work on infrastructure maintenance that can only be done once the trains stop running.

They have shunted our steam crane from its usual home to Oxenhope in readiness for lifting track at Oxenhope that is due to be relaid, as well as having equipment in place at Oakworth for work at the station.

There is a whole team, many of whom take a week’s holiday from work, who toil so hard to make sure that the line is put back together in readiness for the first train to leave Oxenhope at 9am on Saturday morning. Hopefully!

At the time of writing, there is no track at Oxenhope station and a trench dug at Oakworth, both of which will need completing before Saturday morning…

But they will make it thanks to their effort during the week and thanks to the months of precise planning and project management.

They are also helped by our catering team making sure that they are (very!) well-fed throughout what we call Civil Week to keep their spirits up, whatever the weather and whatever the scale of the engineering challenge.

We have confirmation of a visiting steam locomotive for our Steam Spectacular from October 9 to 11, which is the event where we have a very intensive timetable, with demonstration freight trains and shuttle services between Keighley and Ingrow stations.

The Beer and Music Festival runs from the afternoon of October 22 to October 25, and people can sample from over 100 different real ales, a selection of around 50 ciders, and a wine bar.

From the Friday to Sunday of the event you can enjoy listening to the music provided by any one of the 40 bands booked to perform at various locations and times, which combine with the steam trains to provide a fantastic atmosphere.

We have a Halloween day on October 31 and bookings are open for the evening scare trains. And I must mention Santa, whom the children keep reminding me is not that far away from visiting.

Our Santa Special steam trains run every weekend from November 28 to Christmas Eve. Seats on these need to be booked in advance and bookings are open via the website.

Please book early, because we know from experience how popular the trains nearest Christmas are and how quickly they fill up.

As ever, keeping all this running is our team of over 500 volunteers supported by just a handful of paid staff, so we are always looking for people to join us.

Whether you are interested in joining our Civil Maintenance department that works weekends throughout the year as well as the focused effort during Civil Week; on the operational side with events like the Steam Spectacular; or to help us behind the scenes planning the likes of the Beer and Music weekend pic: do please get in touch via