AFTER the success of the visit of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and our Spring Gala weekend, our 50th Anniversary Celebrations are in full swing.

As we near the date in June that will mark 50 years of operation of the railway by our volunteers, we are looking to forward to marking their achievements by welcoming back as many as possible of those who were involved in the very earliest days of the Preservation Society.

We are especially excited to be reuniting those who were there on the reopening day on June 29, 1968, when at 2.35pm, the first train in preservation ran from Keighley to Oxenhope.

None of them could have envisaged that 50 years later we would be one of the most established heritage attractions in the area, and indeed the nation, carting in excess of 100,000 passengers a year, who contribute significantly to the local visitor economy.

We also continue to fulfil their ambition of being an important part of the local transport infrastructure, which we are reminded of whenever the valley is blanketed in snow and we become one of the only safe routes to and from Oxenhope and sometimes Haworth.

For the 50th Anniversary week of celebrations, we hope to welcome back into traffic one of the locomotives that hauled that reopening special back in 1968, which just last weekend moved under its own power for the first time in several years as its overhaul nears completion.

We also have the visit of a very special locomotive, Royal Scot, which will be hauling pre-booked trains between June 25 and 27 (please see our website for booking details), as well as other visitors planned for the week of celebrations running from June 24 to July 1, with a mix of steam and heritage diesel events planned.

Please visit for the latest details.

The focus of the week-long event is the recreation of the reopening on June 29. Hearing from those people who so many years ago travelled on the train, or who were volunteering on the stations, operating the train, or involved in the preparations for the big day, is fantastic.

We are marvelling at their commitment, vision and enthusiasm to achieve the reopening, which many thought was simply impossible.

Pictures of the earliest days of the work to reopen the line are being shared, which reminds us of the days when we had a rail-based Land Rover vehicle to help marshal the genesis of the carriage and locomotive fleet that was then being assembled at Haworth, and which has developed the amazing stock list we have today.

We continue to run our year-round programme of events, including a new Food & Drink Festival on June 9 and 10. Please keep an eye on the events page on the website for the latest list of vendors attending.