THERE ARE moments that make us realise just how special our volunteers are.

Two recent events in particular make us so proud of what we can achieve, in some very trying circumstances.

We had a fantastic run of Santa Specials in the weekends before Christmas thanks to the huge effort of the volunteers who make Santa and his Pixies feel so welcome. The effort was rewarded by the look of glee on the children’s faces when they received just the right gift from Santa.

During the Santas we had to deal with only one operational hiccup when the bridge just down the line from Haworth Yard was submerged, delaying the last Santa train arrival and forcing us to cancel the last diesel trip to Keighley.

Little did we know what was to come a few days later...

We were very fortunate that the water subsided on that Saturday night, allowing us to run as planned on the Sunday.

We were nowhere near as fortunate on Boxing Day, when so many neighbours were affected badly by the floods. We woke to find Haworth Yard, the engine shed and our volunteer accommodation awash.

Thankfully we were able to keep the diesel engines largely free of water, but the inspection pits filled with water and anything at ground level was badly affected.

We spent Boxing Day helping the emergency services deal with the volume of water, and a volunteer team set up a makeshift café in Haworth station to keep all those involved fed and well-stocked with tea.

Boxing Day ended with the car park still largely underwater, the Royal Oak pub building in a very sorry state (and we wish the new owner well in the proposed remedial work), and a day of cancelled trains - which we really didn't enjoy.

Seeing a team of volunteers assembling very early the following morning to assess the damage and begin repairs makes us so proud, and – despite the situation we were in just 24 hours before – we managed to run the first train at midday, which was an amazing achievement.

We are still working on repairing the damage, particularly that to the volunteer accommodation block at Haworth, but apart from the cancellation on Boxing Day and of the following morning’s services, we have been able to run as planned.

I would like to thank you all for your support and to many for their words of sympathy and encouragement via Facebook and Twitter, and to wish well all those who in the area were affected by the flooding.

We have our Steam Gala from February 26 to 28, when we hope to welcome back into traffic a locomotive dating back to 1899, Taff Vale Railway tank number 85, and visiting steam locomotives.

We also have Postman Pat joining us from February 16 to 18, and later in the year Wallace and Grommit. New events include an Ale Trail from May 28 to 30, as well as Pullman Afternoon teas and the first Keighley Korma special.

Please visit the website for more details.