FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Winter steam at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

Posted in England, Keighley by folkestonejack on March 7, 2014

The Winter Steam Spectacular at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway was marketed as an opportunity to see out winter in style, which it certainly delivered on.

After starting the day with heavy rain the strong winds gave us a rapidly changing picture across the countryside, giving us beautifully blue skies and mild temperatures by the end of the day. At one point there was even the prospect of a rainbow perfectly arched over the railway, but it sadly faded moments before the next train passed through. It was sometimes hard to believe that this was the same day, until a squelch underfoot reminded you that the footpaths would take a little longer to dry out…

Big Jim as BR95820 between Haworth and Oxenhope

Big Jim as BR 95820 between Haworth and Oxenhope

I hadn’t visited the line before, so took the opportunity to travel behind Big Jim to Oakworth and then followed the footpath round to Haworth. This delightful walk takes in Perks Cottage (from the film ‘The Railway Children’), Vale Mill and the wonderfully named Hoot Corner (it’s a blind corner, so the hoot is definetly necessary!).

After reaching Haworth I took a circular walk along the footpath towards Oxenhope, crossing back under the line and along the footpath to Marsh Lane before returning to my starting point. It’s a lovely walk, though inevitably muddy and waterlogged in many places. The views of the line are superb throughout.

The last walk of the day took me from Ingrow West to Keighley by footpath, presenting some unexpectedly photogenic views across the fields to the line.

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed by how many good walks are available in and around this line, which is not something that all preserved railways can claim. After this taster, I will have to come back to see how different the railway looks in summer.

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