Monday, 17 March 2014

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

I've been late making a start on any steam photography in 2014 and hence few entries into my blog. I guess this is mostly down to the weather which has been pretty dreadful and perhaps I'm a bit of a fair weather steam train photographer. I rather like to enjoy my photographic jaunts and don't see my blog as a place to record seeing as many steam locomotives as possible that are moving about either on the main line or Heritage Railways. That job’s done far better than I could ever achieve by other more dedicated enthusiasts.

With some good weather forecast to tie in with the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway's Winter Steam Spectacular on Sunday 09 March we headed for Oxenhope. As it happened the forecast was correct and the weather for the day turned out to be pretty good.

Our intention for the day was to park at Oxenhope and buy a Day Rover ticket each to allow us to travel up and down the line at our own pace. We decided that to start off we'd take a train from Oxenhope to Keighley travelling the length of the line to see what was on offer.

It’s the first Heritage Railway we've visited that’s situated partly in an industrial area. The Keighley and Ingrow line-side views are industrial and might be considered typical of Yorkshire Mill towns with the line taking on a more rural setting as it heads along the Worth Valley to Oxenhope. On our visit the trains were very popular which is great for the railway but it does mean that you’re not going to get that brilliant railway shot as someone’s likely to be in just the spot you want for your picture.

For a break from the railway there’s a station at Haworth home to the Bronte family and it’s only a short walk up through the park to the old picturesque main street and on to the Bronte parsonage.  The walk through the park was a pleasant distraction on a lovely spring day with the spring bulbs in full flower. It’s a short walk up a steep hill to the centre of the village to visit the Bronte parsonage. Although we photographed the building we didn't actually go into the museum.

Haworth was also a good place to find somewhere for lunch. Apparently there may well have been some additional things to see at Haworth station but we must have missed any signage about viewing the locomotive works.

The carriage works at Ingrow West are worth a visit. Our day Rover gave us free admission into this museum where it possible to have a look inside some of the historic railway coaches that have been restored. There’s some interesting commentaries and sound effects which begin if you enter the carriage compartments. As we looked into the carriage below we were challenged by the person sitting in the corner. Being the first of the carriages this was a surprising and spooky experience. At one stage I thought I’d missed a train passing through the station before realising it was a sound effect in the museum.

Our final ride of the day was behind USA S160 95820 “Big Jim” hauling an express service from Keighley to Oxenhope stopping only at Haworth. It’s a good ride with 95820 working hard to pull the train up the long gradient out of Keighley. It made a fitting end to our visit.

I've added a page to my website to cover our visit to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway with lots of extra photographs and video of the day which can be found here.

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