WORK has started on replacing a historic bridge.

The structure – which dates from 1904 – carries the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway (K&WVR) line over the River Worth, near Ingrow West Station.

The £150,000 project involves removing the existing bridge, installing a new concrete deck and then relaying the track.

A steam crane, provided by the Bahamas Loco Society, will lift the concrete bridge deck into place next week.

The work is being carried out almost entirely by volunteers from the railway, a registered charity.

So far they have braved all weather conditions – including flooding – during the operation.

Managing the project is 27-year-old volunteer James Barlow, a chief civil engineer on the Worth Valley line.

“We’re extremely lucky to have a dedicated – and qualified – group of volunteers helping with this scheme,” he said.

“We wouldn’t be able to deliver the project for £150,000 without them.

“Planning for this began over a year ago, with volunteers starting physical preparation work onsite during the first weekend of 2020. We’re looking forward to watching the first train cross the new bridge – on April 4.”

Staff, volunteers and contractors work throughout the year along the famous five-mile line to repair buildings, engines, carriages and infrastructure.

For the duration of the latest scheme, trains are running only between Oxenhope and Damems.

The K&WVR has been fundraising to help cover the cost of the project.

Donations have included £15,000 from the Friends of the railway, which was matched by the K&WVR Trust.

David Hanson and David Petyt, from the trust, presented a cheque to K&WVR chairmen Nick Bennett and Matthew Stroh.

Anyone wishing to support the appeal can donate at Alternatively, phone 01535 645214 or call at any station.