A COACH company has helped Keighley’s world-famous heritage railway prepare for reopening to the public.

The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway is on track to begin operating steam trains again, from next Wednesday, August 19.

And at the weekend, a group of staff from Bibby’s of Ingleton visited the five-mile line to help ‘test’ procedures in advance of passengers returning.

The railway, which has been closed to the public during lockdown, will welcome visitors again with a range of measures in place.

Bibby’s of Ingleton – which itself has been hit hard by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic – has been working closely with various tourist attractions over the past month, both to help itself get ready to operate vehicles again and to assist the venues as they make preparations for reopening whilst complying with social distancing and other safety procedures aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.

“These ‘trial runs’ have been good for our staff morale but it also gives them an understanding of how travel will be for the passenger in the near future,” said company director Chris Bibby.

“We are working on reduced numbers to have people spaced apart and to make it comfortable, whilst following Government guidelines.

“Our review found that the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway has all measures in place to ensure its usual wonderful experience is maintained. We have visited the railway numerous times over the last few years and always find everyone accommodating.

“The railway will need people’s support and it is working extremely hard to offer the passenger a great experience under different circumstances.”

Mr Bibby warns that many coach operators and tourism generally will continue to feel the effects of the pandemic, and some won’t survive the winter.

“We have been trying to work closely with tourism partners to give them and ourselves confidence and support each other through this,” he added.

Bibby’s of Ingleton has been operating for over 60 years and has a number of customers across Skipton, Keighley and the Aire Valley. For more details, email enquiries@bibbys.co.uk or visit bibbys.co.uk.

For more about Worth Valley Railway services, visit kwvr.co.uk.