Going loco for Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Winter Steam Spectacular!

Tom Kay makes some final alterations to steam engine Big Jim

Tom Kay makes some final alterations to steam engine Big Jim

First published in News

A popular American loco will be among the stars of the show when the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway stages its Winter Steam Spectacular this weekend.

But for the USA S160 engine – affectionately known as Big Jim – it’s not its first foray into the limelight.

The locomotive – built for heavy freight work in Europe during the Second World War – starred in the movie Yanks, filmed on the Worth Valley line and at other Keighley district locations in 1978.

The steam spectacular, which runs from tomorrow until Sunday, will be Big Jim’s first major event since returning from extensive restoration.

“The engine has been run a few times recently but this will be his first proper outing since the 1980s,” said Noel Hartley, who is organising this weekend’s extravaganza.

“He’s big, ugly and different, and is an attraction with people. He’s also very noisy, which sometimes scares the children but the adults seem to like it!”

Mr Hartley, 28, who lives at Haworth and has been involved with the K&WVR – where his dad, Graham, is a driver – since he was just 11, says the weekend will also offer-up plenty more for people of all ages.

“We run steam galas twice a year – in March and October,” he said.

“Initially, these were attended mainly by enthusiasts, but now we get a lot of families come along too. The appeal of the events has definitely widened.”

Visiting and home-based locos will be in action, and the City Of Wells will be on show in Haworth yard. Visit kwvr.co.uk for further information.

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