ADULTS are being urged to sign up for birthday parties where they can ride model steam trains to their hearts’ content.

Keighley Model Engineering Society has already run several birthday parties for children at its half-mile track next Marley sports centre.

But society members, who build and drive the finally-detailed miniature replicas, reckon grown-ups would be just as chuffed to take to the tracks.

The society has for many years maintained its oval track alongside the River Aire, hosting monthly open days throughout the summer where families can ride on seats behind the steam trains.

The track even has a scaled-down footbridge, and refreshments are served from the clubhouse.

Spokesman Dave Aston said: “We started opening the railway for private events, mainly birthdays, where the hirer has free run of the clubhouse and we run the trains for a couple of hours.

“The number of private birthday parties has increased and they all seem to be very popular with those who attend.

“They have all been children so far, but I’m sure adults would like to have a party riding trains. We even have a local business putting on a family day with us.”

Mr Aston said the long-established club had experienced a successful running season this year, with good weather and a variety of locomotives running.

He said: “The children enjoy the rides and the adults do too when they realise that the locos are strong enough to take them.”

Mr Aston said the society had recruited several new members this year, and would welcome more people interested in model engineering or running locomotives.

He said: “Junior members are welcome if accompanied by an adult, which can be the excuse dads want to join in!

“You don’t have to have your own loco to be a member as the club has two electric locos in Keith Parkin’s memory. As well as running days we have working parties to keep the track and site in order. “

Mr Aston said Keighley Show – held on the adjacent showground – was extremely busy for the society as regulars and new people made their way down to the track.

He said: “We’ve been on the Marley site since 1971 and people are still surprised when they find us there. With the good weather, people lingered long after the show enjoying a ‘cuppa’ and riding the trains.

“We ran half a dozen locos during the day, and during the afternoon had three trains running constantly.”

Mr Aston said the year had not been entirely rosy.

He said: “Often we have to clear the field of litter and debris left around before we can open to the public.

“The popular viewing on the bridge had to be stopped for a while when vandals destroyed the decking. Temporary decking was put in, but it is another job to do in the winter when there is plenty to keep us occupied already.

“And we finally gave up against the vandals and demolished the tunnel so that they could do no more damage to it.”

The society is hosting open days on October 20 November 17, along with a ‘mince pie special’ on Sunday, December 29 which has become a regular fixture between Christmas and New Year.

Visit for further information and directions to the track.