A NEW book charting the history of Keighley's world-famous steam heritage railway has been penned.

The book, by transport historian Peter Waller, spotlights the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.

It covers the line's operation across more than 150 years, both before and after its preservation.

The book includes extensive narrative showcasing the formative years of the volunteer-run preserved railway, and contains around 200 images – black and white, and colour.

Mr Waller says: "Now preserved for almost 60 years, the former Midland Railway branch from Keighley to Oxenhope may not be one of the country’s longest preserved lines – indeed it only stretches just under five miles – but it's one of the country's most popular.

"With a history stretching back to the mid-19th century, the Keighley & Worth Valley line provided an essential link for the communities it served for almost a century.

"The harsh economic realities of the 1950s made its future uncertain and its fate was, theoretically, sealed before the infamous Beeching report of March, 1963.

"However there were a number of local enthusiasts who, having previously witnessed the demise of the ex-Great Northern Railway Queensbury Triangle routes in the mid-1950s, were determined that the Oxenhope line would not suffer a similar fate.

"With the line preserved, services were triumphantly restored in 1968 and the route has been providing pleasure for tourists and enthusiasts ever since.

"The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society is one of the largest of its kind in the country.

"And over the years the railway has featured in many films and on television, most notably in The Railway Children."

The classic 1970 movie version of The Railway Children, which used the line and a number of locations in the area for filming, helped catapult the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway to global fame.

And people still visit today on the strength of the timeless family film.

Its sequel, The Railway Children Return, released last year, was also shot locally.

His Keighley & Worth Valley Railway book is the latest of many about tramways, buses and railways written by Mr Waller.

He founded the Online Transport Archive, which preserves transport-related photographic archives, and for many years was senior commissioning editor for Ian Allan Publishing.

He's recognised as an authority on many aspects of transport history.

The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, Heritage Railway Guide, is published by Pen & Sword.

Visit pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-Keighley-and-Worth-Valley-Railway-Hardback/p/24078.