RUNNING a railway isn't easy, which was particularly true last weekend at our Autumn Steam Spectacular.

We ran a very intensive service, with dozens of volunteers on duty to run vintage trains, with passengers getting an opportunity to travel in rarely-run carriages.

There were also demonstration freight trains, which would have been so commonplace in days gone by, and double-headed 'express' trains recreating the 'holiday specials' reminiscent of the services that some of our more vintage visitors (!) travelled on in their youth.

We had our entire fleet of steam locomotives in operation, and had one locomotive 'weathered,' which involves applying coats of dirt to make it look far more like the times when it was in service.

It was also remembered to represent a locomotive that may well have travelled up the branch in its operational life.

We are usually very proudly keep our locomotives in pristine, polished and perfect condition, with much elbow grease and 'polish' applied, but for this one weekend we've given a reminder of what the railways were really like back in the 'golden age' of rail travel.

We had hoped to have a couple of visiting locomotives as well, but sadly last-minute restrictions on a planned movement from the mainline and a challenge with road access currently meant that we had to change our plans just days before the event.

We reduced prices accordingly and were really pleased with the Spectacular show that we managed to out on with our home fleet, and it's testimony to our volunteers who organise and run such events that we ran such a successful event despite these challenges.

It's now time to turn our attention to our next round of events, with the Beer and Music festival starting today and running through to Sunday.

Details of the vast range of beers and ciders available, as well as the variety of music you can enjoy at various venues from tomorrow, are available on the railway's website.

As well as running through half term week (October 26 to 30), we have our Halloween specials on October 31.

Pre-booking (via the website) for the evening spooky trains , the Haworth Haunting, is essential, but throughout the day you can 'enjoy' our Trick and Treat specials, which don't require pre-booking.

As the children keep reminding me, however, Christmas is most definitely getting ever-closer, and Santa and his Pixies will be arriving at the end of November, and if you want to join us on our Santa Specials, then you must book soon to avoid missing out.

And of course despite all these special events, we continue to run steam trains every weekend.

As ever, if you comment, or would like to join the volunteering team in whatever capacity, then please do get in touch.

Have you missed any of Matt Stroh’s previous On Track articles in the Keighley News? Don’t worry, they’re all still available to read by visiting, clicking on What’s On, then Days Out.