Drive a Steam Train For a Day: The Ultimate Gift for the Steam Train Enthusiast

by annieangel

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is the venue for the ultimate experience for steam train fans - a day driving a steam train and other steam engine experiences.

A friend of mine will be celebrating his 60th birthday soon. A life-long confirmed stream train addict, this is the ultimate gift for him: a whole day driving a steam engine! On the day, the birthday boy will spend the whole day with the train, driving the engine. He can take along 4 guests (hope I'm 1!) and they will be served a buffet style lunch. At the end of the day he can, if he wishes, go back to the engine shed to help "put-the-engine-to-bed' (KWVR words) and will receive a certificate of the day. The price also includes a year's membership to the Trust for the KWVR and some free trips throughout the year. What more can a man ask?

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is a working railway operating daily trips between Oxenhope and Keighley in West Yorkshire where it joins the main-line railway system. Indeed, some outlying communities use the line to do their main shopping in Keighley. Most of the trains are pulled (and pushed) by steam engines although some historic deisel engines are also used.

It is real step back in time and a joy to see the traditions live on. We are particularly lucky this railway line runs through West Yorkshire, that part known as Bronte Country after the famous Bronte sisters. It is also the line used to film The Railway Children.

History of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

This railway line in the heart of West Yorkshire was built to service the many woollen mills that thrived in the area during the Industrial Revolution of the nineteen century. For success, the textile industries need huge amounts of coal to fuel the steam engines that ran the mills, and the weathy mill owners of the day provided the finance for the building of the line. It open around April 1867.

The famous purge of the railway lines in 1962 by Beacham, led to the closure of the line. Amid public outcry, conservatists created a trust to buy the 5 mile line and to lease access to the British railway stations at Keighley and Oxenthorp. The company bought diesel engines so they could provide a daily service for goods and passengers and reopened the line in 1968.

IMAGE: 'The Branch Rises from the Ashes, 1968'; KWVR gallery'The Branch Rises from the Ashes, 1968'; KWVR gallery

Since then some steam engines also run daily and a popular and valuable tourist attractionon. There is nothing quite like the sound of a steam engine taking the many inclines here in Yorkshire. The line is run by volunteers.

Steam Train and Signal Box

image by G.A. Mills

Driving a Steam Train

Image by G.A. Mills
Driving a Steam Train
Driving a Steam Train

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

Image under common licence
Steam Train
Steam Train

More Events on the Keighley and Worth Railway

You are spoiled for choice!

This is a working railway line but it is also a fun line. The KWVR, to give it its informal name, provides a steady timetable of events throughout the year.

Apart from the daily trips to Haworth and beyond, they include gala days. For example, this year there is a Vintage Weekend to visit Haworth's 1940s weekend where you can experience jiving and reenactments, street parties and even an RAF flypast.

There are steam engine galas and diesel engine galas. On vintage days, special Sunday events, you can travel in the same carriages as those used in the film The Railway Children.

There are fish and chips trains and cream tea trains. If you don't fancy the fish and chips or the real ale you can always go along for some real Pullman dining on special trains.

You can arrange a behind the scenes tour of the railway or be Mr Perks for the day. Mr Perks, played by Bernard Cribbons, was the signalman and station master in The Railway Children.

All of this while traveling through some of the most beautiful countryside in England.

Steam Train Events and Experiences 2015

Click on the link to check timetables
Steam Train Events and Experiences 2015
Steam Train Events and Experiences 2015

Events and Experiences on KWVRailway 2015

Here are some of the events you can enjoy this year:

  • Ingrow Model Railway Show - 15th February 2015
  • Winter Steam Gala - 27th February - 1st March 2015
  • Eggtastic Easter Eagg Hunt - 30th March - 12th April 2015
  • The Haworth Haddock - 25th April 2015  - Yorkshire Fish and Chips
  • The Railway Children weekend - 2nd May - 4th May
  • Haworths 1940s Weekend - 15th May - 17th May

THE HAWORTH HADDOCK -  £22 per person

runs the 3rd Sunday in every month between May & September

Every “Haworth Haddock” will lay over at Keighley Station, where there will be a band playing on the platform. The bar will be open throughout, so you can either dance the night away on the platform, or simply relax and enjoy a drink in the comfort of our coaches.

25th April – The Turnarounds,
16th May – Miss Natasha Harper,
20th June – 60s Gems
18th July – The Pretend Beatles,
15th August – The Cover Up, the band’s Facebook Page
29th August – Flashback –
19th September – The Pretend Beatles,



Sunday 15th March (Mothers Day), Sunday 5th April (Easter Sunday), Sunday 21st June (Fathers Day) Sunday 12th July.


 Sundays 24th May, 2nd August 9th August 30th August. 

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Winter 2009 Steam Gala: The Photo Montage

A steam train fan's video of the KWVR
Updated: 01/19/2015, annieangel
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