WE SHOULD be drawing a sigh of relief as we cease the period of seven-day per week running, but once we finish the summer intensive service, we turn the railway over to our Civil Maintenance volunteers.

They take time off their day jobs to maintain the railway’s infrastructure: track, bridges, walls and other structures that keep the railway running.

We have a long-term programme of overhaul, maintenance and in some cases replacement, and this year are tackling a long-standing engineering challenge near Mytholmes Tunnel, which has a very complex structure.This was a difficulty that the Midland Railway encountered back at the beginning of the 20th century, and we are now re-engineering.

This has meant that we’ve had to split the railway into two parts whilst the work is undertaken. Therefore we are running a special timetable for the weekends affected, with a diesel service at the Keighley end of the line and a steam operation between Haworth and Oxenhope.

The work that the team undertake is always impressive, but addressing a 125-year-old engineering challenge will be one of their finest, as will next spring’s plan to replace a complete bridge. As every year, they always manage to complete their work on time and to the highest quality, so that the railway will be fully opened in time for the first train to pass on the planned day.

As well as dealing with the behind-the-scenes matters, just as much effort goes into looking after the stations. We are very proud to have been awarded a Gold ‘Yorkshire in Bloom’ award that recognises the hard work of the small team that keeps the railway’s stations and gardens looking immaculate and so welcoming.

Leaving the summer behind, we enter our programme of autumn events, with the Beer and Music Festival from October 17-20 during which we will have over 100 real ales as well as a range of gins, ciders and wine.This will be complemented by live music (from the Friday) from around 30 groups and solo artists covering a range of musical genres to cater for all tastes.

Later in October things get a bit more scary, as we run the “Wizards’ Express” (Sunday and Thursday, October 27 and 31). This is a special experience aimed at children aged five to 12, but all are welcome on enrol. Details of booking and times of departures are available on the website, as is news of our Halloween Train that also runs on October 27 and 31.

I’ll finish by reminding you that it’s nearly Christmas! Okay, I realise it’s still a few months away, but Father Christmas has been in touch to let me know that since the bookings opened in July, he’s had record bookings for this year’s Santa Special.

Please do visit the website and book soon if you want to travel on a particular date and time.